Click for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Forecast


Print This Issue
Front Page
All About Teaching
Subscribe to E-Alamanc!


Council Meeting Coverage

Provost Robert Barchi called the February 25 Council meeting to order since President Judith Rodin was in Harrisburg to testify before the Appropriations Committee.

The President's status report, which had been disseminated to Council members, announced the launch of Dialogues on Race, "a series of conversations exploring issues of race and multiculturalism as experienced by members of the Penn community." One such conversation took place that evening and another is scheduled for 7 p.m. on March 18 in Houston Hall. On March 23, Dr. Rodin, and  Spelman College President Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, will present Presidents' Perspective on Integration in Higher Education as part of this series. GSE Dean Susan Fuhrman will moderate the event, 5-7:30 p.m. in Bodek Lounge, Houston Hall. For more information see

Dr. Dennis Culhane, chair of the Pluralism Committee, gave an interim report in which he said they are attempting to measure how much social interaction and participation there is among diverse student groups. He also said that an assessment of the question of discrimination in the University's housing policy will be part of the final report, due out by the end of the semester.

Dr. Steven Kimbrough, chair of the Communications Committee, gave the final report (Almanac February 24, 2004) which touched on their five charges: the Penn web site, e-mail issues, personal privacy, access to electronic resources, and changes to signage on campus which are expected to be completed this spring.

Dr. Yvonne Patterson, chair of the Community Relations Committee, gave a final report (Almanac February 24, 2004) which described their role as advocates for the local community and their recommendations to improve outreach to those who do not have internet access, and to make affordable housing for lower income families available by changing the boundaries of the mortgage program. 

Ron Ward, manager of Transportation Services, gave a presentation on the PennPass Program. Through an agreement with SEPTA that began in 1999, full-time Penn students can purchase a semester-based discounted city-wide pass to ride on buses, trolleys, and trains. SEPTA is not yet equipped, he said, to read PennCards but may be able to in five years. Pennon contributes to keep the price lower than what it would cost for four monthly basenjis currently the only university in Philadelphia offering their students this reduced rate pass. A PennPass is $250 per semester and is non-refundable if lost or stolen. Monthly passes are available through payroll deduction for faculty and staff. Those who use SEPTA  less frequently can purchase tokens at several campus locations (Moravian Food Court, Houston Hall, Penn Bookstore, and the Student Credit Union).

The Personnel Benefits Committee's interim report was given by its chair Dr. David Freiman. He described a Caremark disease management program for those with chronic conditions that could help employees stay healthy and save Penn money by avoiding the need for acute care. Keystone has switched from using full social security numbers on ID cards to a portion of the SSN. He also mentioned the funding requirements for FAS 106, which the provost described as "a balance sheet issue." Dr. Barchi also added that due to continued inflation of medical care costs, Penn will have to consider changes to keep costs affordable.

Dr. Lance Donaldson-Evans, chair of Steering, asked for faculty to serve on the Facilities and the Bookstores Committees.



  Almanac, Vol. 50, No. 24, March 2, 2004