At the Trustees’ Annual Stated Meeting on June 16, the Board passed a resolution to bar investments of Penn’s endowment assets in seven international companies currently operating in Sudan as well as in obligations of the Sudanese government as a response to the genocide being committed in Darfur. This decision followed a University Council recommendation based on a report developed and presented by members of the Social Responsibility Advisory Committee, chaired by Dr. Gerald Porter. Penn does not now have any direct holdings in these companies. The divestment policy will prohibit future investment in all such holdings.
President Amy Gutmann announced that the School of Veterinary Medicine has received a $13.5 million grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the George D. Widener Hospital for Large Animals at New Bolton Center. The funds will be used toward the completion of new medical facilities on the New Bolton Center campus, including a new isolation building, a colic barn and a chemical digestion facility. The isolation building will provide added biosecurity for the treatment of infectious disease, while the colic barn is for the specialized treatment of horses with a variety of high-risk abdominal conditions. The chemical digestion facility will house a new technology that offers a safe and efficient means to dispose of infectious waste.
President Gutmann also announced that the University’s Campus Development Plan will be known as ‘Penn Connects’ to underscore Penn’s commitment to “build ever stronger connections to our region and our world.”
Provost Ron Daniels discussed some of the diversity initiatives underway including summer mentoring workshops for Philadelphia high school students; working on implementing recommendations of the Global Task Force and the Penn World Scholars, the Penn Global Initiatives Fund and the Global Forum which will be launched this academic year.
EVP Craig Carnaroli reported on “an awesome fiscal year” in which net assets increased, operating revenue increased and the total endowment as of April 30, 2006 was over $5 billion, a $775 million increase over June 30, 2005. He noted that the Health System had its best year since 1994, it was its sixth year of profitability. The Penn-owned hotels have had two strong years and as a result will be contributing nearly a million dollars to the street lighting program.
Dean of Admissions Lee Stetson reported that this was a record year with more than 20,000 applicants; 17.6 percent were accepted (13% regular decision) with approximately 2,400 students entering the Class of 2010. Students from all 50 states will once again be present, for the seventh straight year, in addition to students from 60 countries. This puts Penn ahead of the other Ivys with 12% international students.
The Trustees passed a Resolution of Appreciation for GSE’s departing Dean Susan Fuhrman and one for Dr. Alan Kelly who was dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine from 1994 to 2005. The Trustees also passed a resolutions to reappoint Michael Fitts as Dean of the Law School and Patrick Harker as Dean of the Wharton School, each for six more years.
The Fiscal Year 2007 Operating Budgets for the University and for the Health System were approved as well as the University’s Capital Plan, which represents project costs of $221.4 million and the UPHS Capital Budget of $334.1 million.
The Trustees authorized the expenditure of a total of $302 million for phase I of the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine ($261 million of which was previously approved). An integrated radiation oncology and proton therapy system was also approved.
The 3900 block of Walnut Street will be developed as mid-rise residential units geared toward students with retail space on the first floor; Penn will enter into a 65-year ground lease and development agreement with University Partners, a subsidiary of FirstWorthing Company.
President Gutmann noted that this building would meet a student demand for housing; 35% of Penn’s undergraduates live off campus.
The demolition of Pennsylvania Hall at the site of the former Civic Center, to prepare for future development by the School of Medicine, was approved ($31.55 million) along with a research building feasibility study for that site.
Elevator renovations in the David Rittenhouse Labs (DRL) were approved ($1.3 million).
Phase II of the BRB/CRB construction was approved in the amount of $3.25 million.
Renovations to the second floor of Blockley Hall for the expansion of the Center for Human Genetics and Complex Traits was approved ($3.162 million).
The Trustees reelected James Riepe as chair of the Board for another one-year term. Jon M. Huntsman was reelected as vice chair of the Board and William Mack was elected as vice chair. The following trustees were elected to the Executive Committee: Christopher Browne, Gilbert Casellas, John Clark, David Cohen, Paul Kelly, James Kim, Deborah Marrow, Andrea Mitchell, David Silfen, Alvin Shoemaker, George Weiss, Paul Williams and Mark Winkelman.
The following were elected to the Investment Board: Joel Greenblatt, Robert M. Levy, Howard Marks (chair), Edward Mathias, David Silfen and Mark Winkelman.
Dr. Raymond K.F. Ch’ien and Marc F. McMorris were elected Term Trustees. Gilbert Casellas, Jon M. Huntsman and Egbert Perry were elected Charter Trustees.
The Trustees appointed Christopher Browne as chair of the SAS Board of Overseers.