Below and here, the Secretary of the University Council presents two year-end reports-one on the work of the Steering Committee and the other on the disposition of actions taken during the past year. These are followed by ten of the 13 standing committees' reports for the 1998-99, the other three having been published in Almanac on April 20, 1999. Note that all such reports are posted to the web upon publication, and can be found via www.upenn.edu/almanac.
Steering Committe Annual Report | Summary | Contents | Admissions & Financial Aid | Bookstore | Communications | Community Relations | Facilities | Personnel Benefits | Pluralism | Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics | Research | Students Affairs | BACK TO TOP
This is the 21st annual report of the Steering Committee of University Council, prepared in accordance with a requirement in the Council Bylaws that the Steering Committee shall publish an annual report to the University community that reviews the previous year's Council deliberations and highlights "both significant discussions and the formal votes taken on matters of substance."
In accordance with the Bylaws, Council discussed a Draft Agenda for 1998-99 University Council.
Council discussed Council committee yearly charges for 1998-99.
The Personnel Benefits Committee presented its report of 1997-98. Council discussed the University Council Committee on Student Affairs year-end report in Professor Anthony Rostain's absence.
The Committee on Student Affairs and the Community Relations Committee presented year-end committee reports.
President Judith Rodin presented her annual State of the University report; issues addressed included the Agenda for Excellence, the Uni-versity's strategic plan, and initiatives in University City and West Philadelphia, with Mr. Steve Schutt and Dean Susan Furman reporting on the new Pre-K-through-8 school initiative.
Interim Provost Michael Wachter presented his annual report; issues addressed included the 21st Century Project and initiatives such as the College House System and the Wheel Project. Professor David Brownlee reported on the progress of the College House System.
The November meeting of University Council was cancelled due a to light agenda and scheduling conflicts.
President Judith Rodin reported that the new Provost of the University, Professor Robert Barchi, was appointed. She thanked Professor Michael Wachter for his service to the University as both Interim Provost and Deputy Provost.
Council held its annual Open Forum, with speakers and discussion on the safety of women on campus, the 1997-98 Pluralism Committee report on Asian American issues, the needs of students for Asian American Studies and faculty, Asian American staff and alumni development, and the naming of University buildings and locales. Speakers were either directed to appropriate resources immediately, or assured their issues would be taken up in Steering and/or appropriate Council committees in the near future.
Council discussed the October 14, 1998 extended report of the Interim Provost on the State of the University, including Professor David Brownlee's report on the implementation of the College House System.
Professor Vukan Vuchic, chair of the 1998-99 Facilities Committee presented the 1997-98 year-end Facilities Committee report, chaired by Professor Anthony Tomazinis, and discussion followed.
The Safety and Security Committee and the Committee on Open Expression presented a proposed policy on video monitoring for safety and security purposes, including a Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Monitoring Panel charged with reviewing camera locations, complaints, and requests for release of tapes. The policy was endorsed by Council and recommended to the President.
In response to a request that the Faculty Senate Executive Committee codify the recommendations made by the Ad Hoc Committee on Consultation last spring, Professor Howard Lesnick presented the Faculty Senate Executive Committee Policy on Consultation to Council. Council voted 37 in favor, none opposed, and one abstention to recommend the policy to the President and Provost for inclusion in the handbook.
University Council discussed proposals set forth by Professor Phoebe Leboy and Dean Susan Fuhrman on the Charitable Giving Campaign. Dean Fuhrman's resolution was defeated and Professor Leboy's resolution was approved by a vote of 27 in favor and two opposed. Council agreed to move forward with a Combined Charitable campaign designed to be both user and donor friendly and provide the broadest possible range of choices for charitable giving. The campaign also will reinstitute a strong volunteer component to maximize participation across all of Penn's schools and administrative units.
The February meeting of Council was cancelled due to the heavy agenda of the January meeting. The Steering Committee of University Council decided that the Council Committees needed additional time to work on the issues assigned to them.
Mr. Thomas Seamon, Vice President of the Division of Public Safety, provided information on several issues: a follow-up on December open forum issues regarding safety; information about Public Safety's practices and policies regarding arrest of Penn faculty, staff, or students; and a report on minority representation by rank in the Division of Public Safety.
Mr. Doug Hagan, Chair of the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly, reported on the Graduate Housing Survey conducted by the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly. Mr. Larry Moneta, Associate Vice President of Campus Services, also spoke about the projects planned to enrich the graduate and professional students' experience at Penn.
Professor Phoebe Leboy presented the Steering Committee's Ad Hoc Report on Recruitment and Retention of Minority Faculty and Students and discussion followed.
Professor Karin McGowan, chair of the University Council Library Committee, reported on library funding and future renovations.
President Judith Rodin presented an extended report on the budget and plans for the coming year with discussions following.
Provost Robert Barchi presented his extended report, focusing on the Campus Development Plan; discussions followed.
In accordance with the Bylaws, Council held a preliminary discussion of focus issues to be discussed in the 1998-99 academic year.
Professor Martin Pring, chair of the Committee on Communications, presented the committee's Computer Disconnect Policy in which Information Systems and Computing would disconnect from PennNet any computers that have actually damaged or pose an imminent threat of harming the integrity of PennNet.
The International Programs and Safety and Security Committees presented year-end committee reports.
- -Rosemary McManus, Secretary to the Steering Committee
Steering Committe Annual Report | Summary | Contents | Admissions & Financial Aid | Bookstore | Communications | Community Relations | Facilities | Personnel Benefits | Pluralism | Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics | Research | Students Affairs | BACK TO TOP
Summary of 1998-99 University Council Resolutions and Recommendations and Administrative Actions Taken on Them
Resolutions from the 1998-1999 Academic Year
1. The University Council Committee on Safety and Security proposed a policy on video monitoring which included a CCTV Monitoring Panel, made up of five members, charged with reviewing camera locations, complaints, and requests for release of tapes. Two of the five members are designated (Chair of Safety and Security Committee and University Compliance Officer); two are appointed by the Chair of the Faculty Senate; and one is appointed by the President. Council approved an amendment to add one student and one staff member to the CCTV Monitoring Panel by a vote of 27 in favor and nine opposed, with three Council members abstaining. A proposal that the policy be amended to require approval of a majority plus one of the statutory positions on the panel for the release of tapes was put forth. The amendment passed by a vote of 18 in favor to 16 opposed with five abstaining. The twice-amended policy was endorsed by a vote of 36 in favor and none opposed and recommended to the president. (January 13, 1999)
2. The Ad Hoc Committee on Consultation developed a proposed set of policies. The Senate Executive Committee was asked to codify the recommendations in a form suitable for inclusion in the Handbook for Faculty and Academic Administrators. The document sets forth the policy of the University on consultation between officers of the University and their representatives ("the administration") and persons or bodies who are members of constituent groups having an interest in the adoption, modification or implementation of various programs, actions and policies of the University in those areas of decision-making where the administration has final or primary responsibility and the faculty does not have a distinctive role. Council voted 37 in favor, none opposed and one abstention to recommend the policy to the president and provost for inclusion in the handbook. (January 13, 1999)
3. Professor Leboy put forth a resolution calling for a return to the Penn's Way campaign of the early 1990s. Dean Susan Fuhrman proposed a substitute resolution, intended to accomplish the same goals by a different pathway. Professor Leboy said that the first proposal calls for a return to the results of a campus-wide referendum, a format that operated quite successfully for several years. Both Professors Leboy and Rudovsky and Mr. John Fry said that the whereas clauses of both motions were compatible. Professor Leboy and Professor Rudovsky did not object to the substitute motion's reference to the charitable giving campaign as an employee benefit. Professor Rudovsky also noted that the resolved portions in each resolution reestablishing the volunteer structure were compatible. It was agreed that the whereas clauses were common to both resolutions. Mr. Fry conceded that items from Professor Leboy's resolution could be added to the substitute motion. Dean Fuhrman's substitute resolution was defeated. Professor Leboy's resolution was approved by a vote of 27 in favor and two opposed.
4. Council discussed the proposed policy on Computer Disconnection from PennNet that was developed by the University Council Committee on Communications. The goal of the policy is to protect the academic missions served by Penn's computers and networks. Under the policy, Information Systems and Computing would disconnect from PennNet any computers that have actually damaged or pose an imminent threat of harming the integrity of PennNet. (April 28, 1999)
--Rosemary McManus, Secretary to University Council
Steering Committe Annual Report | Summary | Contents | Admissions & Financial Aid | Bookstore | Communications | Community Relations | Facilities | Personnel Benefits | Pluralism | Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics | Research | Students Affairs | BACK TO TOP
Discussed at Council on September 22, 1999
The Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid was charged with examining Penn's undergraduate financial aid policies, taking note of the high-fanfare increases in aid packages our peer institutions are declaring. The Committee was also asked by the University Council to coordinate its work with the Pluralism Committee's, focusing on the issue of minority recruitment and retention.
