The fall Stated Meeting of the Trustees held last Thursday began with the Invocation that included "special blessings for our new president." There was a resolution of appreciation for Trustee Thomas Ehrlich, described by Chair James Riepe as "one of higher education's distinguished statesmen," for his "extraordinary contributions to Penn." There was also a resolution of appreciation for Alumni Trustee Lawrence C. Nussdorf for "his outstanding service to Penn." Robert Blank was elected to a five-year term as Term Trustee effective January 2005 on the expiration of his current Alumni Trustee term.
In the President's Report, Dr. Amy Gutmann said that on the eve of her inauguration she was particularly confident about Penn's future, with an effective leadership team in place and several searches underway. She applauded the "sustained political activism" of the students who spearheaded the campus voter registration and education efforts. She also mentioned that she is looking forward to welcoming the students to the President's House for Halloween, after she herself moves in.
A resolution was passed in appreciation for Rick Whitfield, vice president for audit and compliance since 1996, "for his innovative approach to ensuring Penn's continuing leadership in a complex and rapidly changing world." He is leaving Penn November 1 to become executive vice president and treasurer at Pace University in New York.
Dr. Peter Conn, interim provost, gave the Academic Report in which he described the recently designated University City Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ), designed to facilitate and improve commercialization of science and technology while stimulating the economy. The applicants for the KIZ were BioAdvance, Drexel, Penn and the Science Center.
EVP Craig Carnaroli gave the financial report for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2004. The consolidated University concluded the year with growth in net assets due to investment performance and contributions. The Health System constituted 76% of the growth in total revenue due to increased adult admissions, patient volumes and overall activity. For the fourth consecutive year, the Health System generated positive net income from operations. Penn's endowment exceeded $4 billion for FY '04.
Dr. Arthur Rubenstein expressed his optimism in his PennMedicine Report in spite of the shift in priorities for research programs due to changes in NIH funding.
The Trustees authorized: the renovation of Law School classrooms and other improvements in Roberts Hall ($5 million); the design and construction of areas in Van Pelt-Dietrich Library ($2 million); a five-year lease for the department of Academic Support Programs in Hamilton Mall at 40thStreet ($1.4 million); a five-year lease for the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs at 3933 Walnut Street ($1.2 million). Another resolution was passed to authorize the pledging of a reserve in escrow in connection with the release of the University guarantee of student loans.
The Facilities and Campus Planning Committee reported that plans are nearly final with a private developer for the proposed development of the parking lot at 34th and Chestnut which Penn purchased from the RDA in 1999. Plans include primarily rental apartments and some retail.
The Neighborhood Initiatives Committee reported on a joint Philadelphia Police/University Police community policing pilot project along 40th Street from Market Street to Baltimore Avenue to improve safety and quality of life improvements.
Almanac, Vol. 51, No. 8, October 19, 2004
October 19, 2004
Volume 51 Number 8