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Trustees’ Winter Meeting Coverage
February 27, 2007, Volume 53, No. 24

At last week’s Winter meeting of the University’s Trustees, Chairman James Riepe remarked that there is “great momentum” here at Penn, with a record number of applicants, new buildings and PIK Professors, as well as the recent presidential appointments of Penn people at Harvard and Haverford (Almanac February 20, 2007).  Assistant Vice President of Alumni Relations Robert Alig who is leaving Penn to become a Vice President at College Board was applauded for all he has done for Alumni Relations since 2001 (Almanac May 15, 2001).

President Amy Gutmann asked for a moment of silence to remember two faculty members who have recently passed away: Bob Lucid (Almanac December 19, 2006) and Alan MacDiarmid (Almanac February 13). President Gutmann also commented on how much Barbaro “changed our lives” and how the $3 million gift from his owners (Almanac February 20) will help the School of Veterinary Medicine fight deadly conditions like laminitis. The President presented a resolution, which the Trustees passed, to appoint Gregory Rost as Vice President and Chief of Staff (Almanac December 12, 2006).

Provost Ron Daniels said that by the end of the spring semester he expects that the two searches currently underway—for associate provost for faculty affairs and the director of the Museum—will be completed.

The President then announced the appointment of Dr. Andrew Porter as the new dean of the Graduate School of Education. Dr. Gutmann said Dr. Porter would “build on GSE’s impressive record” and expand interdisciplinary collaboration across the schools.

EVP Craig Carnaroli reported that there was a “very strong financial performance” for the first six months of the fiscal year due in large part to the Health System, especially in the clinical areas and the University’s investment performance. The recent upgrade from Moody’s (Almanac January 30) puts Penn “back in the upper echelon.” He said that the Inn at Penn strongly recovered after the year-long renovations.

Dr. Arthur Rubenstein’s Penn Medicine report echoed Mr. Carnaroli’s sentiment that UPHS continues to function in a sound environment. He noted the miraculous situation with the patient who had his heart removed and is “doing well” with the temporary artificial heart that is in place while he waits for a donor heart.

On behalf of the Budget and Finance Committee, chairman John Clark presented six resolutions which were approved: Module VII Chilled Water expansion, $29.8 million; the design and construction of the animal bio-safety level 3 and bio-safety level 3 laboratory renovations, $9.46 million; purchase, delivery and installation of a T7 magnet in the Stellar Chance basement, $8.5 million; design and construction of the School of Dental Medicine Evans Periodontic Clinic renovations, $3.05 million; a lease for space to be occupied by Public Safety at 108 S. 40th Street, $1.26 million; a lease for space to be occupied by the School of Medicine Pulmonary Division at the Abramson Research Building, $1.2 million.

Alan Hassenfeld, on behalf of the External Affairs Committee, described the three ‘spots’ focused on Penn graduates, created pro-bono by the Philadelphia-based Red Tettemer agency for Penn to use when given free air-time during NCAA Finals. One features 1891 alumnus John Heisman, namesake of the trophy; another on Trustee Andrea Mitchell, NBC’s chief foreign affairs correspondent; and the third one on Grammy-winning musician John Legend from the Class of 1999.

Bill Mack gave an update, from the Facilities and Campus Planning committee, on the revisions to Penn Connects (Almanac January 23), which will involve the athletic precinct. There will be phased construction of the 28 acres, including the relocation of the tennis courts, new fields and a seasonal air structure covering one of them for use as a practice venue. The Palestra Green is envisioned as an extension of Locust Walk and the adjacent Franklin Pavilion, a weight-training and fitness center will be created by infilling the arches. Mr. Mack also summarized the presentation that had been given by Vice President for Facilities Anne Papageorge on environmental sustainability. While Penn is a leader in wind energy and has other initiatives underway like composting and recycling, the University will explore LEED building standards and create a new Advisory Group to capture the “synergy of science, practice and education.”

The Neighborhood Initiatives committee had heard a presentation from Dr. Dennis Culhane on the changes in the vicinity, such as the increase in the median sales price of homes, the decrease in robberies, and an increase in narcotics arrests. Dr. Susan Taylor reported that she and committee chair Gil Casellas had attended the First Thursday meeting on February 1 where they had constructive dialogue with some 80 representatives from the neighborhood about safety and security, education, economic development, economic inclusion, access to facilities, housing and real estate, and politics.

Alan Hassenfeld reported that the Student Life committee heard about the emergency protocols available 24-7 to assist students in crisis. He also explained that nearly half of Penn’s students are graduate students who are contemplating a proposal to have one rather than two student groups.

The following were appointed to Overseer and other Boards:  David Brashear to Board of Overseers of Annenberg Center for Performing Arts; Marc McMorris and John Reinberg to SAS Board; Marc Rapaport to Athletics Board; Cynthia Golub, Ariel Groveman Weiner, Michael Weiner, Sharon Weiner and Eloise Wood to Board of Overseers of the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies; Glenn Oxner and Irving Rothstein to Board of Dental Medicine; Ofer Nemirovsky to Board of SEAS; Jay Penske to Board of Libraries; Randall Mehrberg to Penn Medicine Board; Deborah McColloch to Board of Penn Praxis; Ann Nolan Reese to Board of Social Policy and Practice; Jerome Rosenthal and Robin Rubenstein to Board for Veterinary Medicine; Wistar Institute Board and Marie Savard and David Sweet to WXPN Policy Board.

Almanac - February 27, 2007, Volume 53, No. 24