Meetings throughout the year were well informed by detailed reports of current Admissions work and progress by Dean Lee Stetson. In-depth discussion of aid policies, and detailed information on yield (matriculation by those admitted) and aid packages for the various ethnic and racial groups were provided by Director William Schilling.
Our investigation of the complex issues involved in financial aid policies is still in progress, and our consultation with the Pluralism Committee is also in an early stage. At present, three main points are clear: (1) our need-blind admissions policy is firmly supported by all the constituencies represented on the Committee; (2) the need-blind admissions policy is prudently implemented; (3) Penn's resources for financial aid are considerably smaller than those of any peer institution. Even the current excellent efforts to increase our endowment for financial aid will, when successfully completed, only bring us into approximate parity with the least well-endowed of our peers.
Against this background of limited resources, the Committee found that Penn's competitive success in securing matriculations from those admitted both to Penn and other peer institutions was remarkably strong, and overall, applications continue to increase. The outstanding work of the Admissions and Financial Aid offices plays a major role in this accomplishment. Penn continues to gain, statistically, on those peers it does not already surpass.
The obvious need for a major increase in endowment funds to support Financial Aid is recognized in the current strong efforts led by the Trustees to accomplish this important task, and the Committee called the Faculty Senate Executive Committee's attention to possible ways to support their initiative. More detailed recommendations speaking to the issue of minority recruitment and retention await further analysis and discussion of the detailed data made available to the Committee.
--David R. Williams, Chair
Chair: David Williams; Faculty: Robert F. Giegengack, geology; Larry Gladney, physics & astronomy; Loretta Sweet Jemmott, nursing; Abba Krieger, statistics; John Richetti, English; Warren Seider, chemical engineering; Susan Silverton, dental; David Williams, psychology; Students: Tiffany Hodge; Stephanie Knox; Deborah Yarber-Clarke; Rachael Goldfarb; Eugene Huang; PPSA: Afi Roberson, African American resource center; Ex officio: Sharon Pepe, director, Penn Plan; William Schilling, director, student financial aid; Willis Stetson, dean of admissions; Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum, vice provost, University life.
Discussed at Council on September 22, 1999
The Bookstore Committee got off to a slow start in 1998-99 due to late finalization of membership and staff support. It met four times. Discussions focused on three topics: performance of the Bookstore under the new management, pricing of textbooks, and performance of the Computer Connection. We also organized a visit from the Barnes and Noble buyers.
We had preliminary discussions about how to mobilize the faculty to monitor and improve the bookstore's merchandising and physical organization and how to publicize the opportunities for large-enrollment courses to obtain their textbooks at attractive prices. In both cases, unfortunately, we ran out of time before being able to implement the ideas. Both are on the agenda for the coming year, as is monitoring the impact of the new bookstore on other local bookstores.
--Daniel Raff, Chair
Chair: Daniel Raff; Faculty: William R. Brennen, chemistry; Ted Chinburg, math; John Dixon Hunt, landscape architecture; Noam Lior, mechanical engineering; Daniel Raff, management; John Richetti, English; Karen B. Wilkerson, nursing; Ruth York, nursing; Students: Laura Hogan; Sumantra Sen; Michelle McClaskey; Tracey Rohrer; PPSA: Robert Allison, general accounting; Michael Ryan, library special collections; Adam Sherr, dining services; A-3: Loretta Miller, student information/systems; Ex officio: Marie Witt, interim v. p. business services.
Scheduled for discussion at Council on October 13, 1999
The Committee has met five times to date during the academic year and has one more meeting time being held by members in case of need. Depending on the decision whether to hold that meeting this is therefore either an interim or a final report. The major topics that have been addressed and our conclusions and/or recommendations concerning them are summarized in separate sections below. The first four sections cover the three specific charges (one of which was double-barreled) given to the Committee by the Council Steering Committee this year, the next five report on additional issues brought to our attention.
Network Planning Task Force (NPTF)
The NPTF has continued to act as a sounding board for Information Systems and Computing (ISC) and the primary body responsible for monitoring the details of plans for the future operation and development of PennNet. The successful practice begun last year of holding an annual joint meeting of the NPTF, this Committee, and ISC's Information Technology Steering Committee was continued this year. Issues that the NPTF has taken up during the current year have included the extension of the routing core to build in more capacity and redundancy, obtaining a more reliable Internet service provider, continued participation in the Internet2 project after the expiry of NSF support, upgrading the bandwidth of links to campus buildings over a two-year period, and further improvement and tuning of service charges. Some of the issues that it will face in the next year or two, for example the evolution of remote access options for PennNet and the management and phasing of associated changes, will make it desirable, as we have recommended and the NPTF is beginning to take steps to implement, that it include more representation from end-user constituencies-students and faculty. An annual presentation followed by a joint meeting appears to be an appropriate and effective mechanism for the Communications Committee to exert oversight over the NPTF and PennNet development, and we recommend that it be continued.
New PennCard Services
Joy Williams, manager of Campus Card Services, reported to the Committee on the status of PennCard services, in particular the new financial services, such as banking options, PennCash and Penn Visa. These services appear to have been well received and usage has been consistently ahead of projections in the original business plan. Some initial logistical problems were experienced, for example in the maintenance of several hundred new card readers, but these have been largely resolved. Campus Card Services has created a task force and engaged an external consultant to assist it in analysing needs, creating an optimal trajectory for PennCard services over a five-year period, and creating a business plan to achieve it. Ms. Williams told the Committee that it was hoped to extend the banking services by negotiating relationships with other banks in addition to PNC, and the Committee urged that this be pursued. The Committee also recommended continued vigilance and attention to privacy issues arising from information generated by PennCard usage. We approved and recommended continuation of the proposed planning process for the development of PennCard services.
One meeting was largely devoted to a detailed presentation on WXPN by Vinnie Curren, its general manager. WXPN's mission includes presenting a program of the highest quality-one of the region's significant institutions of popular culture; playing a leadership role in public radio and new electronic media; providing significant opportunites for students to evaluate and prepare themselves for careers in broadcasting and related occupations; and bringing the intellectual and cultural assets of the University to its audience. WXPN has a clear and appropriate mission statement approved by the Trustees' External Affairs Committee. In our judgement it carries out that mission successfully. It is an asset to the University, costing it nothing (except rent-free space), providing it worthwhile local and national (via re-broadcast of programs like World Cafe) exposure, and making opportunities available to students who are or might be interested in a career in radio. It has made significant and successful efforts in recent years to expand these opportunities to the maximum compatible with its other missions. Its space is of poor quality and inconvenient, and reflects badly on the University to performers who come to its studios; we recommend that the University seek to improve it. We applaud WXPN's intention to explore widening its audience by broadcasting over the Internet and recommend that they be encouraged to continue to pursue that initiative.
Following the appearance of articles in The Daily Pennsylvanian criticizing the pace of connection of individual rooms in fraternity/sorority chapters to PennNet, the Committee chair investigated and made a preliminary report to Council. Subsequently John Smolen, associate vice provost for University Life, gave the Committee a more complete briefing. Phase 1, the installation of ethernet outlets in public areas of University-related houses in conjunction with the upgrading of security monitoring equipment, had been completed. Phases 2 and 3, the extension of connections to individual rooms in University and privately owned chapter houses respectively, were under active planning and, subject to the chapters' ability to financially support their houses' projects, are expected to be completed by the end of 2000. Several houses that recently required electrical wiring upgrades have been cabled at the same time and acted as pilot projects. Among the challenges that have made this project slower and less predictable than, for example, the ResNet cabling in the high rises, have been the unique architecture of each house, in some instances raising historical preservation and other aesthetic considerations, and their diversity of legal arrangements relating to ownership and reversionary status. The Committee was satisfied that, with Mr. Smolen's recent promotion and assumption of responsibility for it, this project is now part of the work plan of a senior University official and will be completed in as timely a fashion as feasible.
Public Computer Labs
Jim O'Donnell, Vice Provost for ISC, updated the Committee on this issue. Computer labs are operated by schools, departments, residences and libraries and are therefore not directly under the control of ISC. ISC does however play a general coordinating role and is also able to encourage the establishment and maintenance of labs that offer unrestricted access by direct financial assistance and waiving PennNet connection charges for them. Professor O'Donnell reported that a committee of the Undergraduate Assembly had recently conducted a survey on perceptions of computer labs and is actively advising ISC on them. Among the problems being addressed are variations in quality and upgrade frequency of hardware and software; convenience of access, particularly at night and over weekends; and differing policies on such questions as usage priorities and printing. Since public computer labs are of primary concern to students and steps are being taken to resolve the problems raised by them, the Committee decided that it would serve no useful purpose to duplicate the work of the Undergraduate Assembly on this issue, and took no further action on it.
