Before adjourning in
mid-November, the 107th Congress took action on two important
pieces of legislation that will have a major impact on
the University of Pennsylvania.
The Homeland Security
Act, creating the new federal Department of Homeland Security,
has passed both chambers of Congress and was signed into
law by President George W. Bush on November 25.
The bill is broad and
far-reaching, and will result in a major restructuring
of federal agencies. Provisions of specific interest to
the University of Pennsylvania and the research university
an Undersecretary for Science and Technology to direct
research priorities for the new Department and to
coordinate with other research agencies.
bioterrorism research funding and health research
priority-setting in the Department of Health and Human
Services, primarily NIH and CDC.
the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency
(HSARPA) to administer a new Acceleration Fund--authorized
at $500 million in FY2003--"to award competitive,
merit-reviewed grants, cooperative agreements, or
contracts to public or private entities, including
businesses, federally-funded research and development
centers, and universities."
a "university-based center or centers for homeland
security," to be selected based on 15 criteria
laid out in the measure. (*For a list of these criteria
It is widely believed that these criteria were created
to favor Texas A&M University, but other institutions--including
Penn--believe that they are also eligible to compete.
in place a Homeland Security Science and Technology
Advisory Committee, with 20 members to be appointed
by the Undersecretary for Science and Technology.
a federally-funded research and development center,
to be known as the "Homeland Security Institute" to
perform analytical functions.
an Office of Science and Technology within the Department
of Justice responsible for law enforcement technology.
The Homeland Security
Act will consolidate 22 federal agencies and will involve
more than 170,000 federal employees. Under the law, the
administration will have one year to bring together the
22 agencies. The department will consist of four sub-agencies--Border
and Transportation Security, Emergency Preparedness, Technology,
and Intelligence--as well as the Coast Guard and Secret
Service, which will stand alone.
The first step in the
process of establishing the agency calls for the administration
to submit to Congress a detailed master plan for how it
will accomplish the reorganization. Once President Bush
sends the master plan to Capitol Hill, the administration
will have 90 days to plan for the creation of the department,
with emphasis placed on integrating computer and e-mail
systems so the employees can communicate, and on consolidating
various agencies' terrorist watch lists. Congress will
decide how to oversee and fund the new Department when
it convenes for the 108th Congress in January.
* The Homeland Security
Act establishes "a university-based center or centers
for homeland security. The purpose of this center or centers
shall be to establish a coordinated, university-based system
to enhance the Nation's homeland security."
Science Foundation Reauthorization
The Congress on November
15 sent to President Bush the National Science Foundation
reauthorization bill, which will double funding for the
agency over five years. The measure is widely viewed as
a victory for the higher education and scientific communities.
The bill authorizes
Congress to appropriate about $5.5 billion to NSF for FY2003--of
this money, $4.15 billion is directed toward research and
related activities. In the final year of the doubling,
FY2007, NSF will receive $9.8 billion. These increases
are contingent upon the agency meeting management requirements
imposed by the Office of Management and Budget.
As an authorization
bill, this measure does not actually provide funding, but
rather sets recommended spending levels for the appropriations
committees, which allocate money.
International Students and Faculty Indicates Post-9/11
According to a recent
survey by the Association of American Universities (AAU),
the number of international students at major U.S. research
universities has increased since last year's terrorist
attacks; the number of international scholars and researchers,
on the other hand, has declined. The survey also found
an increase in visa delays and denials for international
students and scholars.
Over the 20 institutions
that participated in the survey, international student
enrollments increased by an average of 4 percent, while
the number of international scholars and researchers dropped
by an average of 11 percent. Visa delays for international
students rose from 134 to 357, while delays for scholars
rose from 561 to 644. Visa denials for international students
increased from 168 to 247 and for scholars from 42 to 60.
Complete survey results
are available on the AAU website: www.aau.edu.
On Wednesday November
20, Governor-elect Edward G. Rendell named a 28-member
task force aimed at addressing both short-term and long-term
policies to address Pennsylvania's medical malpractice
crisis. The task force is expected to work closely with
the Pew Foundation that has sponsored a multi-year, multi-million
dollar study of Pennsylvania's medical malpractice crisis.
Dr. Ana McKee, a faculty member and the Chief Medical Officer
and Associate Executive Director at Presbyterian, has been
named to sit on the task force. Twenty-eight people have
been named to date including six members of the plaintiffs'
bar, five defense lawyers, two representatives from health
care organizations, four representatives from the PA Medical
Society/physician community, four insurance representatives,
4 legislative staff members, one labor representative and
one representative from the business community. The Chair
of the task force is former Philadelphia Common Pleas Court
Judge Abraham Gafni.
The task force is charged
with reporting back to Governor-elect Rendell within 60
days (by January 20) on four possible short-term solutions
to the medical malpractice crisis. The task force will
also be asked to recommend long-term solutions following
an examination of the tort system generally and industry
practices. The Office of Government, Community & Public
Affairs, along with the Health System Office of Government
Relations, will carefully assess and report on the workings
of the task force.
To promote the most
effective relationships with the communities served by
the University and Penn Medicine, Glenn Bryan, Director
of City and Community Relations for the University, will
assume responsibility for outreach and community relations
for the Health System and School of Medicine. Glenn's increased
scope of responsibilities takes advantage of the effective
structure that exists already in support of his University-based
activities and supplements the outreach efforts he also
provides for the School of Nursing and School of Dental
Working through a single
Office of Community Affairs is the most efficient way to
build and maintain relationships in the various communities
we serve, including our campus-based West Philadelphia
community. Indeed, a non-duplicative University/Penn Medicine
approach to community relations should enhance the level
of services we can provide such as for community-based
services, research initiatives, and obtaining community
input regarding relevant Health System activities. Glenn's
initiatives on behalf of the Health System and School of
Medicine will be coordinated with Alan N. Rosenberg, Esq.,
Associate Executive Vice President with responsibility
for government relations and communications for Penn Medicine.
We are working together to develop a new Community Relations
Strategic Plan for Penn Medicine -- which will require
input from leaders within Penn Medicine, the University
We want to thank Marla
Davis for her service as the former Director of the Department
of Community Affairs for the Health System. While Marla
stepped down from that position this past May, she continued
to assist the Health System in support of the recently
held Men's Health Conference.
Glenn Bryan can be
reached at his University office (215) 898-3565 or Penn
Medicine office (215) 662-3499. Alan Rosenberg can be reached
at (215) 662-2271.
We look forward to
continued effective interactions and communications between
Penn Medicine and the communities we serve.
-- Carol R. Scheman,
Vice President for Government,
Community and Public Affairs
Almanac, Vol. 49, No. 15, December 10, 2002