University Council Committee Charges for 1998-99
Admissions and Financial Aid
- In the past year, a number of Ivy League and other elite universities,
including Penn, have revised their financial aid policies. Review the University's
financial aid policies, including Penn's need-blind admissions policy,
relative to those of its peer institutions. After consulting with the University
Committee for Undergraduate Financial Aid, report to Council on Penn's
competitive standing within its peer group with respect to financial aid
and make recommendations on how Penn might enhance that standing over time.
- Consulting with the Pluralism Committee, evaluate the effectiveness
of Penn's financial aid policies with respect to minority recruitment and
- The University engaged Barnes & Noble to manage the Penn Bookstore.
In doing so, the University seeks to improve the quality of service and
the efficiency of its Bookstore operation. Review the operation of the
Bookstore and report to Council on the progress toward achieving the University's
stated goals. Monitor the vitality of the two independent bookstores. Conduct
the same evaluation of the Computer Connection.
- Review the progress of the Network Planning Task Force initiative and
report status/findings to Council.
- The University recently expanded services available to PENNCard holders
to provide greater access to financial and University services. Review
the effectiveness of the PENNCard as well as the quality of service provided
to card holders, and report findings to Council. Continue to discuss the
policy on electronic privacy.
- Determine the University's goals for WXPN and evaluate the extent to
which the station promotes them.
- Over the past several years, the University has developed, with community
input, a number of initiatives that seek to strengthen its relationship
with its neighbors. One such initiative is University City District, a
multi-organizational community project with the broad goal of improving
the quality of life in University City. Another is the Center for Community
Partnerships. A third is providing monetary incentives to members of the
University community who wish to purchase homes in West Philadelphia. Review
these and other community-based initiatives; make recommendations to Council
on their effectiveness.
- The Locust Street corridor, west of 40th Street, is home to many members
of the Penn student body, faculty, and administration. Review development
opportunities in this area.
- Explore the possibility of linking Latin-American students with the
large Latin-American community in North Philadelphia, similar to the connection
between African-American students and the African-American residents of
- The University engaged the services of Trammell Crow to manage its
physical plant. In doing so, the University seeks to improve the quality
and efficiency of facilities management. Review the performance of Trammell
Crow; report to Council on the progress of the Uni-versity's stated goals.
Make recommendations on how those goals might be further advanced.
- Evaluate the University's long-range comprehensive facilities planning
process. Make recommendations to ensure appropriate participation by members
of the University community. Determine the effectiveness of the facilities
planning process in addressing the lack of large event space at Penn and
propose solutions to the problem. Review policies on transportation and
parking, and evaluate their effectiveness.
- Review INS regulations and how they will affect current and future
students; review health insurance programs for those traveling and studying
abroad; review the orientation of international students, focusing on what
programs exist and what forms of outreach are in place to encourage students
and postdoctoral fellows to use them. Research options for short-term housing
of international guests on campus. Report to Council on findings.
- Evaluate and respond to the question of why students are charged Penn
tuition and fees while they are studying abroad.
- The University has undertaken a multi-phase renovation of Van Pelt-Dietrich
Library's physical facilities and a substantial upgrading of its computing
and research capabilities to serve the research needs of students and faculty.
In addition, the College House System and the Wheel System will potentially
increase access to and use of the library's resources. The committee, and
a suggested student subcommittee, should discuss the above and such issues
as expanded hours, impact of staffing, and other ongoing needs, and evaluate
response, review the renovations upgrading and report to Council.
Personnel Benefits Committee
- Resume practice of serving in an advisory capacity on benefits issues
within the University community and issue timely reports to University
Council regarding the impact of proposed changes to Penn's benefits program.
- Drawing from recent studies and reports, evaluate the University's
performance with respect to minority recruitment and retention, perhaps
in comparison with peer institutions. Reports findings to Council by 1999.
- The University of Pennsylvania seeks to enhance the diversity of its
student body, faculty, and staff. Review the policies and procedures of
the University to achieve this goal, focusing specifically on African-American
and Latin-American student recruitment and retention, Asian-American issues,
Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual issues, and issues of importance to the Latino community,
drawing on existing administration resources for data as needed. Report
to Council on findings and recommendations.
- Using the Brailsford & Dunlavey report, review the University's
progress toward improving recreational facilities. Make recommendations
as to how Penn can achieve its stated goals in this area.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of the University's advising system for
athletes to ensure that they are in compliance with University policies,
including those on drug use, NCAA requirements, and other policies. In
evaluating policies and practices related to student-athletes, ensure that
the spirit as well as the letter of the NCAA's policies are followed.
- Review the University's relationship with the University City Science
Center; evaluate and report to Council on the opportunities for enhanced
- Evaluate the grants and contracts system, assessing how well the faculty
is served and offering recommendations for improvements.
- In consultation with committees of individual schools, especially the
committee of the Office of Post-doctoral Programs in the Medical School,
continue work on the University's policies concerning post-doctoral fellows.
Safety and Security
- The safety and security of all members of the Penn community are of
paramount concern to the University. Mindful of this goal, work with the
Committee on Student Affairs to educate community members about safety,
with an emphasis on seeking continuity of message to students during their
studies at Penn.
- Review the unique situation of the graduate student population in terms
of safety and security. This constituency represents many members living
off-campus and a large number of international students new to the city.
- Complete the formulation of the Uni-versity's video monitoring policy,
in collaboration with the Committee on Open Expression and the Department
of Public Safety.
- The University recently developed and implemented the College Houses
in an effort to integrate academic and student life programs and services.
Evaluate the progress of Penn's new system; report findings to Council
and make recommendations as to how the initiative can be strengthened.
In consultation with the Communications Committee, examine the differences
in computing quality across schools. Continue to monitor issues pertaining
to alcohol abuse. Evaluate dining facilities including eating halls, and
space allocation for student activities in conjunction with the vice provost
for university life.
- Work with the Committee on Safety and Security to educate community
members about safety.
Almanac, Vol. 45, No. 16, January 12, 1999
PAGE | CONTENTS
ISSUES | JANUARY at PENN