At the November 15 Council meeting, Provost Robert Barchi congratulated Dr. Ralph Hirshmann for winning a National Medal of Science earlier this month. That was the second big coup for chemistry this semester. Dr. Barchi said that "a buzz still permeates Penn" concerning Dr. Alan MacDiarmid's Nobel Prize in Chemistry from last month. The Provost proudly announced that Dr. Neal Nathanson will officially begin his duties on December 1 as the new Vice Provost for Research.
Dr. Larry Gross, Steering Chair, mentioned that Council is still missing some graduate students on committees. He announced that all Council members will be subscribed to Express Almanac and encouraged everyone to take advantage of Almanac's website. Dr. Gross stressed that the Campus Development Plan was "of the utmost importance" and that topic was back for another round of discussion in conjunction with the related topics: capital planning approval process and deferred maintenance, now known as facilities renewal. He also noted that at next month's Open Forum there would be some indication of the progress made on topics raised at previous open fora, such as disability access--an area which he said has experienced substantial progress.
David Simon, said that GAPSA will try to fill the graduate student slots that are still vacant. He mentioned that GAPSA is involved in community service as one of its Building Bridges initiatives.
Michael Basik, said that the UA had just unveiled its new outdoor basketball court on top of the garage at 39th and Spruce Streets. He said the UA is working with Facilities' Mike Coleman on the new recycling efforts. The election night event that the UA co-sponsored was attended by more than 2000 students. The UA will be releasing a statement on the sweatshop issue soon to be followed by one on FERPA.
Anna Loh reported that PPSA will be starting a book discussion group focusing on career development issues and that PPSA will co-sponsor another joint meeting with the A-3 Assembly in March dealing with Business Etiquette.
Omar Blaik reported that of the University's more than 7,000 tons of waste/per year it is now recycling more than 2,000 tons/per year of paper, glass, plastic and aluminum. He said the goal is to increase this from the current level of 26% to recycle greater than 30%. Paper constitutes about 80% of the total tonnage being recycled. The recently institued outdoor pilot recylcing program--from 34th to 38th, Walnut to Spruce--will be evaluated by consultants.
Mr. Blaik then described how the University's Capital Planning Approval Process changed last year. He said that Facilities works with the schools to do a feasibility study to understand their needs and a project only moves forward if programmatic and financial concerns are met.
He then went on to address the issue of facilities renewal, which he described as a more positive approach to the former 'deferred maintenance.' Seventy buildings on campus have been assessed thus far and it is estimated that it will take approximately $270 million to rehabilitate them. They represent about 70% of the campus buildings.
Dr. John Sabini presented the findings of the Committee on Facilities in regard to the Campus Development Plan which he noted was published in Almanac, November 7, 2000.
Almanac, Vol. 47, No. 13, November 21, 2000