COUNCIL Three 1997-98 Year End Reports
Scheduled for Discussion at Council November 11, 1998
This year this Committee has experienced a major change. With the prodding of the University Council, the support of the Steering Committee and the approval of the President, the Facilities Committee of the University Council was redirected to become the University Council Committee on Campus Facilities and Planning. The change could prove substantial if, in the coming years, the University utilizes this committee for the proper advisory function of planning of all major physical development projects of the campus, in addition to the review and advice function on buildings and transportation services management that the Committee has been carrying until now. However, it will require considerable support and cooperation from the part of the Administration of the University to do so, and it will require additional efforts and commitment on the part of the Committee members before a well performing physical planning function can be initiated on this campus. On the other hand, a cooperative participatory and proactive planning function may prove very beneficial in many different ways to both the University administration and to other parts of the University community.
The committee started very late this year. It had its first meeting on February 5, 1998. The late start was due to an unexplainable delay in defining the charge to the committee and in appointing most of its members.
The first four meetings of the Committee contained discussions about the proper role of this committee within the framework of the University Council Committees, and within an environment that changes continually due to almost constant construction, remodeling, renovation, and modification of physical projects. The conclusion was that there was no non-administrative committee on campus that could review projects proactively, with the participation of the involved and impacted parties and advise the administration properly. This function should be carried well before the design of facilities is made, before the Design Review Committee enters the picture. It should be done at the time that alternative locations, sizes, forms and functions are considered. This function should also include some kind of open hearings of all concerned parties.
The fifth meeting took place on May 4, and focused on the review of the proposed new Wharton School building on the old bookstore site (38th and Walnut Streets). This was the first true planning meeting of the Committee, and it took place because the President wanted to have the recommendations of this independent University Council Committee. Thus, the committee met, with almost full membership present in order to review and extensively discuss this project, even though the plans for the building had progressed nearly to the final pre-construction state.
The Dean of the Wharton School presented the plans and the rationale behind them, as well as some of the history of the project. The chairman of the Design Review Committee, Dean Gary Hack, was also there to inform the committee members about the views of the Design Review Committee. The Campus and Facilities Planning Committee discussed the matter and sought additional information from all present, then continued its discussions in a closed executive session. Recommendations were finalized during the executive session, and a report was submitted to the administration.
A copy of this advisory report is enclosed [with the report as submitted to the Secretary].*
The University Council Committee of Campus Facilities and Planning is confident in recommending to the University Council and the University Administration the continuation of the major change that was achieved this year in renaming the committee and in instituting, for the first time, an independent advisory planning function on the development of the campus. Until now, only administrative groups were advising the President; they included major components of the proposers and direct operators. The University Council Committee on Campus Facilities and Planning is a much more widely based group that can review proposed major projects from a broader perspective that can incorporate easily in its process open Hearings and perform a purely advisory function that incorporates the input of all components of the University community.
We hope the University Council will accept and endorse the committee's recommendations.
--Anthony R. Tomazinis, Chair
1997-98 Facilities Committee Members
Chair: Anthony R. Tomazinis (city & reg plng); Faculty: Nadia Alhasani (architecture), Stephen Hoch (mrktg), Anuradha Mathur (landscape architecture), Barbara Savage (history), Anthony R. Tomazinis (city & reg plng), Vucan Vuchic (systems engr); Students: Kyle Duarte (Wharton '98), Michelle Koch (Wharton '00); PPSA: Vivian Hasiuk (asst. to chair, physics); A-3: John Hogan (Biddle Law Library); Ex officio: Glenn Bryan (director, community relations), Omar Blaik (vice president, fac. services and contract management), Alice Nagle (coordinator, Program for People with Disabilities), Ronald Sanders (registrar)
The University Council on Community Relations met six times during the 1997-98 academic year. It was charged by the University Council with (1) analyzing the community service directory and (2) considering and recommending ways for University researchers to involve the community in research projects, including providing feedback on their project outcomes. The committee did not undertake an analysis of the community service directory as this is being done by the Center for Community Partnerships in consultation with the Program for Student-Community Involvement. The committee reviewed and discussed the Guidelines for Research in the Community. These were then forwarded to SEC and to Dr. Ralph Amado, Vice President for Research, for distribution to the larger University community.
