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Membership and Charge of the Special Committee on Consultation

To the University Community

At a special meeting of University Council on November 5, 1997, a resolution was passed by a show of hands with no dissenting votes in which the Council recommended "appointing a committee composed of faculty, students, administrators, and support staff, which is charged to examine the problems that have been raised about the consultative process, and to make recommendations by April 1, 1998, to facilitate improvements."

The Steering Committee of Council determined the number of representatives from each constituency. Development of the charge and appointment of a chair to the committee was delegated to the President and Provost of the University and the Chair, Past Chair and Chair-elect of the Faculty Senate. Each constituency of Council submitted the names of the requisite number of members to represent their constituency to the Chair of the Faculty Senate, acting in her capacity as Chair of the Steering Committee of University Council. The charge and list of recommended committee members was presented to and accepted by the Steering Committee at its February 3, 1998 meeting. The recommendation by the President that the Chaplain of the University serve as an ex officio member of the committee was approved by Steering. The committee has been charged to return its report and recommendations to Steering in time to be presented to Council at the April 22, 1998 meeting.

The charge to the ad hoc committee on consultation appears below, followed by the list of committee members. We understand that the committee invites input from the University Community. Please direct all comments to the chair of the committee.

We wish to thank the chair and the members of the committee for agreeing to serve the University in this most important task. We look forward to receiving the report and its recommendations.

-- Judith Rodin, President

-- Vivian Center Seltzer, Chair of the Faculty

Charge to the Ad Hoc Committee on Consultation

Consultation is a central dimension of the life of the University and critical to the well-being of our community. To maintain a consultation policy which is both dynamic and functional, it is necessary to assess current practices and to design additional initiatives. Within this framework the charge to the University Council Ad Hoc Committee on Consultation is to:

1. Identify the current vehicles for consultation. Could they be more effectively deployed?

2. Develop a continuum of consultation models in different contexts broad enough to encompass the major kinds of issues and circumstances the University is facing.

Anchoring one extreme of the continuum of consultation is information by an authorized decision maker to the authorized head of one or more other constituencies so that person or persons is not "blind-sided." Anchoring the other extreme of the continuum is genuine collaborative work from the beginning for which effective problem solving requires hearing a wide-range of voices.

3. Develop specific models of consultation appropriate for each location on the continuum.

4. Identify the appropriate offices/persons from the relevant constituencies to participate in the consultation process.

Membership of the Ad Hoc Committee on Consultation

Chair: Howard Lesnick (law)
Faculty: John Keene (city & regional planning)
Lynn H. Lees (history)
Administration: John J. Heuer (human resources)
Barbara J. Lowery (provost's office)
GAPSA: Matthew Ruben (GAS 1999)
UA: Bill Conway (College 2000)
PPSA: James Bean (mail service)
A-3 Assembly: Donna Arthur (data systems, law)
Ex officio: William Gipson (chaplain)

Return to:Almanac, University of Pennsylvania, February 10, 1998, Volume 44, Number 21