September 26, 2000
Volume 47
Number 5

Campus Development Plan 2000

(See the full Campus Development Plan 2000 CLICK HERE)

Omar Blaik, vice president for facilites, presented an update on the Campus Development Plan at the September 13 University Council meeting. The following is adapted from that slide presentation. There will be other presentations to various Penn constituencies in the next two months. The dates, times and places will be announced in Almanac.

The intent of the Campus Development Plan is to create a campus environment that supports and enriches Penn's academic and research missions through providing a framework for campus improvement and growth over the next twenty-five years.

More specifically:

  • Recommend immediate priorities for campus improvements
  • Identify opportunities for growth and development
  • Establish guidelines for campus evolution over the long-term
  • Identifies strategies that enable their implementation


  • Engaged planning consultants: Olin Partnership
  • Reviewed process with Council of Deans, Academic Planning and Budget Committee, Faculty Senate, University Council's Facilities Committee, and Trustees
  • Appointed five working committees of 60 members and made a steering committee
  • Held three open fora and consulted with campus constituencies and Trustees
  • Synthesized findings and developed preliminary recommendations in conjunction with the working committees

Next Steps

  • Review preliminary recommendations with the campus community September 2000-November 2000
  • Present final plan for Trustee's approval in February 2001

Planning Recommendations

  1. Strengthen connections between the various Campus precincts and the core
  2. Create a coherent identity by extending the quality of the historic core to the rest of campus
  3. Reinforce the historic core as the center of campus life and learning
  4. Invest on capital renewal of existing buildings
  5. Connect the University to Center City
  6. Preserve and enhance the residential community in University City

(See the full Campus Development Plan 2000 CLICK HERE)

*Photo (above) by Terry Wild

Penn's Response to the Gene Therapy Lawsuit

The following statement was issued by the University on Monday, September 18 in response to the lawsuit filed earlier that day by the family of Jesse Gelsinger.

The anniversary of Jesse Gelsinger's death is a sobering moment for the University of Pennsylvania and everyone who was involved in the OTC clinical trial and Jesse's care. Our deepest sympathy is with the Gelsinger family at this very difficult time. Penn remains committed to improving its oversight and monitoring of human subject research, and substantial resources of time, energy and money have already been devoted to that task.

The complaint filed today, by its nature, tells only one version of a very complicated and painful story. The University will respond to it in due course, fully and forthrightly, as it has to each and every official inquiry in this matter. Throughout the last year Penn has readily acknowledged weaknesses in IHGT's monitoring and oversight of clinical trials. At the same time, the University continues to believe that these weaknesses did not contribute to Jesse's death, that his decision to enroll in the OTC study was based on full and fair disclosure of the relevant risks, and that his medical care met the highest standards. Penn, like many other major research universities, is conducting a thorough review of its conflict of interest policies, but the University categorically rejects the notion expressed in the complaint that financial gain played any part in any aspect of the OTC trial.

The Gelsinger family's representatives have initiated discussions with the University and the other institutional defendants, and we will respond. Penn's hope is to concentrate on moving forward with its aggressive efforts to provide a national model for human subject research. In the end, establishing and constantly improving that model will be the best way to mark subsequent anniversaries of this tragic death.

Almanac, Vol. 47, No. 5, September 26, 2000

| FRONT PAGE | CONTENTS | JOB-OPS | CRIMESTATS | BENCHMARKS: Electronic Privacy in Practice | 1999-2000 COUNCIL REPORTS: Admissions & Financial Aid, Pluralism, Communications, Community Relations, Personnel Benefits and Quality of Student Life | TALK ABOUT TEACHING ARCHIVE | BETWEEN ISSUES | OCTOBER at PENN |