Computer Disconnect Policy
Dave Millar, University Information Security Officer in ISC, presented a proposed policy to the Committee. It addresses situations in which the security of a system on PennNet has been seriously compromised in ways that pose a significant threat to the integrity or security of the network, other systems on it, or sytems elsewhere. In some such circumstances it may not be possible, for any of a variety of reasons, to resecure the system in a sufficiently timely manner, leading to the need for its disconnection from PennNet while this is being carried out. The Committee recognized the necessity of such a policy, but was concerned that it include a mechanism to adjudicate fairly those occasional cases in which the system owner questions the need for the disconnection. This will require weighing the impact of disconnection on the system owner and users against the actual or potential consequences to the network and other systems and their users of leaving it connected, and, as well as purely operational questions, may raise issues of privacy rights, open expression and academic freedom. A subcommittee of David Mozley, Donna Milici and Mr. Millar was charged with redrafting the policy to include an appeals mechanism that addresses these concerns. Their proposal was subsequently modified in consultation with the Committee on Open Expression, approved by the Committee, and has been published (Almanac April 20, 1999) and will be recommended to Council in the near future.
Penn Web Calendar
Randall Couch of the ISC Communications Group described to the Committee the rationale for the current calendar and its submission process and some consequent shortcomings, and presented a proposal for their improvement. Currently the calendar relies on assigned "calendar providers" for event posting from various units of the University, mirroring its distributed structure. This has worked well in some units, but in others the providers represent weak, and in some cases unknown, links between event sponsors and postings to the calendar. As a result the cal-endar is not sufficiently comprehensive and, despite being the most fre-quently accessed element of the Penn Web, has not reached its full potential. This can be particularly frustrating for those planning a visit to campus from elsewhere, who may enjoy limited access to other sources of scheduling information. Mr. Couch and the Web Team had surveyed other campus calendars, especially at comparable peers, and investigated two successful ones-Berkeley and Cornell- in more detail. Both campuses permit open submission of postings by event sponsors via an authenticated Web form, and they recommend adoption of this process in parallel with retention of those providers who are heavy suppliers of reliable information. This will require that a University office assume ownership of the calendar and provide a calendar editor who will moderate, edit and, to the extent necessary, verify submissions; University Relations is prepared to accept this responsibility. In addition to the changes needed to implement this new process, ISC Networking plans to improve the presentation, categorization and searchability of events in the calendar, the procedure for trusted providers to bulkload multiple or repetitive events, and where possible, coordination and information exchange with various print calendars. The Committee approved this proposal and made a few suggestions concerning outreach activities associated with the launching of the new process.
A brief occurrence of the recurring problem of pilferage of mail sent to students in residences was reported in The Daily Pennsylvanian and Larry Moneta, Associate Vice President for Campus Services, outlined to the Committee the measures that are in place to prevent this. We were convinced that the mail is now adequately protected once it reaches the University, and the problem can be traced to the U.S. Postal Service. This is being addressed, and we believe that continued and repeated pressure on them to exert due vigilance will be required to contain the problem. The Committee reluctantly agreed that warning friends and relatives of students not to send cash and valuables to them through the mail would continue to be a necessary ingredient of containment.
Ms. Philomena Porto of University Relations, despite an unusually and often unpredictably demanding "day job", has provided cheerfully effective staffing to the Committee for the past two years. As the Office of the Secretary reassumes staffing responsibilities for all Council committees for the forthcoming year we note our appreciation to her.
As has been our experience in the past we have enjoyed excellent support and responsiveness from University staff in ISC and elsewhere whom we have invited to discuss their areas of responsibility.
--Martin Pring, Chair
Chair: Martin Pring; Faculty: James Corner, architecture; Ellis Golub, biochemistry/dental; Francis E. Johnston, anthropology; Steven Kimbrough, operations & information management; David Mozely, radiology & psychology; Martin Pring, physiology/med; David Smith, anesthesia/med; Jonathan Smit, computer & information sci; Students: Angelos Keromytis; Katherine Wilson; PPSA: Alicia Brill, Human Resources; Donna Milici, ISC; A-3: Donna Arthur, CP&P/law; Gene N. Haldeman, admissions; Ex officio: Paul Mosher, vice provost & director of libraries; James O'Donnell, vice provost, information systems & computing; Ken Wildes, director, communications; Marie Witt, interim vice president, business services.
Scheduled for discussion at Council on October 13, 1999
The University Council Committee on Community relations met five times during the academic year to consider matters pertaining to the interrelationship of the University to the community. The committee received three charges from University Council: 1) to review such University initiatives as the University City District, the Center for Community Partnerships, and the Office of Community Housing, and to advise Council of the effectiveness of these programs in improving the quality of life in University City and strengthening the relationship of the University with its neighbors; 2) to review development opportunities along the Locust Street corridor west of 40th Street; and 3) to explore the possibility of linking Latin-American students with the large Latin-American community in North Philadelphia. In the limited time available we concentrated our efforts on the first charge, only peripherally on the second, and were unable to make progress with the third charge, due in part to the fact that the committee lacked any representatives of the constituency in question. Rather, we recommend that such an initiative come out of Civic House and/or the Greenfield Intercultural Center.
It is evident even to the casual observer that the level of cleanliness on the sidewalks and streets of University City has improved tremendously since the inception of the University City District. Blocks that for years were plagued with chronic trash problems (e.g., 3900 blocks of Pine Street and Baltimore Avenue, 4000 block of Locust) no longer offend the eye. Well tended public gardens now grace the trolley portal lawn along the 3900 Baltimore Avenue, and the University, responding to community input, has landscaped the triangle at 38th and Baltimore that forms a critical first impression of the University to a large flow of daily traffic. Conversations with University City residents reveal a renewed sense of optimism about the safety, cleanliness and desirability of living in the community. University City District safety ambassadors, and Penn security force patrols on foot and on bicycle are conspicuous. Housing initiatives from the Office of Community Housing directed by D-L Wormley have played a major role in revitalizing the community. The Penn guaranteed mortgage program to encourage faculty and staff to live in West Philadelphia, in effect for 30 years, has been increased to a maximum 120% mortgage, and has been coupled with a $15,000 cash grant program (or $21,000 payable over seven years). The grant is premised on owner occupation for seven years. The program, initiated in March of 1998, budgeted 150 packages over three years; in the first 10 months, 125 packages were under contract! The Trustees have approved another 150 packages. Additional grants of up to $7500 on a matching basis are available to home owners who are staying where they are who seek to make exterior improvements to their homes such as windows, porches or painting.
Jack Shannon of the Office of Economic Development described how the University continues to provide economic development and job training opportunities and employment both on campus, with the Sansom Common/Inn at Penn complex, the Sundance Cinema complex at 40th Street, and the quietly developed hospitality training center in the community at West Philadelphia High School. Mr. Shannon reported that over 50% of the new jobs created in these complexes have been filled by West and Southwest Philadelphia residents.
Other initiatives such as the Penn Nursing Network, the community-based practice component of the Nursing School; the activities of the Office of Community Relations; and the proposed new model school of the School District of Philadelphia at the Divinity School property, 42nd at Spruce/Locust, were reviewed.
--Peter Dodson, Chair
Chair: Peter Dodson; Faculty: Peter Dodson, animal biology/geology; Lois K. Evans, nursing; Frank Goodman, law; Christopher Hasty, music; Martin G. Keane, medicine; Paul Korshin, English; Klaus Krippendorff, communication; Brian Spooner, anthropology; Students: Ricki Gever Eisenstein; Andrew Norton; Debra Kurshan; Katie O'Connor; PPSA: Rosemary Connors, Wharton; Isabel Sampson-Mapp, community partnerships; Quyen Ho Shanahan, GM marketing/development WXPN; A-3: Cathy Curtin, bioengineering; Stephanie Knox, office of president; Ex officio: Jeanne Arnold, director, African American resource center; Glenn Bryan, director, community relations; Vinnie Curren, manager,WXPN; Michael Diorka, director, recreation; John Fry, executive vice president; Pam Robinson, associate director, academic programs in residential life; Michael Rose, managing director, Annenberg Center.
Discussed at Council on September 22, 1999
During the 1998-99 academic year the Committee on Facilities reviewed, discussed and prepared recommendations on several topics. Its work, conclusions and recommendations are summarized in this report.
1. Transportation and Traffic in and around the Campus
The Committee considers transportation and traffic in the campus area and its vicinity to be major factors influencing livability and attractiveness of the University for its students, employees and visitors. The Committee has therefore given considerable attention to this topic. Its findings, conclusions and recommendations are presented here.
1.1 Transportation and Access. Major Elements of Campus Environment
Penn is an urban university, with its campus located in one of the largest, most historic, cultural and attractive cities in the country. The University should fully utilize many opportunities which this advantageous location offers. In order to strengthen the connections between Penn and the City, the University should improve its planning and operation of transportation systems and services.
