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The following statement is published in accordance with the Senate Rules. Among other purposes, the publication of SEC actions is intended to stimulate discussion among the constituencies and their representatives. Please communicate your comments to Senate Chair Vivian Seltzer or Executive Assistant Carolyn Burdon, Box 12 College Hall/6303, 898-6943 or

Actions Taken by the Senate Executive Committee
Wednesday, December 10, 1997

1. Items from the Chair's Report.

a. Martin Pring (physiology/medicine), the Senate Nominating Committee's candidate for Secretary-elect, has been declared elected.

b. Attention was drawn to the chair's December 9, 1997, Almanac column, written at the request of SEC, providing further information on the continuing discussion on intellectual property.

c. Special University Council meeting on the outsourcing of Facilities Management to Trammell Crow was well run and a real moment in University history. Graduate-professional students petitioned for and organized the special meeting. It was noted that the Trustees received the proposal from Council to suspend plans for the outsourcing. All Council constituencies have submitted their appointees to the Special Committee on Consultation that was called for by resolution at the meeting. The com-mittee chair is to be appointed upon agreement of the Council Steering Chair and the President. Work of the committee is to be completed in April 1998.

d. Faculty Exit Questionnaire pilot program has begun and some questionnaires have already been returned to the Faculty Senate Office where all records will be kept in confidence. The Committee on the Faculty will analyze the returns, and the questionnaire will be improved per pilot study findings.

e. Cost Containment Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Administration has been gathering data and plans to report to SEC in February. Faculty members are Louis Girifalco (materials science & engineering), Abba Krieger (statistics) and Solomon Pollack (bioengineering). This subcommittee also comprises the faculty membership on the University Committee on Cost Containment which recently held its first meeting of the year. Administration members are John Fry (executive vice president and committee chair), Barbara Lowery (associate provost), Mike Masch (executive director budget and management analysis), Lisa Prasad (executive director office of the executive vice president), and Thomas Stump (executive director budget and administration SEAS).

f. A joint report will be prepared this year, rather than individual reports, by the Senate Committees on Administration, Faculty, and Students and Educational Policy and submitted to the administration for response.

g. A motion was introduced as an expression of concern about statements against a faculty member in connection with a student-athlete's eligibility. SEC had an extended discussion that focused on a variety of issues: should the obvious be expressed; freedom of speech was at issue; primacy of the academic mission; damaging impact of erroneous claims made in the press; and, breach of the Buckley law on privacy of student records. Since the report of the Provost's review committee had not yet been issued, the motion was tabled.

f. As recommended at the last SEC meeting two Faculty Senate liaisons to the Faculty Club Board of Directors have been appointed, Gary Hatfield and John Keene.

2. Academic Planning and Budget Committee and Capital Council. Past Faculty Senate Chair Peter Kuriloff reported that during the last several weeks the committee met to discuss the following issues: health care benefits, multi-year budgeting, review of the Annenberg Center, long-range strategy for development and alumni relations, review of the Institute of Contemporary Art, the School of Social Work's external re-view, and the 21st Century house system.

There was no report on Capital Council.

Professor Kuriloff expressed concern about the absence of genuine consultation in the committee, and that presentations of decisions are made at each meeting with no prior discussion with this committee. He said that in the past, issues were brought to the committee before decisions were made.

3. Informal discussion with the President. A SEC member, noting strong faculty interest, asked how the University might encourage entrepreneurial business efforts adjacent to the University. President Rodin said vigorous efforts are being made to take an integrated approach and create an eclectic array of shops throughout the campus area including startup merchants, crafts, funky and upscale businesses. The President believes that a large successful bookstore will attract and sustain small bookstores. She also said the University is working towards enrolling an increasing number of merchants on the PennCard.

