Print This Issue

Coverage of February’s University Council Meeting
March 13, 2007, Volume 53, No. 25

At the February 28 Council meeting, the proposal to amend the Bylaws was presented and described by Dr. Judy Shea, interim chair of the Committee on Diversity and Equity, the successor to the President’s Council on Affirmative Action and the University Council’s Pluralism Committee. The President’s Affirmative Action Council (Almanac February 16, 1982) and the Committee on Pluralism (Almanac March 16, 1993) have been effectively merged into the new committee since a quorum was attained and a motion to approve was made and passed.

EVP Craig Carnaroli gave an update to Penn Connects, the Campus Master Plan, with a focus on the athletic facilities at the east end of the campus. He stressed that the plan is consistent with the need for flexibility and attentive to how things might evolve.  In consultation with Steve Bilsky, the director of Intercollegiate Athletics, the plan now includes a seasonal air structure that could be covered from late fall to spring to allow for practices and other athletic activities. Mr. Carnaroli explained that the new approach is for a phased implementation, with a more rapid timeframe consistent with philanthropic gifts. The area in front of the Palestra, which now consists of tennis courts, would become the Palestra Green after the tennis courts are relocated. There would be a dozen outdoor courts; currently there are eight. There would also be a racquet center for squash and tennis. The arches of Franklin Field would be enclosed to create a weight training and fitness facility. There would also be five fields for various sports. In a later phase of the plan, the swimming pool that was closed at Hutchinson, would be replaced by a new one on the Highline Park.  He added that sustainable strategies would also be an important consideration in the plans.

Anne Papageorge, vice president of facilities and real estate services, then gave a presentation on Environmental Sustainability at Penn, highlighting some of the University’s efforts including the Design Guidelines that commit to “the responsible use of energy and natural resources in building design, construction, operation and maintenance;” the recently signed Presidents Climate Commitment and the investment in a sustainable neighborhood—University City—for over a decade, as well as the Penn-SEPTA partnership. She also noted the centralized chilled water and steam distribution and Penn’s wind power purchase of 30% of the campus electricity making it the #1 purchaser among educational institutions. The School of Design faculty will also be working with the Facilities staff to monitor energy use in the College Houses. Not only has Penn applied $178 million in FY 2007 to sustain existing buildings, the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Certification is targeted for high performance buildings like the Center for Advanced Medicine. Recycling and composting as well as student collaborations and sustainable landscapes were other ways that Penn is involved. An Advisory Group of faculty, staff, students and administrators will be created to help Penn improve its efforts going forward.

Status Reports from the President, Provost, GAPSA, PPSA and WPSA are on the Office of the University Secretary’s website at www.upenn.edu/secretary/council/StatusReports0228.html.

Almanac - March 13, 2007, Volume 53, No. 25