The proximity of university campuses located in cities to many cultural, entertainment, recreational and commercial locations allows use of diverse transportation services. Rural campuses do not have such opportunities and must rely on car access only. Students, faculty and employees of urban universities can utilize diverse transit services of the city, and a number of trips can be made by bicycles and walking. This allows reduced dependence on cars, which are expensive to maintain and inconvenient for short urban trips. Moreover, car traffic has a negative impact on the human-oriented environment which is vitally important for an attractive university campus.
A number of universities and colleges across the country, such as several University of California campuses, University of Colorado in Boulder, Ohio State University, University of Wisconsin and many others, have developed and implemented clear policies of reducing dependence on cars. They have introduced various measures and innovations to develop pedestrian areas, facilitate bicycle travel and encourage transit use. They also have very strict controls of parking and traffic regulations. Actually, strong enforcement can be found even on campuses in small towns, such as the University of Delaware in Newark.
1.2 Present Condition of Transportation
Various transportation functions are presently handled by several different offices of the University. The Department of Transportation and Parking handles primarily regulation and provision of parking facilities, their control and fees. In recent years it has become increasingly involved in activities relating to street design and traffic operations. Facility Services is involved in planning of infrastructure, such as streets, walks, pedestrian paths, delivery areas, etc.
Questions of traffic safety are usually in the domain of the Division of Public Safety, which also deals with several City offices concerned with safety issues. Thus, SEPTA, PennDOT, Department of Streets and other City departments deal with several University departments and different representatives. Coordination among these different units needs further improvements.
On three occasions during the last 20 years the problem of inadequately coordinated transportation policies, planning and regulations have been discussed by this committee, and several sets of Transportation Policies were developed. Implementation of these policies would have been more efficient if there was an administrative department that had jurisdiction over all areas of transportation and traffic.
Consequently, the present organization of various transportation functions will be more effective if it is reorganized so that it performs effective planning and implementation of an integrated transportation system. The basic problems at present that need improvements are:
1.3 Recommendation Establishment of an Expanded Office of Transportation
The Committee recommends that the scope of the Office of Transportation responsibilities be enlarged to include development of transportation policies to plan, design, operate and control all transportation functions and facilities under University's jurisdiction. This office should also deal with outside contacts concerning transportation issues.
Specifically, major areas of the Office of Transportation jurisdiction and responsibility should include the following ones:
This office may be formed by an expansion of the present Office of Transportation and Parking. Its scope of work, domain of jurisdiction, as well as its responsibilities will have to be expanded and determined in considerable detail.
1.4 Expected Changes and Improvements
It is expected that the reorganized Office of Transportation will lead to increased efficiency in planning, operations and in handling a variety of transportation matters. It will prevent implementation of uncoordinated or mutually conflicting policies and activities; finally, it will greatly improve the cooperation between the University and various outside agencies and offices, such as several City of Philadelphia Departments, SEPTA, University City District, neighborhood organizations, and others. Increased capability to handle complex transportation problems on a system-wide basis should create conditions to make the campus more livable for its present population and more attractive for its visitors, prospective faculty and students.
This Committee is ready to assist the University Administration in further planning for the establishment of the expanded Office of Transportation.
2. Review of Current Plans for Campus Buildings
Major present developments and plans for construction/reconstruction of buildings and areas were reviewed, following presentations and explanations by Messrs. Omar Blaik and Titus Hewryk. Objects that attracted most attention and generated comments and suggestions by committee members were: Hamilton Village development, demolition of Blauhouse and redesign of Hill Field, reorganization of the Quad and redevelopment of the former GE building between Chestnut and Walnut Streets west of 31st Street into a residential complex.
3. Oversight of the Facilities Operations
Following a presentation by Mr. Bill Anderko, Contract Management Director, the Committee reviewed and discussed the Trammell Crow operations. The transition of services from internal management to the Trammell Crow contract, which took place during the past year, was subject of extensive discussions.
The Committee did not feel that it could make an overall evaluation of Trammell Crow operations based on the information available at this time. The Committee approved of the decision by the Contract Manager to conduct two customer satisfaction surveys about Trammell Crow operations, one for Schools/Centers, and the other for the community at large via the Web. The first survey has been conducted, the other is planned for the immediate future. The goal is to maintain an 80 percent level of satisfaction by 80 percent of the surveyed persons. If this is not achieved, Trammell Crow will be subject to financial penalties.
The Committee encourages University personnel and the community to participate when they are included in the surveys or send any comments about the services, positive or negative, to the Contract Manager, Mr. Bill Anderko.
4. Hill Field Development Possibilities
The Committee adopted the report by a subcommittee on Hill Field development, headed by Mr. Thomas McCoy. The report suggested that in planning the redesign of the Hill Field, the following tasks should be performed:
5. Future Work of the Committee and Proposed Changes
The Committee expects to cooperate with the Committee on Access, Circulation, Transportation, Service and Campus Environment of the recently formed Campus Development Plan.
The Committee on Facilities requires certain amount of special expertise and familiarity with the campus buildings, facilities and transportation systems. It is therefore important to have members who serve more than one year, so that they develop and apply some technical knowledge in their work on the Committee. To achieve this, it is recommended that Committee members be appointed to 3-year (instead of the present 1-year) terms on a staggered basis.
--Vukan R. Vuchic, Chair
Chair: Vukan R. Vuchic; Faculty: Nadia Alhasani, architecture; Eugenie L. Birch, city & regional planning; Howard Brody, physics & astronomy; David L. Brownlee, history of art; James M. Larkin, education; Anu Mathur, landscape architecture; Anthony R. Tomazinis, city & regional planning; Vukan Vuchic, systems engineering; Students: Deborah James; Thomas Morton; Bradley Edelman; PPSA: Thomas McCoy, telecommunications; Laura Peller, environmental health & safety; Erin Wieand, medical center facilities; A-3: Cheryl Shipman, Benjamin Franklin scholars; Jean Marie Vance, medical school admissions; Ex officio: Omar Blaik, vice president, facilities services; Glenn Bryan, director, community relations; Alice Nagle, coordinator, program for people with disabilities; Ronald Sanders, registrar.
During the 1998-99 academic year the committee dealt primarily with two sets of issues: Health Benefits and Retirement Benefits.
1. Mental Health Care
Within the area of health benefits the most significant focus was on parity in mental health benefits. While this issue had been dealt with at length by the previous year's committee, three new studies as well as six recommendations from the Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Employee Mental Health Care Benefits of the Medical School Faculty Senate Steering Committee were presented to the committee. The issue is a difficult one involving several complex sub-issues. On the one hand, the most desirable state of affairs would be to have complete parity between mental health benefits and other health benefits available under the health plans offered by the University. That would seem reasonable and fair for all.
But, questions have been raised by earlier studies that suggest the possibility of significant increases in the costs of the health plans if full parity is provided. We assume that those additional costs, should they be experienced, may well be passed on to the enrollees in those plans in the form of increased premiums (or caps or co-pays). Therefore, before recommending a move to parity which could prove costly to all members of the University community, the committee recommends that more study be made of the potential and probable cost implications of such a move and that the study focus on the specific implications for such a move in the context of this University.
It has been suggested by the Towers Perrin consultants that; 1. estimating increased costs is quite difficult in general; and that 2. the experience at a given site, wherein the benefits would be offered on site and therefore highly accessible (such as at the University), might be quite different from those where on-site care is not available. There is some evidence that when MIT went to full parity there were substantial increases in costs. The consultants noted that mental health costs, even in the context of managed care, appear to be more difficult to control than other health care costs and that one should therefore have high confidence that any such control mechanisms put in place be effective before granting parity. We have asked that the carriers of our managed care programs give us an assessment of the extent to which they believe they can control such costs under full parity, noting that the Penn 100 Plan may raise different and even more difficult questions of control.
Furthermore, the issue is complicated by such factors as whether or not participants might see incentives for switching from managed care programs to indemnity type programs (wherein controls might be less rigid) under certain forms of parity. The question was also raised as to whether, with full parity, the University might attract a disproportionately large number of new employees who, along with their families, might be significant users of the mental health benefit. We estimate that this latter effect would probably be small.
On the other side, it is believed that there are substantial productivity losses (days lost plus reductions in the effectiveness of those who are on the job) attributable to the lack of parity in the current benefit as compared with the potential productivity gains of a full parity program. These appear to be difficult to document with any precision. Also, there is great difficulty in quantifying the extent to which more expensive care might be avoided by having full parity outpatient care. While it is assumed that a full parity program would provide the possibility of earlier (and presumably less costly) intervention in a person's condition, documenting the savings to be achieved is difficult at best. It is not even clear that a substantial portion of mental health cases follow the generalization that earlier treatment is either less costly or more effective. We do not have documentation that it is true for depression and there is at least a suspicion that it is not true for schizophrenia.
