To the University Community
Over the summer, an ad hoc committee of
the Board met with Steven Murray and Marie Witt of the Office of Business
Services regarding plans for the future relocation of the Faculty Club to
facilities within the Inn at Penn, now under construction in the 3600 block
of Walnut Street. The outcome of this consultative process was a set of
plans which were reviewed and accepted by that committee and brought to
the Board at a special meeting in mid August. The Board voted to accept
the recommendation to move forward with the plan as presented. The Board
members discussed the architectural plans with the membership at the October
6 meeting. While many issues
remain to be resolved with questions related to governance, finances, and
terms of agreement, we believe the move is in the best interests of the
Faculty Club, and that it is important to have an informed membership on
Elsa Ramsden, President, Faculty
Club Board of Governors
The Faculty Club in the Inn at Penn: The Concept
Background and Planning
The Faculty Club currently provides a series of
functions for the University, its departments, faculty and staff. These
- The Hourglass Restaurant, a moderately priced,
73-seat restaurant with table service that is open daily for lunch and
Wednesdays for dinner during the year.
- The Cafeteria, a luncheon buffet available to
all members at the fixed price of $6.25 per meal. It is open Monday to
Friday year-round and accommodates up to 200 users per day.
- A conference center with a Club Room in the basement,
Alumni Hall on the second floor, and seven private dining rooms on the
- An informal meeting place for faculty and staff,
including a bar/ grill area seating 38 and a lounge space, both located
on the first floor of Skinner Hall. It also has a small art gallery with
rotating exhibitions. It provides evening food services for Hillel, and
rents about 1,500 square feet on the third floor to the Dynamics of Organization
Club Membership is currently about 18% of eligible
faculty and 4% of eligible staff.
The University has been providing the Faculty Club
with space on a rent-free basis under the terms of a 1959 agreement. In
addition, the University has been covering the costs of operating the building
(about $300,000 per year), and covering Faculty Club operating deficits
averaging $350,000 per year.
Feedback from long-range planning discussions and
recent surveys indicated that members were most concerned with retaining
an environment that fosters collegial conversation, an informal lunch time
buffet that enabled interaction between colleagues, an upscale dining room
suitable for hosting guests, and a distinct identity.
In the Inn at Penn: Interior Design
The space planned for the Club has been designed
with direct input and collaboration from an ad hoc committee of the
Board of Governors. Final interior design features and other operational
issues will be discussed over the coming months with the ad hoc committee.
Preliminary renderings show the general atmosphere envisioned for the Club
space. These renderings can be seen on the web at http://www.upenn.edu/bus-svcs/clubplans.html
Entry to the Club space would be just off the second
floor lobby area and adjacent to the Inn's living room*. A reception desk
and additional space for a sofa, other soft seating and area to meet and
gather would be provided in the lounge. This space would be roughly the
same size as the lounge area immediately in front of the Hourglass restaurant
in Skinner Hall.
The lounge area and corridor between the buffet
and formal dining rooms would provide ample wall and display space for the
Club art exhibitions.
Entry to the buffet dining room would be off the
Club lounge at the west end of the Inn's living room. Entry to the main
dining room would be through the Club lounge at the west end of Club's buffet
dining room. Bar service to the buffet and main dining room will be provided
by the Inn. Beverages may also be served in the Club lounge area using a
small bar in the Inn living room.
The Inn will also operate a restaurant/bar on the
first floor of the Walnut Street side of the complex.
The entry to the Club would be through the Walnut
Street entrance. Members would enter the Inn lobby and go directly to an
elevator to the second floor or ascend the grand stair case. Signage marking
the entry to the Club would be prominent upon arrival.
Food Service Management
The company hired to operate the Inn at Penn will
provide food and beverage service and maintenance and upkeep functions for
the space designated for the Club. The Inn operator will be hired by Penn
on a management contract. The operator will be paid a fee for services and
be paid based on key performance milestones to include both financial and
customer service requirements. Therefore, all revenues (other than membership
dues) and expenses related to provision of meals and beverages associated
with the Club would be borne by the Inn.
Meeting and Conference Rooms
The Inn at Penn will provide a large ballroom that
will be subdividable into four smaller rooms as well as three smaller meeting
rooms and a board room. Club members wishing to reserve meeting rooms could
do so either through the Club Coordinator or directly through the Inn. University
rates will be established and extended to Club members for room rentals.
Hours of Operation
The Club lounge area would generally be open Monday
through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the Dining Room area available
with coffee set- up each weekday morning. Lunch would be provided Monday
through Friday and the traditional Wednesday night dinners would be continued.
Special functions and events such as pre-game brunches
would also be scheduled. During non-standard hours and breakfast, Club space
would be available for use by the Inn as scheduled by the Club Coordinator.
Breakfast would be served daily by the Inn in the space designated for the
buffet. Club members would still have access to the main dining room and
lounge area for morning coffee and conversation.
Now that the basic plans have been approved by
the Faculty Club Board of Governors and shared with the Faculty Senate Executive
Committee, the ad hoc committee will resume meetings with Business
Services to finalize details such as club governance, pricing structure,
coordination of club programming and related issues.
Please forward your comments and suggestions via
e-mail to Dr. Elsa Ramsden or Marie Witt.
--Steven D. Murray, Vice President,
* The Inn at Penn will have a living room area
on the second floor that is designed to be a beautiful room with a fireplace,
wood paneling, highback and overstuffed chairs. It will also have a small
bar. While an integral part of the Inn, it is also designed to be a place
for the Penn community to meet guests and colleagues. Its adjacency to the
space designated for the Faculty Club permits yet another area for club
members to have informal conversation.
Return to:Almanac, University of Pennsylvania, October
21, 1997, Volume 44, No. 9