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SENATE: From the Senate Chair
February 26, 2008, Volume 54, No. 23

The following is published in accordance with the Faculty Senate Rules.
Among other purposes, the publication of SEC actions is intended to stimulate discussion among the constituencies and their representatives. Please communicate your comments to Sue White, executive assistant to the Senate Office, either by telephone at (215) 898-6943, or by e-mail at senate@pobox.upenn.edu.

Faculty Senate Executive Committee Actions
Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Chair’s Report  Faculty Senate Chair Larry Gladney noted the next SEC meeting will be in two weeks on March 5th and will start at 2:30 p.m.  The March meeting will feature discussions on the 2006-2007 Annual Report of the Economic Status of the Faculty, mandatory faculty disclosure, and a presentation on Copyright in the Digital Age by Robert R. Terrell, Associate General Counsel of the University of Pennsylvania.  Dr. Gladney urged SEC members to review the March meeting documents prior to the meeting and reminded SEC members that the meeting will start at 2:30 p.m.

Diversity in Faculty Hiring  The Need and the Challenge.  Wendy White, Senior Vice President, Office of the General Counsel discussed the legal framework of diversity in faculty hiring. 

Updates on the Faculty  Provost Ron Daniels discussed the Progress Report on Minority Equity reviewing progress in faculty recruitment and retention, strengthening faculty information systems, challenges of opening the pipeline, and continuing efforts to build a diverse faculty. Provost Daniels noted the new addition of Table 3:  Standing Faculty by School Department, which allows for better data collection and analysis.  Measurements of excellence to eminence were discussed including the importance of metrics, and continuous evaluation.  The University of Pennsylvania’s unique qualities of interdisciplinary collaboration and connection to the city were also noted.

Interim Report from the Senate Committee on Students and Educational Policy (SCSEP) Associate Professor Paul Sniegowski discussed the Graduate Tuition Reform report which compares the current system of graduate tuition costs to a proposed new “flat tuition” system.  Dr. Sniegowski reviewed the report which focuses on PhD education and addresses the following questions: What is the current system of graduate tuition costs? What is the motivation for reform? What is the proposed new system, and what aspects of the new system are problematic or beneficial? Dr. Sniegowski discussed the recommendations: assurance that the administration will monitor the effects of the new tuition system and take steps to maintain equitable graduate funding across schools, conduct a review of the effects of graduate tuition reform after three years, and for faculty to stay alert for unanticipated negative consequences of the new tuition system and bring them to the attention of the administration.


Related: Faculty Senate Executive Committee Agenda, March 5, 2008.

Almanac - February 26, 2008, Volume 54, No. 23