|Trustees' Meeting Coverage
February 26, 2008, Volume 54, No. 23
At last Friday’s Stated Meeting of the University Trustees, Chair James Riepe announced that Making History: The Campaign for Penn has already exceeded the half way mark. President Amy Gutmann elaborated in her report; she noted that Penn has raised $1.81 billion toward the $3 billion goal announced in October 2007. Dr. Gutmann thanked those who have recently made major gifts including Christopher Browne, Robert A. and Penny Fox and Edward and Barbara Netter; she also mentioned a $6 million gift for the Center of Judaic Studies in memory of Herb Katz, the first chair of the Center’s board of overseers. Dr. Gutmann presented a resolution to appoint Stephen D. Golding as Vice President for Finance and Treasurer; as well as a resolution of appreciation for Frank E. Claus who recently served in that role on an interim basis.
Provost Ron Daniels spoke about some of Wharton’s efforts toward internationalization such as the executive education program that is available at several locations around the world and Knowledge@Wharton, with its 1.1 million subscribers, and versions in four languages.
EVP Craig Carnaroli presented the financial report for the six months ending December 31, 2007. For the Consolidated University, total net assets increased 4.2% to $9.1 billion. The total endowment value as of the end of 2007 is $6.78 billion, a 2.2% increase over June 30, 2007. For the Academic Component, the total endowment value (University only) increased $125.3 million (2.3%) to $5.7 billion. The Health System Component reported a 4.5% increase in adjusted admissions; an increase of $30.2 million in total unrestricted net assets as well as an excess of revenue over expenses from operations of $129.2 million.
Dr. Arthur Rubenstein’s Penn Medicine Report noted that they have a sound financial environment in spite of the federal government reducing funding for NIH grants. He also noted that the patient who got a temporary total artificial heart at HUP last February (Almanac February 27, 2007), has since received a donor heart and is doing well. President Gutmann noted that Trustee Bob Fox exemplifies integrating knowledge having donated not only to endow the Fox Leadership Program as well as to the School of Medicine and to Athletics.
Dr. Susan Taylor reported that the Neighborhood Initiatives Committee heard about the impressions and aspirations of GSE’s new dean, Dr. Andrew Porter. The committee also had a presentation from VP for Public Safety Maureen Rush who described the upcoming test of the UPennAlert system, gave a crime update, and reported on a meeting that DPS hosted at Penn to give Philadelphia’s new Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey a chance to meet the public safety representatives from the area colleges and universities.
The Audit and Compliance Committee presented resolutions to appoint PricewaterhouseCoopers as Penn’s independent accountants for FY 2008; to increase the dollar threshold for dual signature requirement on University checks from $25,000 to $50,000; and to approve the charter of the Trustee Committee on Audit and Compliance.
The Budget & Finance Committee’s nine resolutions were all approved:
• to authorize design and construction of the Morris Arboretum Horticultural Center Phase I ($10.9 million) which is expected to be a LEED Platinum certified building;
• to authorize the Law School Silverman Hall ground floor and Tanenbaum Hall renovations ($5.5 million);
• to authorize a lease for space to be occupied by University Archives at 3401 Market Street ($3.27 million); their relocation is necessary due to the Franklin Field Pavilion project;
• to authorize the revised scope and budget for project work necessitated by the South Street Bridge Reconstruction for an additional $2.4 million (for a total revised budget of $9.3 million) including the new pedestrian bridge;
• to authorize design and construction of the Anatomy Chemistry Building 1st floor renovations ($2.25 million);
• to authorize schematic design for a new College House on Hill Square ($2.2 million);
• to authorize design and construction of the SEAS Moore Building suite 300, microfabrication lab renovation ($2.1 million);
• to authorize design and construction of the Annenberg School space on the second and third floors ($1.6 million);
• to authorize the refinancing of outstanding University indebtedness.