In addition, as part of its monitoring function, the committee received reports from Glenn Bryan, Director, Office of Community Relations, John Fry, Executive Vice President, and D-L Wormley, Managing Director, Community Housing. Mr. Bryan provided a monthly update on the various com-munity activities taking place in the neighborhoods (e.g. Mantua, Parkside, Millcreek, University City) in West Philadelphia, and on the work of the West Philadelphia Initiatives Committee and Community Relations Communications Group, two committees of the Steering committee to the President. Mr. Fry presented an overview of the economic development initiatives, particularly the University City District, and Sansom Common as well as the broader strategic planning process for university-community projects. Ms. Wormley provided an update on the new mortgage program designed to encourage and support home ownership in West Philadelphia. Further, the committee suggested that there be a packet of information made available to new hires interested in living in University City. It was recommended that Ms. Wormley's office coordinates this material and uses the resources also available through PFSNI. Several members of this committee also offered to be a resource for prospective faculty and staff who want to live in University City.
The Committee also provided consultation to Mr. Diorka, Director of Recreation, on how to increase the number of community children and funding for the National Youth Sports Program held at Penn during the summer.
At various points during the year, the Committee members felt that they had not been consulted about many community initiatives. There was a great deal of discussion about the purpose of this committee particularly in light of the many other committees and groups working on community issues. Further, there was discussion of what constitutes the community and what issues this committee should be responsible for.
Based on its work this year, the Committee recommends the following:
1) The Community Relations Committee should be a proactive group that provides early consultation on community based issues and University initiatives. This would require that there be broad representation in membership and that appropriate university offices (e.g. economic development, real estate, and employment) be represented as ad hoc members. Further, this Committee should help to facilitate discussion on key issues (e.g. safety, neighborhood development, schools) among various constituency groups. It should hold forums with the Office of Community Relations in the community to gather information on the broad and specific concerns of residents and organizations. This information should then be shared with appropriate university committees.
2) Recognizing that there are increasing numbers of students involved in community volunteer work and research, the Community Relations Committee would like to develop training materials for students on how to enter and work in the many university neighborhoods. This project should be undertaken with the Center for Community-Service Learning and the Program for Student Community Involvement.
3) The Community Relations Committee should assist with and monitor the implementation of the Guidelines for Research in the Community. It should identify faculty from the various university departments and schools who are doing research in the community and ascertain how these guidelines are being used and the issues involved in community based research.
--Jane Isaacs Lowe, Acting Chair, Spring 1998
1997-98 Community Relations Committee Members
Chairs: Margaret Cotroneo, Fall; Jane Isaacs Lowe, Spring; Faculty: Margaret Cotroneo (Nursing,), Peter Dodson (animal biology/geology), Frank Goodman (Law), Christopher Hasty (Music), Martin G. Keane (Medicine), Klaus Krippendorff (Communication), Jane Isaacs Lowe (Social Work) Brian Spooner (Anthropology); Students: Jonathan Bluth (C '99), Aaron Fidler (Wh '00); PPSA: Robin Doughtery (Mid-East Section, Van Pelt Library), Quyen Ho (Assistant General Manager/Development, WXPN), Marja Hoek-Smit (Director, Int'l Housing Finance, Wharton Real Estate Center), Billie Meeks (GSE) A-3: Donna Arthur (Law School), Debra Smiley Koita (Career Servoces); Ex Officio: Jeanne Arnold (Director, African American Resource Center), Glenn Bryan (Director, Community Relations), Vinnie Curren (General Manager, WXPN), Michael Diorka (Director, Recreation), John Fry (Executive Vice President), David Grossman (Director, Program for Student-Community Involvement), Ira Harkavy (Director, Community Partnerships), Pam Robinson (Assoc. Director, Residential Life) D-L Wormley (Managing Director, Community Housing)
The Student Affairs Committee (SAC) met 11 times during the academic year. The early meetings were devoted to orienting new members to the work of the committee and to setting an agenda for future discussions. ln keeping with its primary purpose of monitoring the quality of student life at Penn, the committee decided to focus on two issues: alcohol and substance abuse on campus, and the implementation of the new residential college system.
