SENATE From the Senate Office
The following is published in accordance with the Faculty Senate Rules. Among other purposes, the publication of SEC actions is intended to stimulate discussion among the constituencies and their representatives. Please communicate your comments to Kristine Kelly, either by telephone at (215) 898-6943 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senate Executive Committee Actions
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Chair’s Report. Faculty Senate Chair Charles Mooney updated the committee on the status of the Senate Rule Changes he had discussed with SEC earlier this semester. The proposed rule changes will be presented to the Senate at a special meeting this fall.
Professor Mooney informed SEC that at its April meeting the School of Nursing and School of Medicine will be presenting new faculty track proposals. SEC will also be presented with standing charges for the Senate Committees for its approval. Professor Mooney encouraged SEC members to be present for what will be a heavy agenda.
It was also announced that Don Voet will chair the Senate Committee on Committees, and John Dixon Hunt will chair the Senate Nominating Committee.
Finally, SEC learned of the Senate Chairs’ plan to host an “open forum” faculty reception for the President and Provost next fall.
Past Chair’s Report on Academic Planning & Budget and Capital Council. Past Senate Chair Lance Donaldson-Evans updated SEC on the proceedings at both AP&B and Capital Council.
Update with the President and Interim Provost. Sherrill Adams, chair of the Faculty Development, Diversity and Equity Committee, first briefed both the president and interim provost on the work of the Senate Committee. She reported on the Committee’s Mentoring Survey and, while it is not yet completed and has not been fully analyzed, the Committee is very pleased with the results and hopes that the survey will act as a catalyst within individual schools and departments to discuss the importance of mentoring.
The Committee hopes to use this survey and its responses to develop a best practices mentoring template for schools and departments that have expressed interest. The School of Nursing’s mentoring retreat and comprehensive plan was highlighted as a possible best practice model.
The Committee’s next steps are to meet with Barney Lentz, director of Institutional Research, and obtain additional data in order to perform an outcomes analysis using the survey responses.
Interim Provost Peter Conn next updated SEC on the Gender Equity update that will be published in Almanac in the very near future. Professor Conn reviewed the report and briefly discussed its findings. He encouraged SEC to read and comment on the report when it is published in Almanac. SEC was also informed that the Minority Equity Report is drafted and is still going through some committee revisions. It is slated to go to the full Trustee Board in June so it will indeed be finished.
President Amy Gutmann discussed the ongoing efforts and initiatives for the Penn Compact. She first updated SEC on Penn Integrates Knowledge, which is a University-wide initiative to recruit faculty members to the University of Pennsylvania whose research and teaching exemplify the integration of knowledge across disciplines. The University received its first significant gift ($10 million) and will create four endowed University professorships, which will be joint appointments between Penn’s schools. The newly created professorships will be awarded to distinguished faculty who have demonstrated exceptional intellectual achievement across disciplines.
Dr. Gutmann also informed SEC that the financial aid budget will be increased by an additional $1.8 million, totaling a $6.8 million increase on the year. This is intended to fund three new initiatives to aid middle- and low-income students. The initiatives will include allowing outside scholarships to supplement, rather than replace, Penn-funded aid; increasing allowances for incidental expenses for low-income students; and replacing summer savings for low-income students with grant money. Currently, students are expected to save approximately $1,000 of summer income. These improvements in financial aid will affect approximately 1,250 students effective this September.
Finally, Dr. Gutmann mentioned that the Penn Trustees will be having a retreat this spring to discuss the Penn Compact and its initiatives.
USCAR Proposal. SEC next discussed the United States Cultural Analysis Requirement, which was recently presented to Council. Senate Chair Charles Mooney reminded SEC that the students who originally developed this proposal presented it to SEC last year.
SEC Member and Pluralism Committee Chair Oscar Gandy provided the background of the Council meeting for those not present, and Professor Mooney reported that the consensus of Council was that a requirement was not feasible. The Pluralism Committee will now work on incentives for cultural analysis courses.
SEC discussed possible incentives, and it was agreed that the tri-chairs would draft a resolution on the proposal for SEC’s review.
Parent’s Income Data. In follow up to a SEC discussion at a previous meeting, Bernard Lentz, director of Institutional Research presented SEC with data on parental income of Penn students. Income categories covered the year 1974, 1994 and 2003.
Almanac, Vol. 51, No. 26, March 29, 2005