The Ad Hoc Subcommittee report advocating parity is well-reasoned and supported by new data from three studies conducted in 1997 and 1998. The evidence, while persuasive for parity, was not compelling to the committee in light of counter-evidence and in the face of the argument that experience at different institutions varies widely.
One of the promising avenues that should be explored is a gradual movement toward parity by using the six different categories of potential parity laid out in the Ad Hoc Committee Report. The area that looks most obvious to the committee is in prescription drugs that are now paid for at a rate of 50% for mental health uses and at 80% for other health-related uses. Perhaps a trial increase to 60 or 65% could be implemented and then tracked for its effect on overall mental health costs. Similar moves could be made in other areas, perhaps not immediately to full parity but in the direction of parity so that the effects of such movements could be determined and more reliable data thereby supplied for future decisions in moving toward parity.
The suggestion was also offered that supplemental insurance could be offered to employees to cover the currently uncovered costs of mental health care either as a separate option or in combination with some of the moves toward parity noted above. Due to adverse selection, this coverage is likely to be extremely expensive.
In any case, the issue remains an important one for the University community and we strongly recommend that the University vigorously and persistently pursue action that will lead to parity in mental health while ensuring that there will be no undue financial burden on the entire University community.
2. Evaluative Information on University Health Plans
Hewitt Associates presented findings of their national survey on participant satisfaction with health plans and reported that the highest satisfaction is with HMOs. They noted that, as consumers become more educated about the choices they have, satisfaction with the choices increases. In terms of Penn-specific results, Hewitt is gathering data from its Call Center and as the numbers become statistically significant they will be analyzed and released for distribution to the University community. The desirability of some survey of the users of all University plans was suggested as a way to bring relevant information to University employees both in terms of ways to improve service and to provide the opportunity for more informed choices at the time of open enrollment.
3. Health Care Rates for 1999-2000
A report was given to the committee indicating that premiums for HMOs and the POS Plan would increase by 10%, PennCare by 11% and 14% for Plan 100. These increases are a result both of greater utilization of the plans as well as a national increase in the cost of prescription drugs of 16%. There are continuing efforts by the Benefits Office to monitor these costs and examine alternatives that will maintain quality while minimizing costs to the participants.
4. Vision Care Program
The Committee voted to recommend a voluntary, employee-pay-all vision care option in this year's Open Enrollment program. It was suggested that the provider, Clarity Vision be encouraged to establish a web site providing detailed information on the plan to University employees. It appears that it should be carefully examined for cost-effectiveness by individual employees in terms of their vision care needs.
5. Dental Plan Change
A report was made to the committee indicating that the current three-year wait period for family coverage will be eliminated and that a passive Dental PPO will replace the Prudential Plan. Since the plan will offer both in- and out-of network benefits, it is regarded as an improvement over the currently offered plan that offers only out-of network benefits. There will be no change in cost due to the switch from Prudential to the PP. But, there will be slight increases overall in dental plan premiums charged to employees.
6. Pre-Tax Expense Account
This account will now have an 'evergreen' provision which means that if an employee takes no action in this area at the time of the annual open enrollment period that his/her current elections will continue for another year.
1. A-3 Retirement Issues
Representatives of the A-3 Assembly initiated discussion of several issues relating to the University's separate retirement plans. One question dealt with whether or not the Retirement Allowance Plan (RAP) covering A-3 employees meets the requirements of ERISA and IRS regulations. According to a recently-received report from Towers Perrin it does.
A broader question raised by the representatives of the A-3 Assembly is the apparent disparity between the desirability of the RAP program available to their members and the Tax Deferred Annuity Plan (TDA) available to the A-1 and A-2 employees. The central question raised by the Committee focuses on the question of the employee contribution required to qualify for the matching contribution of the University in the TDA. While the A-3 representatives argue for the matching contribution from the University and the attending investment flexibility afforded the A-1 and A-2 employees in the TDA, the question is raised as to how many of the A-3 employees are willing to make the matching contribution necessary to trigger the contribution of the University to such a plan. It was noted that over seven hundred A-3s presently engage in making contributions to the TDA plan with no matching University contribution.
The University has initiated a study of the retirement programs available, including the implications of offering a TDA to A-3s with a matching University contribution and the feasibility of maintaining the current RAP along with offering the TDA as an option. The committee anticipates a report in the fall.
2. Faculty-Reduction in Duties/Phased Retirement
A University policy on Faculty Leaves of Absence permits a faculty member to take a reduction in duties of from 10% to 50% (in ten percent increments) over a maximum of a six-year period for a variety of reasons with an accompanying reduction in salary and those benefits that are salary-based. Since this option might well be used by a faculty member in anticipation of a move to emeritus status, the question has been raised by the committee as to whether or not such a use might be accompanied by a draw by the faculty member on some portion of his/her TIAA-CREF account (beyond the SRA, loan provisions and interest payments already permitted).
Under present policy, University contributions to the retirement account of a faculty member may not be used to supplement faculty income prior to retirement. As far as we have been able to determine, there is no policy relating to the portion of a faculty member's retirement account that was funded by the employee's contributions. It appears that using the reduction-in-duties option to 'ease into' retirement would become much more attractive to faculty members if they were able to draw on some retirement funds to bring their income at least equal to the amount they would receive if at full salary. We believe it useful to examine this issue (including tax and other implications) and therefore recommend it for consideration by the administration.
It was also suggested that faculty might well be given full access to their retirement accounts prior to retirement in any amount they wish (after a specified age) and as permissible under the law. Some believe that this option would result in faculty "staying around forever" given that faculty would be able to draw full salary from the University while collecting substantial additional income from their retirement accounts. If the committee wishes, we will continue to examine this option in terms of its implications both for faculty and the overall health of the University.
3. Taxes on Severance Pay for Faculty
It was brought to the attention of the committee that Temple University appears to have made arrangements with the City of Philadelphia (and possibly the State of Pennsylvania) to waive relevant taxes due on the 'severance pay' given to faculty members who elect an early retirement option under University policies. Apparently the University has also concluded an arrangement with the City of Philadelphia with respect to this tax issue and the committee recommends that the nature of that agreement be disseminated to those parties within the University affected by it. Furthermore, if there are realistic possibilities for concluding such an arrangement with the State of Pennsylvania we urge the administration to pursue that as well.
1. A-3s Admission to University Academic Programs
Concern was expressed that many A-3s are denied admission to the University's academic programs until they have entered the "Stretch Program" which involves taking courses at other institutions prior to enrollment at Penn. This obviously reduces the value of the Penn benefit to them. We recommend that the University monitor the use and effectiveness of the educational benefit to A-3s and share that information on an annual basis with the committee for possible action by the committee.
2. The Creation of One or More Benefit Web Sites
It has become clear throughout the deliberations of the committee that the benefits structure and its implementation are extremely complex and, doubtless, necessarily so. It is likewise clear that frequent changes are made in the benefits package because of changes in law as well as in University policies and practices. While laudable and substantial efforts are made to provide University employees with information both on benefits and ways of accessing them, we believe that the addition of web sites, updated periodically, covering all benefits and changes in them would prove quite helpful in clarifying for employees what the current benefits available to them are, the numerous options within certain benefit categories and in facilitating their use of those benefits. In some cases, it may be possible to have the providers of certain benefits create or expand their own web sites to supply such information to employees.
Furthermore, special efforts should be made to ensure access to the web sites particularly for those employees who may not have easy access to computers and web sites. This seems particularly relevant to many A-3 employees.
It was also noted that a change in eligibility for the TDA was put into effect on January 1,1999 such that if a new hire in a faculty or staff position eligible for the TDA is hired directly from another insititution which is eligible to maintian an IRC Code Section 403(b) plan and the person was employed in an eligible position at that institution for a minimum of one year immediately prior to coming to Penn that person will not have a one-year wait period for participation in the TDA with the University's contribution starting immediately upon enrollment. In effect, a one-year service credit is available to such new hires who fulfill the above conditions.
3. Financial Planning Services
After examining several alternatives, the Benefits Office has selected American Express and Dreyfus to offer financial planning seminars on campus to assist University employees in their financial planning. TIAA/CREF and Vanguard will continue their retirement planning seminars on campus.
--Charles E. Dwyer, Chair
Chair: Charles E. Dwyer; Faculty: Erling E. Boe, education, liaison from Senate Committee on Economic Status of Faculty; Charles E. Dwyer, education; David Hackney, radiology/med; Hendrik Hameka, chemistry; Carl Polsky, accounting; Gerald F. Porter, math; Lorraine R. Tulman, nursing; Student: Carl Seaquist; A-1 Staff: Robert Lawlor, neurosurgery; Margaret Hagans Smith, ISC; Michelle Taylor, dental school; A-3 Staff: Louise Alexander, education; Michael Wisniewski, library acquisitions; Ex officio: Kenneth Campbell, comptroller; John Heuer, vice president, human resources; Al Johnson, assistant manager, benefits counseling.