Another SEC member expressed faculty concern regarding the growth and possible instability of the Penn medical complex, citing the rapid growth and recently announced major cutback of the Allegheny health system and the HMO that got into trouble. The President stated that the health care environment in Philadelphia has changed considerably in the last year. Considerable energy will be exerted in restraining future growth and holding back costs. Regarding concerns about proliferation of many kinds of faculty in the health system and ensuring standing faculty rights and privileges, the President deferred to the Deputy Provost and Associate Provost, who are looking into these matters as are the Senate Committee on the Faculty and the Senate Committee on Students and Educational Policy. Responding to a question on the effect on the University of the Penn Health System master trust indenture, the President replied the health system does its own bond structure investment separate from the University. President Rodin further stated that if there were vast deficits in the health system it would effect the University's bond rating. She had recently met with Moody's and they are neither concerned about the health system's bond rating nor the University's.

President Rodin explained that the new provost will be a key player in strategic planning and that the search committee for a new provost would be asked to be mindful to find a strong provost. In response to a question on whether an internal or external candidate would be sought, the President said she will be agnostic.

A question was raised about the structure and strength of the position of provost. A SEC member pointed out that most of the Provost's budget is tied up in entitlements and the Senate had recommended that savings from reengineering of the University be shifted into the Provost's Office. President Rodin stated that incremental changes in resources are needed in order to provide an opportunity pool for the Provost and this will be done.

Regarding the appointment of an SAS dean, the President expects to make an appointment soon.

4. Report from Faculty Liaisons to Trustee Committees. Faculty liaisons to the Trustee Committee on External Affairs, Ted Hershberg and Rebecca Maynard, and faculty liaisons to the Trustee Committee on Student Affairs, Helen Davies and James Laing, described the recent trustee committee meetings they attended.

5. Senate Nominating Committee Chair. Larry Gross was elected committee chair by acclamation.

6. Senate Committee on Committees. Nominations were made and a ballot was circulated for seven members to be elected. The Senate Chair and Chair-elect serve ex officio. Senate Chair-elect John Keene was elected committee chair.

7. Informal discussion with the Provost. In response to a question from a SEC member Provost Chodorow expressed his views on the major strengths and weaknesses of Penn. He compared the culture of Penn to that of the University of California. Penn faculty have more personal freedom; at UC the Faculty Senate has more say over the lives of the faculty. The Provost stated that UC faculty salaries are public and this openness did not appear to generate expressions of anger. Faculty at UC receive merit increases only after a rigorous review.

On behalf of the faculty, the Senate Chair thanked the Provost for his service to the University and wished him luck.

SEC gave Provost Chodorow an extended round of applause.

8. University Council Committee on Committees. SEC voted on nominees for the five faculty members to represent the Faculty Senate on the Council Committee. The Faculty Senate Chair-elect serves as a voting ex officio member.

9. Criteria for New Provost. Several criteria were raised during an extended discussion on criteria for the search committee to bear in mind. The majority of SEC expressed that a Provost from inside the University is a great plus. The individual should be loyal to Penn and the academic mission of Penn should be primary. The Provost should: be a scholar; have the ability to exert academic leadership; be a person with vision; be a listener, willing to consult; be an able administrator but respect academic rather than corporate initiatives; be familiar with the contemporary university scene; but first and foremost keep the model for improving Penn as Penn rather than other schools.

SEC members were asked to submit their nominees for six of the twelve faculty positions on the provost search committee (the president appoints six faculty) to the Faculty Senate Office by 5 p.m. Tuesday, December 16, accompanied by a supporting paragraph. The Chair, Past Chair and Chair-elect were authorized to develop a short list of nominees that will be discussed and voted on by SEC at a special SEC meeting scheduled for Wednesday, January 14, 1998, from 3-4:30 p.m. SEC also agreed that should the task require completion in a shorter time-frame voting will be by e-mail.

10. Retirement and Benefits Subcommittee. The report was deferred.

Return to:Almanac, University of Pennsylvania, December 16, 1997, Volume 44, Number 16