As Chair-elect, as a colleague, and I am happy to say, as a new friend, my second pleasure today is to salute Bill Kissick, and to express for all of us our deep appreciation for a job well done. We have learned much from your gentle stewardship, your patience and your wise counsel. You have set a wonderful example for all of us. You have guided us calmly to a very productive year in which various Senate committees have produced, in turn,
A strong record, even without mentioning all of the other Senate achievements during your tenure. But, about one other area, I must say more.
During a time of turmoil in health care, and the implications it has for our medical faculty, and therefore for all of us, the timing of your administration could not have been better. As one of the great national figures in health care policy, as the actual author of the Medicare act, and as a member of the Medical School faculty and the Wharton School faculty, who could have been better situated to help us think through what we, as a faculty, must consider as the Uni-versity tries to cope with the dramatic changes in the health care environment and its impact on the university life. Little did we realize, even a few years ago, how much we would have to learn about this issue. Indeed, I think I can speak for the Executive Committee when I say, most of us could not even imagine the size of the medical economy until you taught us in that unforgettable moment, that while a 4 inch stack of new $1000 dollar bills equals a million dollars--I didn't even know they made thousand dollar bills--and a stack 332 feet tall adds up to a billion, it takes a stack 62 miles high to add up to the trillion dollars we now spend on health care in this country annually. We will count on your continued advice as we work though the questions the huge changes in health care raise for the status of our faculty, the nature of our future benefits, and even the future character of the Senate.
Bill, we all are grateful for you steady hand, your good head, your serenity, your decency and your perfect moral compass. We look forward to your good council, your good humor and your good fellowship in the year to come.
-- Peter Kuriloff, Chair-Elect
Volume 42 Number 29
April 23, 1996
Return to index for this issue.