Scheduled for discussion at Council on October 13
The agenda of the Pluralism Committee for 1998-99 continued its focus on Asian American issues on campus and began to focus on issues of recruitment and retention of minority students, faculty and staff.
The Committee met three times during the academic year. Because of staffing problems, it was not able to hold its first meeting until November 23, 1998. At that meeting, which was attended by representatives of the Asian American Studies Program (both faculty and students) and the Asian-Pacific Student Coalition, Eric Cheyfitz, Chair of the Pluralism Committee and Professor of English, presented a report from the 1998 Committee delivered last spring. The report pointed out that in order to build strong Asian American institutions on campus the Pluralism Committee felt it was essential to build the Asian American Studies Program through the hiring of standing faculty. The report recommended specifically the hiring of five standing faculty members across departments and schools over the next five years including one senior hire. To this effect the Committee, in the spring of 1998, had forwarded its report in the form of a letter to Interim Provost Michael Wachter, and had received a letter in response, dated April 11, 1998, promising an administration response once APASAC (the Asian/Pacific American Student Affairs Committee, chaired by Vice Provost Janice Madden) had filed its report.
The Committee noted in its November meeting that APASAC had filed its report but that in the President's response to it (Almanac, Nov 3, 1998), no mention had been made of Pluralism's report from the preceding academic year. The Committee felt, then, that its first act of business should be to respond to this oversight. And it did so by writing a letter to Interim-Provost Wachter on December 4, 1998, with copies sent to President Rodin, Dr. Janice Madden, and the Dean of SAS, Samuel Preston.
Further, the Committee directed its Chair to take this matter to the University Open Council Forum on December 9, 1998, where Professor Cheyfitz, appearing in conjunction with Andrea Cherng (Chair of the Student Advisory Board of the Asian American Studies Program) and Seung Lee (Chair of the Asian-Pacific Student Coalition), presented the views of the Committee.
On December 8th , a day before the Forum, the Committee received a brief reply to its letter of December 4th, addressed to the Chair, from President Rodin, in which she stated that it was her "intention to respond to the APASAC report in a full and positive manner" and that she was "disappointed that it was not viewed as such by all concerned." Further, in the letter, the President remarked that she looked forward to "hearing your views--and those of Seung Lee and Andrea Cherng--at tomorrow's Open Forum of Council" and noted in conclusion that: "We share the goal of making Penn an even more welcoming place for Asian/Pacific American students, and I am anxious to work with you toward that important end." The Committee has heard nothing further from the President on this matter. And Professor Cheyfitz felt that the discussion of Asian/Pacific American issues at the Open Forum was less than substantive.
On December 21, 1998, the Chair of the Committee received a response from Interim Provost Wachter to the Committee's letter of December 4th. The Interim Provost acknowledged "the hard and thoughtful work" done on Asian/Pacific American issues and "that one of your remaining concerns is the number of faculty in Asian American Studies." In this respect, while noting the "progress over the last few years in this area," Dr. Wachter suggested "that you continue your conversation with the deans of the relevant schools identified by your committee--Education, Social Work, and the School of Arts and Sciences" because "[a]s you know, the schools make hiring decisions, with nominees forwarded by departments." The letter was copied to the deans of these schools as well as Dr. Janice Madden.
Because the normal hiring process alluded to in the Interim Provost's letter is typically uncoordinated, due to the relative autonomy of both departments and schools in hiring matters, the Committee felt at the time of Dr. Wachter's suggestion and still feels that in order to build an interdisciplinary program one needs the kind of coordination among schools and departments that can only be initiated by the Provost's office, precisely because it has responsibility for coordinating important academic efforts across the University.
In its second meeting, held on February 10, 1999 and again attended by representative faculty and students from Asian American Studies and the Asian/Pacific Student Coalition, the Committee continued its discussion of the lack of substantive response to its 1997-98 report. The Committee decided to write a letter to the new Provost, Dr. Robert Barchi, apprising him of the situation and did so on February 20, 1999, sending copies to President Rodin, Dr. Madden, and Professors John Keene (Chair of the Faculty Senate) and Peter Conn (Chair-elect of the Faculty Senate). As of this report, the Committee has received no response from Dr. Barchi.
The Committee also began its discussion of the matter of minority recruitment and retention at this meeting and continued this discussion at its final meeting of April 9, 1999, which was attended by Dr. Bernard Lentz, Director of Institutional Research and Analysis, and Professor Phoebe Leboy, a member of the Steering Committee of University Council, who wrote the report "On Recruitment and Retention of Minority Faculty and Students," which appeared in Almanac March 23, 1999 and was discussed at University Council the following day. The Committee is very appreciative for Professor Leboy's work in this area, and for Dr. Lentz's participation as well. It should be noted here that in part the statistics used by Professor Leboy in her report came from Dr. Lentz's office.
In the area of undergraduate recruitment and retention, the statistics used by Professor Leboy compare Penn to the other Ivy League schools in aggregate. The statistics on graduate student and faculty recruitment and retention are not comparative and are therefore only relevant to Penn's internal performance over time. When the Committee, which focused primarily in its discussions on the undergraduate population, discussed the statistics with Professor Leboy and Dr. Lentz, it was suggested that gathering statistics on individual schools other than Penn is made difficult by the current anti-affirmative action atmosphere in which conservative political organizations are encouraging white students to sue universities, if they have reason to suspect that affirmative action criteria are being used in the admission process.
In the current context, then, it appears impossible or at least not feasible to collect and publish the specific undergraduate recruitment and retention figures for each Ivy League School; nor is it possible to collect the figures on minority financial aid arrangements. We are left, then, with aggregate figures (Ivy League Low, High, Average, and Median) in the categories of Percentage of Applicants (1998), Percentage of Admitted Students (1998), Percentage of Matriculants (1998), Percentage of Enrollment of Full-Time Undergraduates (Fall 1997), and Average 4-year Graduation Rates for Classes Entering 1986-1990 (these are the categories and dates for undergraduate recruitment and retention used in Professor Leboy's report). Nevertheless, using these aggregate figures, one, we believe, can make certain assumptions that raise important questions about Penn's performance to date.
Professor Leboy's report certainly raises some of these questions; and it is unfortunate that neither the Provost's reply to the report in the same issue of Almanac in which the report appeared nor the discussion at University Council the following day seriously addressed these questions. The Provost's reply is in fact notable for the way that it fails to respond to the discrimination the report makes between Penn's performance in the recruitment and retention of underrepresented minority undergraduates and that of the Ivy league aggregate.
So, for example, in the category of 1998 African American matriculants, the Ivy League High was 9.8%, the Ivy average was 6.9%, and the Ivy median was 7.0%, while Penn's percentage was 5.6%, significantly below the best recruiting effort in the Ivy League and sufficiently below the Ivy average and mean to raise questions about Penn's strategy in this area. In the category of enrollment of full-time African American undergraduates (computed in the fall of 1997), the Ivy high was 8.2%; the average, 6.5%; and the median, 6.7%, while Penn's figure was again 5.6%. And in the category of African American 4-year graduation rates for classes entering 1986-1990, the Ivy high was 82.5%; the Ivy average, 69.6%; the Ivy median, 69.2%, while Penn's percentage was 60.1%, only 2.3% above the Ivy League low of 57.8%.
The Latino/a recruitment figures in the same categories show similar discrepancies (and Penn is barely above the Ivy League low in the categories of matriculation and full-time enrollment). And while the 4-year graduation figure, 72.8%, is significantly higher than that for African Americans, it still does not compare with the Ivy League high of 86.1% or with the 4-year graduation rates of white (non-foreign) and Asian American students at Penn, which are 81.7% and 82.2% respectively.
While we need to know what the graduation rates are beyond the 4-year period, these statistics strongly suggest that Penn has a long way to go to even attain the top of the Ivy League in the area of African American and Latino/a recruitment and retention of undergraduates. And given its large size and its location in a major urban area with large African American and Latino/a populations, Penn should aspire to be a leader in this area of recruitment and retention.
The Provost's response to the Leboy report ignores Penn's relatively weak showing in this area (below the median and average for the Ivy League), and his "optimistic" feeling about future gains in the area of African American and Latino/a undergraduate recruitment and retention is not backed up by any stated programmatic initiatives and is certainly contradicted by the feelings of the African American and Latino/a undergraduates who have shown up at various forums to voice their dismay and disappointment at the current state of affairs.
