Trustees’ March 23 Stated Meeting Coverage
At the Stated Meeting of the Executive Committee of the Trustees last Thursday, Chairman Jim Riepe reported that Penn was doing well on several fronts: applicants for the incoming class were the best ever, financial management was excellent, faculty recruiting was growing and fundraising was going well.
President Amy Gutmann referred to her 2006 Asia tour that included India, China and Taiwan as 18 days on the ground and 82 hours in the air. She proudly spoke of the 90 Penn students who spent their Spring Break helping in Louisiana and Mississippi with the Fox Leadership Program. She also commended the 20 students who won international scholarships this year. President Gutmann called Commencement Speaker Jodie Foster one of the most “illustrative actors of our time” and described the honorary degree recipients for the 250th commencement. Dr. Gutmann explained that although last month the Supreme Court upheld the Solomon Amendment, Penn would abide by the law since the University cannot afford to lose federal funding, but would remain committed to diversity. Dr. Gutmann thanked Tom Stump for assuming the role of interim vice president for facilities and real estate. The new SEAS building, Skirkanich Hall will be completed in mid-May “green brick and all;” the dedication will be in June. In presenting the resolution on the appointment of Marie Witt as vice president for Business Services, Dr. Gutmann called Ms. Witt “one of our most steadfast Penn mainstays.” The resolution of appreciation for Omar Blaik—“more bitter than sweet”—enumerated his achievements over the past nine years.
Provost Ron Daniels commented on the recently revised policies to help faculty as well as Ph.D. students with career-life balance (Almanac February 28, 2006). He credited the GAPSA leadership with the idea for the interdisciplinary fellowships for graduate students (Almanac March 14, 2006). Provost Daniels said that in response to the administration’s challenge to have a safe Spring Fling, students have recruited 250 student volunteers to help ensure a successful event with “respect for property and each other.” He thanked Paul Williams for his “wise and generous funding” which will provide for an intervention specialist in the Alcohol Initiatives office.
Mr. Craig Carnaroli’s financial report described a favorable financial performance: on the academic side, strong growth in revenue, due to tuition, fees and sponsored programs; UPHS is also doing well financially with an increase in high intensity patients. The deferred maintenance in the College Houses, the demand for student services such as the Student Performing Arts Center which is scheduled to open in 2007, and the nearly completed sprinklering project in all on-campus housing, along with the higher than usual steam and natural gas prices are some of the challenges facing the University. However, he noted the increase in expenditures for utilities and Public Safety initiatives; these costs have increased recently (Almanac January 24, 2006). Public Safety has hired more Allied Security guards as well as an additional 15 sworn police officers.
In the Penn Medicine Report, Dr. Arthur Rubenstein spoke of the Match Day ceremony where the 156 med students who applied for a residency found out where they would be going; 98 percent matched around the country.
On behalf of the Budget & Finance Committee, Mr. Clark presented the resolution to authorize the undergraduate tuition, fees and student charges for 2006-07, bringing the total to $43,960. The trustees also authorized a revision to the Spending Rule Policy effective July 1, 2006, so that 70 percent of spending would be based on prior year spendable income plus an inflation factor, and 30 percent of spending on the endowment market value, lagged by one year, multiplied by a target spending rate of 4.7 percent.
Trustee Lee Spelman Doty was appointed to the Penn Medicine Board for a one-year term, and to the Penn Medicine Executive Committee.
Below are some of the slides presented at the Budget and Finance Committee meeting, by Bonnie Gibson, vice president for budget and management analysis. She explained that there have been significant increases in need among the undergraduate students; the demand for financial aid has grown over the years. In fact, 32 percent of the incremental revenue generated by the increase in tuition will be used for financial aid. She said that 80 percent of Penn’s financial aid is funded by unrestricted funds. Although the revenue from tuition accounts for 64% of the Academic Budget, the cost of providing a Penn education exceeds the total tuition and fee revenue. Compared to its peers, Penn will probably be seventh it terms of cost for tuition and fees for 2006-2007; some of the schools have not yet reported their tuition increase.
Almanac, Vol. 52, No. 27, March 28, 2006
March 28, 2006
Volume 52 Number 27