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Council Coverage

The first University Council meeting of the year was so well attended last Wednesday that President Judith Rodin commended the Council members for the "terrific attendance." She then appointed Dr. Larry Gross to serve as moderator, for the second year in a row and University Archivist Mark Frazier Lloyd to continue as Parliamentarian for his 12th year. President Rodin also noted "the passing of a great friend of this University--Walter Annenberg" (see article here).

The four remaining 2001-2002 year-end reports of Council committees were presented by the chairs of the committees.

After Dr. Dennis DeTurck presented the Admissions and Financial Aid report (Almanac October 1), Dr. Rodin commented that Penn's efforts to recruit more broadly and to provide financial aid to students who are not from North America, is made possible with the help of the Alumni Clubs in various countries which support students from their locale. She also added that while the early decision debate is an interesting issue, it is one that the Ivy Presidents cannot discuss due to antitrust agreements.

Dr. Ellis Golub presented the report of the Libraries Committee (Almanac October 1) which deals with digital vs. print issues, such as the acquisition of online journals; authentication improvements and an information literacy center in the library.

The Facilities Committee report (Almanac July 16) which was presented by Dr. John Sabini included such issues as support for classroom maintenance, the Campus Development Plan, as well as traffic, pedestrian and bicycle safety. Dr. Sabini also added that he hoped a creative use will be made of the former ‘Mellon Bank Building' to make it an "interesting and vital place."

Provost Robert Barchi said that he has met with the subcommittee on classrooms and he has agreed to double the funding from $1 million per year to $2 million per year to maintain and upgrade classrooms. There will also be an effort on the part of Facilities to consolidate money in the Facilities Renewal Fund and focus on the needs of a particular building each year.

Dr. Noam Lior commented that parking costs are rising at a higher rate than raises.

When a student asked about speed limit signs along Walnut Street, Police Chief Tom Rambo replied that the Police's speed trailer which has been set up, increases compliance and results in less traffic and pedestrian accidents.

The Research Committee report (Almanac October 1) was presented by Dr. Bruce Shenker who discussed the cost of doing research and the issues associated with clauses in contracts for sponsored research that restrict access based on citizenship, especially post 9/11.

Dr. Ilene Rosenstein, director of Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), explained CAPS's mission and services they provide to help students in need including individual and group counseling, consultation, crisis intervention, workshops and career and psychological testing for students. CAPS has recently produced brochures: What Can I Do?, a guide for faculty and staff who want to help a student in distress; How to Help a Friend, for students, and How to Support Your Child at Penn, a guide for families. She also noted the new Involuntary Leave Policy now in effect (Almanac October 1).

This is Mental Health Awareness Week (October 7-10) and events will be held on campus.

No focus issues were raised by Council members in what Dr. Gross described as one of the "arcane rituals of Council."

  Almanac, Vol. 49, No. 7, October 8, 2002