Areas that would appear to need strengthening in order to improve Penn's position in this initiative are financial aid, academic and extra-curricular programming, including counseling services, and the hiring of more African American and Latino/a faculty, particularly faculty who have a demonstrated commitment to undergraduate education and to expanding the existing program in African American studies and developing programs in Latino/a studies, where there are none. According to the statistics in the Leboy report, as of 1997 only 2.6% of the standing faculty at Penn are African American, and only 1.5% are Latino/a. In SAS the percentages are 2.6% and 2.0% respectively.
While, as noted, there are at present no comparative statistics in these areas, these numbers in and of themselves strike the Committee as remarkably low; and we want to note that the Leboy report has some disturbing speculations about them as well, particularly in the area of retention. The report notes that "the number of minority faculty in each of the undergraduate schools has slightly increased in the '88-'97 period"; yet while "[t]he past 10 years saw 20 African Americans among the newly hired faculty of undergraduate schools, ... in 1997 the undergraduate faculties included only 20 African Americans. Similarly, while there were 14 Latino faculty hired in undergraduate schools from 1987 to 1997, Latinos in the undergraduate faculties by 1997 totaled only 15." The report, then, suggests that in the area of minority faculty hiring various forms of attrition (death/retirement, decisions not to tenure, freezing of faculty numbers generally, and recruitment by other institutions of Penn minority faculty) are offsetting hiring to inhibit significant growth.
The other underrepresented minority included in the Leboy report is Native Americans, where Penn and most of the rest of the Ivy League show negligible recruitment efforts and no retention figures for undergraduates. Further, there are no figures for Native American faculty (if indeed there are any) or graduate students at Penn. While demographics and social patterns play a significant role in these figures (the largest Native American populations are west of the Mississipi, where most of those Native Americans who get a post-secondary education attend college or university because of a desire to remain close to the home community and/or to locate a strong trans-tribal Native community within the college/university environment), it is also true that Penn at present has no visible commitment to building any Native American studies program, though it has a few professors, including the Chair of this committee, who have central research and teaching interests in this area, a University museum with substantial Indian exhibits, and a tradition of producing some important work in this area. It is a fact that strong Native American studies programs are a crucial factor in attracting Indian students.
While Asian American undergraduate students are not included in the category of "underrepresented minorities" because their presence at Penn exceeds the percentage of Asian Americans in the US population (19.7% of 1998 matriculants were Asian American and this number represents the Ivy League high; and their 4-year retention/graduation rate of 82.2% is the highest of any demographic group of undergraduates in the University), there are important issues that remain for this community at Penn.
Clearly there is the issue of building a representative Asian American studies program, which this Committee has been dealing with for the last two years. While Penn leads the Ivy League in percentage of Asian American undergraduate students on campus, it has not taken the lead in the development of Asian American studies (Penn still only offers a minor in this crucial area of scholarly endeavor, which has been a viable discipline for over thirty years). And given the large Asian American undergraduate student population on campus, there is a conspicuous lack of student services in the areas of counseling and other resources.
The Leboy report notes "a very rapid turnover of faculty within this group," so that "although Asian American new hires were 54 in the past ten years, only 46 Asian Americans were faculty members in the undergraduate schools in 1997...." Representatives of undergraduate Asian/Pacific American students have consistently reported a lack of faculty who are actively interested in advising and counseling Asian American students; and this anecdotal evidence is surely supported by this hiring information in conjunction with the underdevelopment of Asian American studies at Penn. Significant questions have also been raised about what criteria are used in identifying Asian American faculty at Penn in the first place. Asian/Pacific American student leaders have voiced concerns about the blurring of boundaries between Asian and Asian American faculty with the result that, they feel, the figures for Asian American faculty on campus are inflated.
Finally, the Asian/Pacific American community at Penn has raised questions that need to be addressed about Asian American quotas in the admissions process; and about the relative dearth of certain segments of the Asian/Pacific American population (particularly Southeast Asians) in the matriculant pool.
The Leboy report does not provide much information on graduate student recruitment and retention. And it provides no comparative statistics for the Ivy League. It does tell us that overall from 1990-98 the enrollment at Penn of doctoral "students of color who are US citizens" increased from 3.0% of the total enrollment to 5.1%, though there is no information about different minority groups within this general population or about retention figures as well. On the other hand, there is information from 1985 to 1998 on the awarding of Ph.D. degrees to African Americans and Latino/as in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Sciences; and the report concludes that "it is clear that the numbers of African Americans and Latino graduate students receiving Ph.D. degrees has been increasing in recent years."
While the Committee was not charged with looking into minority recruitment and retention issues in the area of staff, we understand from an exchange at the Council meeting on March 24 between Phoebe Leboy and Thomas Seamon, Managing Director of the Division of Public Safety at Penn, that there are no minority personnel above the rank of sergeant in the Penn Police Force (Almanac, April 6, 1999, p.7). Further, in the course of looking into the Kenneth Ray case and writing a letter, which was never answered, to President Rodin about the case, we understood from members of the black community on campus that black males--including faculty, and husbands and sons of staff--are frequently stopped by the Penn police. This information accords with highly disturbing national trends that indicate that black men are profiled as criminal suspects before the fact in law enforcement directives and actions. While all charges against Mr. Ray, a long-time and valued employee of Penn, have been dropped, the questions raised by his arrest that have to do with the minority issues posed above should be pursued.
The issues raised in this report, issues of diversity of campus populations and curriculum, have been at the center of the liberal arts for over 30 years. Great universities are measured, finally, not by the extent of their physical structures but by the diversity and the depth of their intellectual and human structures. The Pluralism Committee feels that the upper administration of Penn needs to take a more self-critical and proactive stance in developing these structures.
--Eric Cheyfitz, Chair
Chair: Eric Cheyfitz, English; Faculty: Mary Berry, history; Eric Cheyfitz, English; Stephen N. Dunning, religious studies; Stephen Gale , reg sci; Carol Germain, nursing; Alan Heston, S. Asia reg studies; Jill E. Jacobs, radiol/med; Rosalyn J. Watts, nursing; Students: Deborah James; Richard Kilfoyle, Kevin Leland, Randi O'Donnell; PPSA: Li-Chen Chin, international programs; Carolyn Jones, training & dev; A-3: Loretta Miller, student info/systems; Ex officio: Jeanne Arnold, dir., African Amer. resource ctr.; Donna M. Arthur, chair, A-3 Assembly; Doug Berger, dir., residential living; Elena DiLapi, dir., Penn women's center; Joyce Randolph, dir., international programs; Scott Reikofski; dir., fraternity/sorority affairs; Terri White, chair, PPSA; dir., academic support programs.
The charge of the University Committee on Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics (CRIA) for the '98-'99 academic year was to: (1) review the University's progress toward improving recreational facilities and to make recommendations as to how Penn can achieve its stated goals in this area; and (2) evaluate the effectiveness of the University's advising system for student-athletes to ensure that they are in compliance with University Policies, including those on drug use, NCAA requirements, and other policies.
CRIA met four times and was informed by appropriate staff of the Division of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics (DRIA) of: (1) recent improvements in the University's recreational and intercollegiate athletic facilities as well as the division's additional short-term and long-term facility needs, (2) the University's advising system for student-athletes; and (3) improvements in the DRIA's Intercollegiate Athletic's rules compliance system.
In response to the Brailsford and Dunlavey Consulting Firm's report on the status of Penn's recreational facilities and one of the highest priorities supported by the University's strategic plan, The Agenda for Excellence, the new 7,500 square Katz Fitness Center was opened in Gimbel Gym in September, 1998. The Fitness Center has attracted 5,000 members, mostly students, but including 500 faculty and staff members. The Fitness Center usage has increased from 18,000 to 39,000/month. Its success has created an over-crowding problem that has been only partially alleviated by expanding the center's hours. The addition of the Katz Fitness Center has also impacted negatively upon other recreational facilities. For example, the free-weight facility at Hutchinson Gym and an oversized Gimbel Gym squash court that was utilized as a racquetball court were closed/eliminated. Some of these overcrowding problems associated with the present indoor recreational facilities promise to be alleviated by the recently announced renovation/expansion of Gimbel Gym. On April 7, 1999, a $10 million gift was made to the University by David S. Pottruck, President and Co-chief Executive Officer of the Charles Schwab Corporation, to establish the David S. Pottruck Health and Fitness Center. This will involve renovation of existing Gimbel Gym space as well as new construction. The University, which is strongly supporting this initiative, is currently in the process of hiring architects and expects that this project will move rather quickly and be completed in two years.
Several outdoor recreational/athletic facilities are also in the process of being enhanced. With construction of a 1000+ seat baseball field on Murphy Field to begin this spring, Bower field (presently used for baseball) will be re-conditioned, including the addition of lighting, as a multipurpose facility for club sports, intramurals, and informal recreational usage. In keeping with a need for improving informal recreational green space on campus, Hill Field has recently had portable lighting installed for extended hours of usage. CRIA supports these shorter-term recreational/athletic facility initiatives.
