SENATE: From the Senate Office

The following statement is published in accordance with the Senate Rules.
Among other purposes, the publication of SEC actions is intended to
stimulate discussion among the constituencies and their representatives.
Please communicate your comments to Senate Chair Larry Gross or
Executive Assistant Carolyn Burdon, Box 12 College Hall/6303,
(215) 898-6943 or

Actions Taken by the Senate Executive Committee

Wednesday, December 13, 2000

1. Chair's Report. Faculty Senate Chair Larry Gross announced the Provost and Faculty Senate leadership have agreed jointly to appoint a special committee to take up the issue raised several years ago by the Senate Committee on Administration to assess systems of teaching evaluation. Deputy Provost Peter Conn will co-chair the committee with a faculty member. Membership will include about 12 faculty, one undergraduate student, one professional student and one doctoral student. The committee will be asked to report by the end of the academic year.

The Chair noted a new initiative focussed on the state of scholarly publishing. This is a national issue that must be resolved by universities, scholarly and professional organizations. He noted that, owing to the rapidly increasing library costs necessary to acquire academic journals, libraries have had to cut back on monograph purchases, curtailing the purchase of humanities and social sciences publications in order to acquire science journals. The Chair stated that he and Vice Provost and Director for Libraries Paul Mosher would be organizing a symposium to inform the faculty about current conditions and their consequences, and how we might move towards solutions.

2. Past Chair's Report on Academic Planning and Budget and Capital Council. Professor Phoebe Leboy stated that there were three Academic Planning and Budget Committee meetings since the last SEC meeting. Two were cancelled and the third meeting covered University investment policy and practices, also scheduled for this SEC meeting. Professor Leboy had a class conflict during the one Capital Council meeting and was unable to attend.

3. Chair of the Senate Nominating Committee. Nominations were made and votes were cast. The winner will be contacted. (To be published soon.)

4. Selection of the Senate Committee on Committees. A slate of nominees was distributed and SEC voted. The seven winners will be contacted.

5. University Investment Policy and Practices. Vice President for Finance Craig Carnaroli and Chief Investment Officer Landis Zimmerman outlined changes in endowment governance, long-term investment strategy, creation of the Office of Investments and utilization of Penn faculty. Improvement resulting from the changes can be seen in the third quarter of 2000. SEC asked that Mr. Carnaroli and Mr. Zimmerman return next spring to further discuss the data at points in time.

6. Informal Discussion with President Rodin. At Professor Gross' suggestion President Rodin spoke to the need for continuing review and further changes in the Health System. In a letter to the School of Medicine faculty the President announced the appointment of a joint Trustee-Medical School faculty committee that will continue to examine the local market and various options. The President will chair the committee. The Penn Health System has moved from losses to a projected small profit but there is an $800 million debt, the need for capital investments and the need for long-term solutions.

7. Next SEC Meeting in January. The Chair announced that the Report of the 1999-2000 Senate Committee on the Economic Status of the Faculty would be distributed to SEC and placed on the agenda of the January meeting.

Almanac, Vol. 47, No. 16, December 19, 2000