Council's February 9 Meeting
The University Council meeting began with President Judith Rodin's status report in which she mentioned that she and the provost announced the appointment of Dr. Patrick Harker as dean of Wharton, "with earnest pleasure." Dr. Rodin also described the situation with the College Hall sit-in and the ad-hoc committee she has formed. She also discussed the importance of taking appropriate fire safety measures to prevent the kind of tragedy that occurred at Seton Hall dormitories. Dr. Rodin concluded her report noting that she is pleased with the unveiling of Express Almanac.
Provost Robert Barchi echoed the president's welcome of Wharton's twelfth dean. Dr. Barchi said that Penn will be responding soon to the FDA concerning the Institute for Human Gene Therapy. He pointed out that only the clinical trials at IHGT are affected by the FDA's January suspension. He said that he expects to present recommendations to the president by mid-semester after the Locust Walk Advisory Committee reports. The provost thanked the UA and SCUE as well as Deputy Provost Peter Conn for their efforts to expand New Student Orientation from three to seven days. The Council of Undergraduate Deans recommended extending NSO to allow more time for advising and other activities.
Dr. Larry Gross, chair of Steering, reported that possible bylaw revisions may come before Council perhaps recommending added representation to Steering from PPSA and the A-3 Assembly. He noted the success of the recent Penn's Way campaign which was largely restructured and reinvigorated by Council.
GAPSA Chair Kendra Nicholson said that GAPSA supports the USAS's efforts to ensure safe workplace conditions and commends the administration's development of a task force. She said that GAPSA does not support immediate withdrawal of the University from the Fair Labor Association.
UA Chair Michael Silver noted that now there are e-mail stations located in the Penn Bookstore. SEPTA token machines will be installed in the Food Court and in Harrison House. He said that students want a variety of food choices in Houston Hall when it reopens.
UMC Chair Jerome Byam said that a task force will look into the low number of Native Americans enrolled at Penn.
Terri White, chair of PPSA, thanked Council for allowing "vigorous discussion on Penn's Way last year." She said several senior administrators have been invited to participate in PPSA's monthly brown bag lunches. A professional development seminar will be held on March 16. PPSA has completed it bylaw revisions which she hopes to publish soon.
The A-3 Assembly chair Debra Smiley Koita mentioned their upcoming general monthly meeting on February 22. She said she is going to work with HR VP Jack Heuer to ensure that A-3 staff will be given time to attend a session on the changes to the retirement plan.
The remainder of the session was devoted to the Open Forum on the Revised Proposed Policy on Privacy in the Electronic Environment. Dr. Martin Pring, chair of the Communications Committee, expressed his gratitude to the committee and those in the Penn community who made suggestions to clarify the policy. More to come next week.
Almanac, Vol. 46, No. 21, February 15, 2000