Concerning longer-term indoor recreational facility endeavors, CRIA believes it is important that the momentum generated by the Brailsford and Dunlavey report indicating the University's need of a field house be sustained. The University's support of this initiative under its Agenda for Excellence is evidenced by its approval of site feasibility and fiscal/development studies, which have just begun.
In response to the student-athlete academic ineligibility situation that occurred during the fall of '97, DRIA has taken steps to improve its compliance/eligibility efforts. DRIA has appointed a full-time compliance coordinator, D. Elton Cochran-Fikes, for the diligent handling of the area of compliance at a time when the complexity of today's NCAA and Ivy League requirements as well as the size of Penn's intercollegiate athletic program demands such vigilance. DRIA has also appointed a assistant athletic director for academic coordination/admissions/financial aid, Rosemarie Burnett, who in one of her new roles that is related to academic coordination, is: (1) encouraging all student-athletes to work with their school advisors who typically are also the athletic eligibility officers; (2) encouraging all student-athletes to take advantage of advance registration; and (3) requiring some students to attend weekly athletic study halls. In addition to these new appointments, a new and comprehensive Student-Athlete Handbook, detailing NCAA and Ivy League rules/regulations related to compliance and eligibility, has been produced by the DRIA and will assist in its efforts to reduce/eliminate compliance problems. A new DRIA Staff Handbook, which updates information related to eligibility/compliance rules/regulations, is in the process of being produced and should be available within the next academic year. This will keep coaches and other DRIA staff better informed about these important student-athlete issues.
To assist the DRIA in its efforts to reduce/eliminate student-athlete eligibility/compliance problems, the University has in place a compliance/eligibility monitoring system. The Registrar's Office produces a daily report Monday-Friday, which is designed to "flag" student-athletes who drop below full-time enrollment. These reports are reviewed daily by at least three DRIA Staff--a Eligibility/Compliance Intern, the Compliance Coordinator, and the Associate Athletic Director who is responsible for oversight of compliance and eligibility issues. If a student-athlete is not full-time, the student and coach are notified immediately and the student is declared ineligible until the registration situation is resolved. In addition, the University has in place an Eligibility Committee comprised of eligibility officers from each school and chaired by the Institutional Eligibility Officer, Larry Moneta. This committee has established prescribed academic norms, which are the most stringent in the Ivy League. Each student-athlete must maintain at least 8 credits and a 2.0 GPA to be eligible for athletic competition. A student-athlete who falls below the University's prescribed norms , but meets the NCAA requirements, can be declared provisionally eligible. However, with provisional eligibility the student-athlete is required to enter an academic enhancement plan, which is a contract with the University to develop and implement a plan to meet the prescribed norms. This contract is signed off by the student-athlete, coach, assistant athletic director, and the institutional eligibility officer (presently Larry Moneta). If the student does not meet the prescribed norms, (s)he becomes ineligible for the next year. Over the past 4 years the academic enhancement plan, which approximately 20-30 student-athletes undergo each year, has enjoyed a success rate of 80-90%. In the case of a senior student-athlete entering provisional eligibility there are presently no eligibility consequences. Based upon information from the Institutional Eligibility Officer, a required graduation audit for the early identification of a short-fall in course credits required for successful graduation would be desirable and is presently under discussion by the University Eligibility Committee. CRIA supports the present improved University/DRIA student-athlete compliance/eligibility system, but also recommends that a senior student-athlete entering provisional eligibility be required to have an early graduation audit.
--Peter Hand, Chair
Chair: Peter Hand, animal biology/Vet; Faculty: Howard Brody, physics& astronomy; Ellen Fung, nursing; Steven Galetta, neurology/med; Alan Heston, economics; Edward Lally; path-ology/dental; Cynthia Scalzi,nursing; Raymond Sweeney,clinical studies, NBC/Vet; Students: Bruce Newsome, Cristin McLaughlin, Alan Dorfman, Amy Jodoin; PPSA: Ellen McCairns Martin, gen. internal med; Michelle Taylor,assist dir., career service; A-3 Assembly: Elaine Nader,office of clinical trials;Susan Mullins,vet development; Ex Officio: Steve Bilsky, director, DRIA; Michael Burton,representative of President's Office; Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum,Vice Provost University Life; Willis Stetson, dean of Admissions.
The University Council Committee on Research met twice this year. It took us many months to get a date that most members could be available. As it turned out on the first meeting held in February, the entire committee met, and we had a very productive session. During the meeting we decided to again explore the issue of post-doctoral grievance. Professor Trevor Penning was asked to join us for this discussion as he has explored many of these issues in his role as Associate Dean for Post-doctoral Research Training. The following topics were discussed:
The second meeting took place on March 24th and we continued our discussion. We generated a list which we thought needed further exploration.
The committee will not be meeting further this year.
--Barbara Medoff-Cooper, Chair
Chair: Barbara Medoff-Cooper; Faculty: James C. Alwine, microbiol/Med; Dan Ben-Amos, folklore & folklife; Alan B. Heston, economics; Francisco Gonzales-Scarano, neurol/med; James B. Lok, parasitology/vet; Peter J. McCleary, architecture; Barbara Medoff-Cooper, nursing; Richard R. Miselis, animal biol/Vet; Donald A. Ringe, linguistics; Alan Schreiber, medicine; Barbara Weber, hematology-oncology/Med; Arjun G. Yodh, physics. Students: Kirkland Ahern, Carl Seaquist, Jason Schaechter; Ex officio: Ralph D. Amado, vice provost research.
Scheduled for discussion at Council on October 13, 1999
The Student Affairs Committee met ten times over the academic year with generally good attendance and participation. Several issues were discussed in our deliberations including alcohol use on campus, safety and security, dining services, space allocation for student activities, student housing and the new college system. Our meetings included discussions with key program staff from the University who were generous in sharing their time and ideas with the Committee. For the most part, we were pleased to find that the questions and concerns of the Committee regarding these aspects of student life were thoughtfully addressed by these invited guests.
The following is a brief summary of the Committee's findings and recommendations.
Alcohol Abuse on Campus
The Committee was pleased with the steps taken by the Provost to review and revise the Alcohol Use Policy following the alcohol-related death of a Penn alumnus on campus. The Committee discussed ways to increase recreational alternatives to alcohol consumption on campus, and to broaden the appeal of such events. We also strongly endorsed the hiring of an Alcohol Coordinator to address the problems of alcohol abuse at Penn. We recommend that Council review the revised Alcohol Use Policy, facilitate its implementation, and support increased funding for alcohol prevention activities throughout the University.
Safety and Security
While safety and security measures have increased throughout the University, there is still concern that students may not be adequately prepared about safety issues. Also, there have been expressions of dissatisfaction with the manner in which Penn Police interact with certain students. The Committee recommends that greater emphasis be placed on peer-led safety education programs utilizing student volunteers working closely with Penn Police and resident life staff. We further recommend that a survey of students' perceptions of Penn Police and other security personnel be undertaken in the coming academic year.
The Committee was satisfied with the current and future plans for campus dining presented by the Managing Director. Students at Penn are being offered a flexible array of meal plans, dining spaces and menus. Student opinions of dining services are being closely monitored and appear to be very positive.
Space Allocation for Student Activities
At the close of academic year 1997-98, the Committee recommended that steps be taken to assure that adequate space was made available for student activities after the closing of Houston Hall. The Committee was pleased to learn that additional spaces were identified and made available through the Vice Provost for University Life, and that a new on-line reservation system was put into place to facilitate access to these spaces. There is still an ongoing concern that spaces for large events and concerts would remain scarce until Irvine Auditorium renovations were completed.
Student Housing and the College System
The Committee is pleased to report that the transition to the new college system has taken place smoothly, and that most students are pleased with it. Each college has implemented a strategy for sponsoring social events and for promoting student life. As the college system becomes more appealing to Penn students, it is likely that more will want to live on campus, thereby worsening the current housing shortage. Given the central importance of this issue to the quality of student life at Penn, the Committee recommends that Council initiate discussions about long-range plans for student housing and the college system.
--Anthony L. Rostain, Chair
Chair: Anthony Rostain, psych; Faculty: John E. Biaglow, rad oncol/med; Alexander J. Brucker, ophthal; Helen C. Davies, microbiol/med; Lisa Downing, philosophy; Arlene Houldin, nursing; Anthony Rostain, psych; Neville Strumpf, nursing; Michael Zuckerman, history; Students: Greg Dubrow, Deborah James,Alan Dorfman, Janma Gilo, Ron Lin; PPSA: Peggy Curchack, career services; Jennie R. Matthews, Wharton; Ex officio: William Conway chair, UA; William Christian Gipson, University chaplain; Doug Hagan, chair, GAPSA; Valarie Swain-Cade McCoullum, vice provost, University life.
Almanac, Vol. 46, No. 6, October 5, 1999