Penn and the real estate property management firm of Trammell Crow Company
have signed a "letter of intent" that by March would outsource
the management and operation of three units of the University-Facilities
Management, Residential Operations, and Penn's wholly owned real estate
subsidiary, University City Associates. About 180 Penn managers and support
staff (A-1s and A-3s) are affected, but the contracts of those in collective
bargaining agreements are not.
-- a salary at least the same as the present one;
$32 Million to Penn: Under the proposed ten-year contract, Penn
would pay Trammell Crow $5.25 million/year for its services-but, Mr. Fry
added, the firm would pay Penn $32 million ($26 million up front and another
$6 million at the end of the first five years) for "providing this
opportunity to enter the higher education market in a leadership position."
Trammell Crow Corporate Services, Inc., a division of the Dallas-based parent
company, has operated some of the largest facilities in the country, Mr.
Fry explained, but Penn represents its first entry into higher education-and
it has created a new subsidiary, Trammell Crow Higher Education Services
Inc. (TCHES), in order to make this entry. A condition of the arrangement
is that TCHES will establish its Northeastern headquarters in University
City, at a site to be determined. The headquarters unit is expected to create
some 30 jobs.
Next Steps: A rough timetable for the outsourcing project calls
for drafting the definitive agreement for Trustee approval at the upcoming
stated meeting of the full board (November 6-7). Job interviews for the
175 employees are being scheduled for November 10 through November 25. Job
offers are to be made by December 5, and those receiving offers will have
until December 12 to return their decisions. The target for implementation
is March 1.
(For complete texts of the TCC news release, and of the Letter of Intent it summarizes, please open Almanac Between Issues at www.upenn.edu/almanac/).
"At Penn," said Provost Stanley Chodorow, "the Century
will begin in September 1998." That is the launch date for a new program
that incorporates all of Penn's undergraduate residences into a system of
12 College Houses, and eventually brings to all of them what has been a
pilot project in academic support known as "The Wheel" (right).
College Houses in the 21st Century
Provost Stanley Chodorow announced last week the details of the 21st Century College House program as a component of Penn's Agenda for Excellence "designed to strengthen the University's undergraduate residential system by providing an integration of students' residential, intellectual, cultural, social and recreational life at Penn." The program, produced by the Residential Communities Working Team led by Dr. David Brownlee, is outlined in the Team's final report in this issue.
It calls for the creation of 12 residential communities encompassing all of the present undergraduate residences. (Please see page five for the configuration.):
-- An expansion of the "Wheel" Project into all the residences. (The 21st Century Wheel Project, sponsored by the Residential Faculty Council with undergraduate schools and departments and the office of the VPUL, introduces into residence enhanced academic support programs in the areas of mathematics, writing, information technology, library, research, and languages.)
-- Enhanced staffing (each house to have a faculty master, faculty fellows, dean, and student peer support including graduate associates, and resident advisors).
-- Study centers, including computer and seminar rooms, office spaces, social and multipurpose facilities, in each house.
-- A dedicated dining facility for each house.
Freedom of choice is an important feature of the plan, Dr. Chodrow said: There is no mandatory residency requirement and no mandatory dining provisions are imposed. Undergraduates will continue to have a full range of housing options including Greek houses and off-campus housing. They will also be able to transfer among the college houses.
"It is expected, however, that the increased amenities and heightened sense of community of the college houses will attract growing numbers of students to multi-year residences on campus," Dr. Chodorow added. "Those who move into off-campus housing or fraternities will retain their college house affiliations and will be able to continue using college house services and programs."
Programming and themes will be defined and executed by the residents, offering undergraduates, graduates, and faculty the opportunity to work collaboratively on academic and non-academic projects of common interest, supported by a new infrastructure of facilities and services.
The project is considered the first phase in a longer-term capital plan to renovate and rehabilitate the residences, but the Provost and EVP John Fry project that little construction will be needed to launch the programand that most of the projected increase in annual operating costs will be paid for by efficiencies derived from the restructuring of Penn's residential service divisions.
First-year capital costs associated with the project are estimated at $700,000, to be funded through the established annual budget for the residences. Reallocation of existing resources is expected to reduce additional personnel and program expenses from over $1 million per year to $680,000. By extending the present $70 program fee across the residences, costs are further reduced to $525,000.
"Student, faculty and staff input will continue to be essential as the plan is put into place during the next year," Dr. Chodorow emphasized. "New and existing house councils, work groups and residential student and faculty leaders will shape the new system. In the immediate future, transition teams will be established for each College House to begin shaping the development of the houses, address house constitutional issues, space issues and marketing strategies, among others. Finally, the Wheel Project will be extended into each house, and dining and facilities recommendations will be implemented."