Council February 11:
School Reviews, Funding, Vending and Police
At Council on February 11, Provost Michael Wachter reported on the selection
of five Thouron
Scholars who will enter the British institutions of their choice under
Penn's two-way exchange program.
- School Reviews: Dr. Wachter also gave
a progress report on the School reviews now under way:
- "As you may know, the School reviews were established in 1996-97
as part of the University's Agenda
for Excellence. It was written into the Agenda, calling
for a rigorous normative protocol for external review and assessment of
each school and interschool program every five to seven years. This process
is intended to provide the schools with the opportunity to evaluate their
long-run strategic plans and to receive input from an external review committee
which is made up of distinguished academic leaders from that school's disciplines.
These committees are outstanding blue-ribbon commitees. It's great for
us to host them and we get enormous help from them. An important part of
the process is that it allows each of the schools an opporunity to be thinking
in a strategic planning context about what their goals have been and about
their success in meeting those goals.
- "The reviews we've had so far have included the School of Social
Work and the School of Nursing last year, and the School of Dental Medicine
this year. We will be doing the Graduate School of Education in the spring.
In addition, we have been reviewing our resource centers that report to
the Provost's Office: last year we did the Annenberg Center, which led
to a new strategic plan there; we are in the midst of doing the Institute
for Contemporary Art. In addition, as part of reestablishing the Fels Program,
we did a review of that program last year.
- "The goal of this entire process is to allow the leaders in the
field to get together with the schools, the deans and the faculty, to think
about their programs--whether they are cohesive, coherent, effective and
true to their mission, and whether they are meeting established school
and University goals. I'm extremely pleased to say that the reviews we've
had have been enormously successful both in terms of process, and also
in terms of the feedback we've been getting from the review committees
on how outstanding the schools are and the progress they are making.
- "Finally, what this review process does is to allow the schools
to think about what are the best and most effective benchmarks that they
want to use to measure their own success. We have received good assistance
from the review committees on this and I look forward to reporting further
on this as more reviews take place."
- Funding: President Judith Rodin gave updates
on both federal and state funding issues of interest to the University:
- "If you heard President Clinton's State of the Union address,"
she said, "you heard of his intention to increase scientific research
funding, including the largest increases ever to both the National Institutes
of Health and the National Science Foundation. If Congress follows that,
it would be wonderfully good news for research universities including Penn.
As Penn's president and as one of President Clinton's advisors in the science
and technology, I've tried to play a leadership role in encouraging the
President to take this move, and will also play a leadership role in encouraging
Congress to pass the necessary legislation."
- Arriving at Council straight from Harrisburg, Dr. Rodin reported that
the Governor of Pennsylvania has recommended a 3.5% increase in Commonwealth
Funds to the Vet School-- the nation's first ranked veterinary medical
school and the only one in the Commonwealth. The Governor also proposes
traditionally smaller amounts for medical education, the University Museum
and Morris Arboretum. The Commonwealth is also being asked-- "in part
via a lawsuit from the City of Philadelphia," she quipped-- to increase
support for public education, and she pledged her support to the Children
Achieving initiative of David Hornbeck and other actions on behalf of the
- She also summed up the documents in the Department of Education's
findings on Penn crime reporting (Almanac
February 10 and Almanac
On Line), noting that Penn reports both in the circumscribed campus-based
federal format set by the DOE and in a fuller format--including off-campus
crimes the police respond to--through Almanac and Daily Pennsylvanian.
- Vending: In opening reports and later in
the Q & A, GAPSA representatives raised objections to last-minute changes
in the proposed legislation on vending which was sent to City Council last
week and is scheduled for public hearings in April. Asked to clarify a
statement of GAPSA Chair Sanjay Udani to the effect that agreements made
on Monday had been broken, Matthew Ruben said,
- "At the meeting in chambers with Councilwoman Blackwell on Monday
we all agreed on a dozen issues that represented differences among various
proposed ordinances submitted by the Penn Consumer Alliance, the Vendor
Association and the Administration. There were a number of remaining issues.
However, in the copy that was received by us today-it was faxed directly
to the Councilwoman yesterday, in contravention of her explicit direction
that it be shown to us first-more than half of those agreements are not
implemented in the Administration's revision of the ordinance. In fact,
on some of them they have explicitly informed us that they are reneging
for reasons which are not explained," he said. He detailed as points
- "We agreed to allow the Vending Advisory Board to put decibel
limits on generator noise. As far as I know, that revision was not incorporated
by the Administration despite the fact that we all agreed to it.
- "There was an agreement to require that a Licensing and Inspection
Officer be present whenever a Penn or City police officer tried to remove
an unauthorized vendor; we were informed that that had been put in but
upon reviewing, the language had not been changed from the original, which
would have allowed the police officer unilaterally to remove the vendor,
which goes against existing law.
- "The University administration wanted to review vendors to 'wash'
sidewalks where they vend; we agreed to change that to 'sweep' to reflect
realistic expectations; that is now the ambiguous term 'clean.'
- "Penn agreed to allow parking of trucks for delivery of items
to vendors and as far as we can tell there is no substantive incorporation
of the discussions around this issue that we agreed upon. Penn also allowed
truck vending on 33rd Street between Walnut and Spruce; this is not in
the revision, on the claim that our reaction to it was favorable, which
is not true.
- "Penn also offered to give in to the Penn Consumer Alliance proposal
to have five cart spaces on the east side of 33rd Street in front of the
Penn Tower Hotel where they currently are; that has now been changed to
three carts and moved to the west side....Penn also agreed to give space
on the west side of 34th Street near where the back of Meyerson Hall is,
and that has been reneged upon with some statement concerning the private
area behind Meyerson Hall."
- Police/Community Relations: The Undergraduate
Assembly presented a forum which referred in some instances to Penn Police
activity in relation to parties involving the use of alcohol.
- As three speakers set out aspects of the problems and solutions--Maureen
Rush as director of police operations, the Rev. Will Gipson as University
Chaplain and Tope Kolodoye as chair of the United Minorities Council, UA
Chairman Noah Bilenker summed up suggestions-some of them already planned
or in progress in some form-that included visits by University police to
local high schools to make themselves familiar to neighborhood youth; security
tours for incoming freshmen; a form of citizen review board; the forthcoming
open house at the new Police headquarters on Chestnut Street; and the establishment
of a UA program of awards to campus police.
- Bookstore Committee: Chair Robert Regan
described problems with staffing his committee under the new procedure
which assigns staffing to the unit overseen, and delays in receipt of information
requested by his committee-on design issues and on pricing policy. Business
Services Vice President Stephen Murray offered to see that the committee's
needs are met.
- Facilities Commitee: Chair Anthony
Tomazinis urged recognition of the difference between consultant in the
formative stages of physical planning, and briefing after plans have already
been decided upon.
Return to:Almanac, University of Pennsylvania, February
24, 1998, Volume 44, Number 23