|Trustees’ Executive Committee Meeting Coverage
December 12, 2006, Volume 53, No. 15
At Thursday’s Stated Meeting of the Executive Committee of the University’s Board of Trustees, President Amy Gutmann exclaimed, “I am absolutely committed to being Penn’s President and not interested in any other presidency!” Applause quickly followed her emphatic remark, which had been prompted by recent news stories that indicated she was one of 30 candidates being considered by Harvard University.
Dr. Gutmann noted that fundraising has been going well this fiscal year, with $132.9 million in gifts and pledges thus far. She added that two schools launched their campaigns: Bold Ambitions at the Law School and Where Science Leads at the School of Nursing. The University dedicated the Vernon and Shirley Hill Pavilion, which doubles the School of Veterinary Medicine’s teaching and research space. The Claire M. Fagin Hall was recently dedicated in honor of Penn’s former interim president and Nursing’s dean emerita. The $15 million gift from the Roberts family for the Proton Center, which will be built next to the Center for Advanced Medicine, will allow Penn to create the most comprehensive proton therapy facility in the world.
President Gutmann said that Penn is “bestowing a large gift to higher education” in the form of Dr. Patrick Harker who will be leaving his position as Wharton’s dean to become the University of Delaware’s president next summer. “We are extremely sorry to lose him, but very proud,” Dr. Gutmann added.
Provost Ron Daniels reported that the summer mentoring program for high school students that was launched last year, with a few of Penn’s schools participating, will be expanded this year.
EVP Craig Carnaroli summarized the financial report for the University by noting Penn is off to a great start due in part to the strong health system and strong endowment. For the four months ending October 31, 2006, total net assets for the Consolidated University (academic and health system) increased to $7.735 billion. Net assets from operating activities increased $119.2 million, a 73% improvement over the prior year for the same four months. Net assets from non-operating activities increased $292.3 million as compared to a gain of $128.4 million the prior year. The total endowment value as of October 31, $5.71 billion, is a $544 million increase over June 30, 2006. The Health System recorded an excess of revenues over expenses from operations of $96.7 million which is $34.5 million higher than the prior year’s results. Overall unrestricted liquidity improved as days-cash-on-hand increased from 159.2 days to 164.2 days.
Budget and Finance Committee Chair John Clark presented five resolutions that had been discussed at their committee meeting that morning and were then approved by the Executive Committee:
• A resolution to authorize the design and construction of the high rise College House interior renovation, Phase II ($34.5 million), part of the anticipated four-year renovation program for all three high rise College Houses.
• A resolution to authorize the School of Nursing Phase II renovations ($15 million) which includes the third and fourth floors and floor 2U of the Claire M. Fagin Hall.
• A resolution to authorize additional capital budget funding for a capital project—the relocation and expansion of electrophysiology service at HUP ($14.4 million).
• A resolution to authorize additional capital budget funding ($6 million) for the development and construction of a new radiation oncology cancer treatment center at Chestnut Hill Hospital, including acquisition of a linear accelerator.
• A resolution to authorize SAS to renovate the third floor laboratory space in Chemistry 1973 wing to support a new PIK faculty member in nanoscale science and engineering with state-of-the-art research space ($2.15 million).