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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 Executive Assistant Carolyn Burdon, Box 12 College Hall/6303, (215) 898-6943 or

Actions Taken by the
Senate Executive Committee
Wednesday, February 6, 2002

1. Chair's Report. Professor David Hackney noted that two proposed revised policies would come to SEC for consideration this semester: Misconduct in Research and Conflict of Interest in Clinical Trials.

2. Past Chair's Report on Academic Planning and Budget Committee and Capital Council. Professor Gerald Porter announced that there have been two meetings of the Academic Planning and Budget Committee since the last Senate Executive Committee meeting. Both of those meetings were devoted to discussions of the draft strategic plan. The first dealt with undergraduate and graduate education; the second, with lifelong learning, urban studies and international studies.

There was also one meeting of Capital Council. Professor Porter could only attend a part of this meeting since it conflicted with his teaching schedule. It was decided at the meeting to recommend that the Trustees approve the following projects: acquisition of the Hillel property and a University loan to connect the new building to Penn utilities, instructional technology for Huntsman Hall, two projects in the School of Veterinary Medicine, and upgrading the infrastructure of Hamilton College House. These projects will be considered by the Trustees at their meeting on February 14, 2002. In addition, there was discussion of a major project to provide air-conditioning and other infrastructure improvements to the University Museum.

3. Senate Committee on Committees. Professor Peter Kuriloff was elected chair of the committee. The committee proposes nominations to the Senate Executive Committee for a range of appointed committees, including the Academic Planning and Budget Committee, the Senate Committees on Administration, the Faculty, Publication Policy for Almanac, and Students and Educational Policy.

4. Handbook Revision Concerning Departments. Professor Stephen Burbank, chair, Senate Committee on the Faculty, presented a proposed revision on Procedures for the Establishment, Merger and Closing of Departments, Divisions and Similar Entities within Schools (in this issue). He stated that these draft procedures bring together in one place policies and procedures previously contained in the Handbook for Faculty and Academic Administrators and in a Provost's Memorandum. They propose to make the same procedures applicable to the establishment and merger, as well as to the closing of departments, and to such actions with respect to divisions or similar entities in schools that do not have departments. At present only "the establishment of academic departments within a Faculty" requires authorization by the Trustees (Statute 10.5), and the Trustees act "[u]pon recommendation of the President." Given that the draft procedures are made "[s]ubject to the statutes of the University," and in light of what the committee understands to be past practice, it may be appropriate to amend the statutes so as formally to include actions merging and closing departments, to extend the requirement for Trustee authorization to such actions involving divisions and similar entities, and to provide that recommendatons come from the President and Provost.

SEC approved several revisions and adopted the proposal by an overwhelming majority.

5. Informal Discussion on the Strategic Plan. Provost Robert Barchi presented an overview of the goals of the plan: academic, institutional and organizational. He noted that a draft would be published in Almanac later this month for comment and that several additional fora will be held. Executive Vice President John Fry outlined organizational priorities. SEC members raised questions and made recommendations during the extended discussion. Professor Hackney invited Provost Barchi to return to SEC for a detailed discussion of specific elements of the Strategic Plan.

Almanac, Vol. 48, No. 22, February 12, 2002


February 12, 2002
Volume 48 Number 22

A new chair in gerontology for Dr. Naylor in Nursing.
A new chair in chemical engineering for Dr. Vohs.
The SAS Dean's Forum focuses on the Human Genome.
SEAS bridges the Digital Divide in Ghana with a grant from HP.
The Faculty Senate proposes a revision to procedures for the establishment, merger and closing of departments, divisions and similar entities.
The 2002 Models of Excellence Awards honor the contributions of staff achievements in a variety of settings across campus.
HR unveils a new Health and Wellness program for faculty and staff.
Time to plan for summer: Penn Camps for Children range from anthropology to volleyball.