The committee heard several reports from members of the President's Drug and Alcohol Task Force and supported the recommendations offered to reduce binge drinking and related problem behaviors. In particular, efforts to minimize pro-alcohol messages during recruitment and orientation of freshmen and to increase the number of alcohol-free social activities on campus were strongly endorsed by the Student Affairs Committee. The committee also endorsed plans to hire an Alcohol Coordinator to centralize alcohol education activities and to identify gaps in services available to students with a drinking problem. Last but certainly not least, the SAC strongly supported enforcement of rules to deal with binge drinking including firm and consistent disciplinary actions against hazing practices, boisterous parties, and "drunk and disorderly" behavior by Penn students on and off campus.
The committee then initiated a careful review of the new residential college plan. Key members of the Residential Communities Working Group came to our meetings to review the plans for implementing the new system. Details about the structure, character, administration and governance of the residential colleges were discussed at length. Several concerns were raised about the new system including: 1) how the high rises could be converted into residential communities; 2) how incoming students would choose among the different colleges; 3) how changes in the population of the Freshman Quad would influence intra-class relationships; 4) how the governance of the colleges (i.e., House Councils) would be carried out; and 5) how student demands for decentralized recreational facilities would be addressed.
The committee was generally supportive of the intentions of the Residential Communities Working Group but there was widespread concern that a great deal more energy and resources would be necessary, and that extensive consultation with students was absolutely essential to make the college system a success. This point was raised during the early part of the Spring semester during recruitment for graduate advisors. Graduate student members of Student Affairs Committee reported that recruitment was conducted with very little student input Moreover, many students felt that the financial arrangements for new GAs were less favorable than in previous years. These concerns were relayed to the administrators involved in the GA system.
Space for student activities was the final issue discussed by the committee. This became a great concern toward the end of the Spring semester as the closing of Houston Hall approached It soon became apparent that alternative planning for the 6000 meetings held there each year was not being carried out in a centralized fashion. After expressing serious concern to the Interim Provost about this situation, the SAC met with staff from the VPUL and learned about a new centralized system for reserving space throughout the Penn campus. Under this system students can acquire space via electronic mail in a more user-friendly fashion than before. The committee was pleased to see that this vital issue was being addressed sensibly.
-- Anthony L. Rostain, Chair
Chair: Anthony Rostain (psychiatry); Faculty: John Biaglow (radiation oncology/med), Alexander J. Brucker (ophthalmology), Lisa Downing (philosophy), Alan Charles Kors (history), Anthony Rostain (psychiatry), Neville Strumpf (nursing); Students: Noah Bilenker (College '99), Steven Schorr (Wharton '98), Dolya Srivisal (Wharton '99); PPSA: Jackie Smith (student financial services), Caryn Stivelman (Johnson Foundation); Ex officio: Noah Bilenker (chair, UA), William Christian Gipson (University chaplain), Larry Moneta (associate vice pres. campus services), Terry Conn (assistant vice provost, Univ. life), Sanjay Udani (Chair, GAPSA)
* The Office of the Secretary is constructing a website where such addenda will be placed in the future. Meanwhile, the report can be found at www.upenn.edu/almanac/v45/n11/addendum.html.--Ed.
Almanac, Vol. 45, No. 11, November 10, 1998