The following statement is published in accordance with the Senate Rules. Among other purposes, the publication of SEC actions is intended to stimulate discussion among the constituencies and their representatives. Please communicate your comments to Senate Chair John Keene or Executive Assistant Carolyn Burdon, Box 12 College Hall/6303, (215) 898-6943 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
a. The Chair expressed sadness over the deaths of 1992-1993 Faculty Senate chair David Hildebrand and Senate Committee on the Faculty member and 1969-1970 Faculty Senate Secretary Ralph Ginsberg over the summer. SEC members observed a moment of silence in their memory. A memorial service for David Hildebrand will be held Friday, October 1 at 2 p.m. in Logan 17. A service for Ralph Ginsberg will be held on Monday, September 27 at 4 p.m. in the Zellerbach Theater, Annenberg Center.
b. SEC members were reminded to submit nominees for service on the Senate Nominating Committee and to submit their names for observer status on University Council. The chair urged attendance at University Council meetings.
c. The Chair drew attention to the items before the Faculty Senate this year as published in his letter to the faculty on page 2 of Almanac September 7, 1999. They include continued discussion and clarification of the University's copyright and software policies, the School of Nursing request for handbook changes in policies for clinical faculty, a review of revisions to the Policy on Misconduct in Research, and consideration of recommendations of the Medical School's proposals for changes in the structure of its faculty (to be presented this winter).
d. Recognition was extended to Richard Wesley, head of the department of architecture for his contributions to the design of the interior of the new Faculty Club in the Inn at Penn.
2. Past Chair's Report on Academic Planning and Budget Committee and on Capital Council. In his capacity as Past Chair, John Keene reported that there had been no meetings of either group since his return to campus in August. He stated that he will be meeting with Vice President for Facilities Management Omar Blaik prior to each Capital Council meeting to discuss the issues on the agenda.
3. Information Discussion with President Rodin and Provost Barchi. President Rodin noted the great freshman convocation held the previous evening and the increased participation of the faculty in the freshman reading project with the discussion sessions moved to Tuesday. The new Alcohol Policy is being implemented with Stephanie Ives as coordinator. The President announced that Marguerite Miller, associate editor of Almanac, will become the editor of Almanac on November 1, 1999, succeeding Karen Gaines. Dr. Rodin thanked Martin Pring, chair of the search committee [see message here].
President Rodin turned to discussion of the University of Pennsylvania Health System, as requested by Faculty Senate Chair Keene. In the national context, the UPHS has been affected by the recent enactment of the balanced budget act in which Medicare payments to medical educational institutions were reduced. The impact has been greater than Congress expected and it is hoped the recognition of the impact will prevent further cuts. In the local context, third party payers have delayed and reduced reimbursement. The State also cut its support of uncompensated care. The Hunter Group was brought in to find ways to improve UPHS performance. Recommendations that are accepted will be implemented right away; there will be aggressive remediation. President Rodin said the University's first responsibility to the Medical School is to protect it as much as possible from what is happening at UPHS. Neither health services nor patient care will be sacrificed.
In response a query as to whether the problem could be solved with faculty shrinkage, Provost Barchi said that one of the options to be considered is a reformulation of the policies for clinician educators at Penn. Another option is to shift some clinician educators to the tenure track.
Provost Barchi apologized for stealing Faculty Senate Chair Peter Conn in order to appoint him deputy provost. Professor Conn's credentials and experience are a perfect match for the position. He noted that the freshmen class is the most outstanding Penn has ever had and that 80% made Penn their first choice. He drew attention to the new Alcohol Policy, citing the many new options available to students, such as movies, late-night gym activities, live jazz and late-night eateries. Provost Barchi asked faculty to be role models and to follow the new policies at department parties.
The Provost discussed copyright policy at the request of Faculty Senate Chair Keene. Provost Barchi did not accepted the Faculty Senate's proposal (Almanac April 27,1999). The objection concerns the interpretation of the copyright law as it pertains to faculty intellectual property. He is reviewing copyright policies from other institutions. The Provost plans to reach a decision well before the end of the academic year.
Provost Barchi said a broad-based committee on distance learning has been established which will be considering what Penn should be doing and where the investment should be.
4. Status of the Campus Development Plan Process (CDP). Vice President for Facilities Management Omar Blaik gave an extended presentation on the process. He observed that many campus development projects are underway or being contemplated, and that a context, or integrative framework, is needed to tie the Capital Development Program to institutional goals. Recommendations will be made by the committees that have been established for academic use of particular sites. Architects will work within general guidelines set by the CDP. In response to a SEC member, Mr. Blaik said the campus boundary on the west is 40th to 43rd Street, with no further expansion desired in that direction. At present the boundary on the north is Chestnut Street. SEC members expressed concern that there should be proper faculty input to developmental decisions. The process includes open meetings to receive additional suggestions. Others urged faculty to speak with their deans to promote fulfilling school proposals. Mr. Blaik said the committee members made presentations to the Academic Planning and Budget Committee and the trustees, requesting recommendations. Mr. Blaik invited faculty input.
5. Real Estate Projects. Executive Vice President John Fry reviewed major strategies that are shaping the University's planning efforts. Responding to a SEC member's inquiry about a safety overlay in the campus development plan, Mr. Fry said the Penn police boundary to the west is 43rd Street. He said the Academic Committee will consider whether any new parcels should be selected for academic use. Concern was expressed that opportunities for academic use of new parcels may be lost to other use due to lack of funds. Mr. Fry stated the goal of moving some administrative offices eastward and freeing up space in the center of campus for academic use. Several SEC members asked that the recommendations come before the Faculty Senate prior to presentation to the Trustees.
Almanac, Vol. 46, No. 3, September 14, 1999