Speaking Out

Notes on Faculty CDs

I was pleased to read about the new Marian Anderson recording in the October 27 Almanac but disappointed to see that the note regarding "More of Penn on CD" failed to mention that at least some of the in print CDs of music by past and present faculty composers are available at the Penn Bookstore. Currently there are CDs in print that include compositions by George Crumb, Richard Wernick, Jay Reise and myself.

I say "some" of the in print CDs because (according to my conversations with Bookstore staff members) Barnes and Noble's CD distributor does not carry several important labels for new music. The result is that you can't even special order two of the current CDs of my work. As far as Barnes and Noble is concerned, some of my published work does not exist-a good example of how the marketplace values of a major corporation conflict with the University's ideals and interests. (You can find all of my CDs at Tower, Amazon.com, or Classical Choice, a store that used to be on campus until it was forced to find a more affordable rent in Center City.)

--James Primosch, Associate Professor of Music

Response to Dr. Primosch

The University of Pennsylvania Bookstore is the only store operated by Barnes & Noble College Bookstores that offers a music department. Since pre-recorded music is not our primary business, we have been able to realize certain economies of scale by purchasing and managing the inventory through Bassin Distributors. Unfortunately, Bassin does not stock CDs or cassettes from every label in the music industry.

We would be happy to look at alternative methods of making faculty recordings available in our department. Please e-mail me at dwyane@pobox, or call 898-4880.

--Dwyane F. Carter, General Manager, Penn Bookstore

Following is a letter sent to John Fry, Executive Vice President, and to Almanac for publication.

Questions on United Way

I am writing to you in reference to the recent materials distributed to Penn Faculty and staff to promote the Penn's Way '99 Campaign. Included in this packet are brochures and forms from the United Way, soliciting charitable donations for this organization. I find myself somewhat troubled by the University of Pennsylvania's association with the United Way on two counts, and wish to allow you the opportunity to explain this cooperative agreement in light of the following information.

1) The United Way experienced a classic example of crisis mismanagement in recent times, whereby the CEO was being paid a very high salary and had created some for-profit subsidiaries under the not-for-profit's umbrella. His son was CEO of one of the subsidiaries. The United Way, rather than being open and honest, tried to hide what was happening. They were raked over the coals for trying to destroy all kinds of documents. What has changed in this organization that can instill the kind of trust that the University should insist upon when involving interaction with its employees?

(Information source: EMMI, Inc., publisher of "Inside PR and Reputation Management", Tony Seideman's report May/June 1997)

2) The United Way uses donations to fund many well-deserved causes, yet also, at least in the Combined Federal Campaign it manages for federal employees, contributes to the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, an organization dedicated to eliminating animal research. This organization has been suspected of association with more militant groups advocating violent anti-research activities as well as the recruitment of computer hackers to penetrate research systems and destroy data. In this light, do the Trustees of the University feel that the United Way is adhering to the mission of the University?

(Information source: National Animal Interest Alliance News, January '97)

I would contend that the relationship of the University of Pennsylvania and the United Way needs re-examination to ensure that the activities of this charitable organization are both free from internal corruption and complement the mission of this institution. I am sure that most employees involved in research would find the charitable contributions of the United Way to PETA to be contradictory to their work effort.

I look forward to your response to these concerns,

--G.Brown, Manager, Institute for Human Gene Treatment Transgenic Core

Mr. Fry Responds:

The Penn's Way '99 Campaign continues the University's tradition of providing faculty and staff with the opportunity to support charitable organizations throughout the Delaware Valley. As was the case last year, the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania and the Center for Responsible Funding will assist us in managing the Penn's Way '99 campaign. We have chosen these two management organizations for their proven track records of maximizing funds raised through workplace campaigns.

Regarding the issue of the CEO of United Way, I have asked the organization to respond directly [see letter, below-Ed.].

On the second item, the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania does not support the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Please see the position statement [right] outlining the types of institutions which are eligible for funding through the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

--John A. Fry, Executive Vice President

Attachments to Mr. Fry's Response

United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania Position Statement:

Update on William Aramony

William Aramony, former president of United Way of America, is currently serving the fourth year of a seven-year sentence he received in April 1995 for conspiracy, fraud and filing false tax returns. Also serving jail time they received on similar counts are former United Way of America Chief Financial Officer, Thomas J. Merlo, and Partnership Umbrella, Inc. President Stephen Paulachak.

Each defendent was also ordered to pay a special assessment of $50 on each convicted count, and to pay a forfeiture judgement in the amount of at least $552,000.

United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania (UWSEPA) is a local organization governed by community volunteers. Like other local United Ways, UWSEPA has its own Board of Directors, president and operating policies. It is not a chapter of a national organization.

Money raised by UWSEPA, serving Philadelphia, Montgomery, Delaware and Chester counties, is for local agencies serving people in need in our community. Strict financial controls ensure that donor contributions efficiently reach these organizations.

United Way of America is the trade association which provides marketing support, training, research and other services to local United Ways. Since 1992, the organization has a new Board, governance structure, code of ethics, president and management team.

United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania Position Statement:

Agency Eligibility Determination

United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania supports more than 2,800 health and human service organizations throughout the Greater Philadelphia Region. Donors each year make decisions on where they want their contributions to go. While the United Way works to be as inclusive as possible, guidelines have been established on eligibility of non-profits organizations.

For an agency to be eligible, each element of the following core criteria must be met. An agency must have a federal tax exempt/tax deductible status of 501(c)(3), and; be located within and provide services to the residents of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, or Delaware, and exist primarily to provide or support voluntary human health or social services, and; be registered with the State Bureau of Charitable Organizations of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, or be exempt from registration.

Ineligible fields of service include the following types of organizations: religious institutions; libraries; animal welfare; disarmament, nuclear weapons and peace groups; environmental; governmental agency service; economic development; cultural; and education.

Donors who designate an ineligible organization are advised, and asked to redirect their gift.

Speaking Out welcomes reader contributions. Short, timely letters on University issues can be accepted by Thursday at noon for the following Tuesday's issue, subject to right-of-reply guidelines. Advance notice of intention to submit is appreciated.--Ed.

Almanac, Vol. 45, No. 14, December 8, 1998