Report of the Committee on
following was sent on April 25, 2003 to President Judith
Rodin from Dr. Gregory Possehl, Chair of the Committee
on Manufacturer Responsibility (CMR) in accordance with
of Workplace Conduct for University of Pennsylvania Apparel
Licensees which was first published Of Record (Almanac March
28, 2000) and republished (Almanac, November
6, 2001 and January 28, 2003). As outlined in the
Code, the CMR will review the Code annually; review the effectiveness
review the state of compliance of the apparel licensees and
review any alleged violations of the Code.
letter is a report of what the Committee on Manufacturer
Responsibility accomplished this year. We held seven meetings
and generally occupied ourselves with the revision of our
Licensee Compliance Questionnaire (LCQ) and reviewing the
vendor responses to it. As you will recall, the Code of Workplace
Conduct for Penn Apparel Licensees mandates that the Committee
on Manufacturer Responsibility evaluate vendor compliance
with this Code. The committee decided in 2001-2002 that a
questionnaire was the best way for this to be done. They
developed the first LCQ, sent it out and reviewed the responses.
This experience led this year's committee to revise the LCQ,
an effort that was very ably led by committee members Ms.
Amy Johnson (Director of Communications and Special Projects,
Business Services) and Mr. Eric Tilles (Associate General
Counsel). The current committee sent this revised LCQ to
all 32 of our vendors. We have received 27 responses. At
this point I am pleased to say that all of the vendors who
have responded to the questionnaire this year are either
in compliance with our Code, or the committee is in the process
of following-up on various questions that arose from their
responses. Such follow-up is a routine part of our business,
and I expect that they will be found to be in compliance
too. The LCQ goes out to vendors on a timetable, and there
are some few whose responses have not yet been returned to
us because of this schedule. These vendors, and their LCQs,
will be discussed by the Committee, along with the follow-up
inquiries just noted, at the Committee's first meeting next
September or October.
also strengthened our ties to the two independent monitoring
organizations that Penn belongs to: the Worker Rights Consortium
(WRC) and the Fair Labor Association (FLA). Mr. Tilles attended
the annual meeting of the WRC, and gave us a very fine report
on that organization.
this semester our committee intern Okey Onyekwe, a junior
in the College, began a benchmarking project to ascertain
whether or not other peer universities had a code of conduct
and if they did, how they ensured compliance of their code,
how they monitored their licensees, and whether or not they
were members of the FLA, the WRC, or both. Based on the responses
we have seen thus far, most universities have not developed
their own codes and they require their licensees to adopt
the FLA code and participate in that organization's monitoring
matter emerged from the revision of the LCQ and the evaluation
of vendor responses that might be a part of the business
for the 2003-2004 committee. At times vendor responses to
LCQ questions raise issues that seem to require further investigation.
This year such matters were pursued for us by Business Services' Trademark
Licensing Unit (Center for Technology Transfer) and Mr. Tilles.
But the question of how vigorously the Committee should investigate
such questions, as opposed to turning them over to our monitoring
organizations, the WRC and FLA, did come up. The next committee
might dwell upon this matter and establish a committee policy
to handle it.
Committee also recommended to Business Services that all
of the vendors covered by the Penn Code of Workplace Conduct
be required to be members of the FLA. The WRC does not have
manufacturer members, or we would have required membership
there as well. Business Services is currently implementing
this new policy.
would like to close with two words of thanks. The first goes
to Ms. Leah Smith, who has been the committee's staff for
the past three years. She was, in fact, the heart and soul
of the committee, and did a superb job for us. She has asked
to step down from this position, to turn her full time attention
back to the Office of the Vice Provost for University Life.
Finally, my thanks go to the entire Committee on Manufacturer
Responsibility. They proved to be good, hardworking representatives
of the Penn family, and it was my pleasure to be their Chair.
L. Possehl, Chair, Committee on Manufacturer Responsibility
Department of Anthropology
Rodin sent the following response on July 9, 2003 to Dr.
Possehl and members of the Committee on Manufacturer Responsibility:
you for your thorough report on the activities of 2002-2003
Committee on Manufacturer Responsibility (CMR). As always,
I greatly appreciate the immense amount of time and effort
you and the other members of the Committee have spent working
on the important issue of fair labor.
I hope you will agree to continue to serve as Chair for the
coming year. Your superb leadership and full grasp of the
issues are incredibly valuable to me and certainly, to the
entire University. It seems this year will be a final one
for both of us, as I hear you will be retiring after the
coming academic year. Congratulations in advance--you deserve
to be proud of all of your wonderful accomplishments!
hope you will agree to continue serve as Chair of the CMR
as it transitions to new leadership after your departure.
In the meantime, you have my best wishes for a fantastic
summer. Thank you again.