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SENATE From the Senate Chair
March 18, 2008, Volume 54, No. 25

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, March 5, 2008

Chair’s Report. Faculty Senate Chair Larry Gladney reported that he discussed the Senate Committee on Students and Educational Policy (SCSEP) interim draft report on flat tuition with the Provost and is hoping to discuss the draft report with a few school deans. He also announced that the Nominating Committee has almost completed the slate for 2008-2009 and thanked the Nominating Committee for their hard work.  Dr. Gladney asked each SEC member to forward a name from their constituency for next year’s Nominating Committee to Sue White in the Faculty Senate Office.

Discussion on Mandatory Self-Disclosure. Professor Steve Phipps, Chair of the Senate Committee on Faculty and the Academic Mission (SCOF), reviewed the committee’s work on the examination of the proposed policy of mandatory faculty self-disclosure for prospective faculty. After a robust discussion, SEC voted and unanimously approved the following statement:

“The Faculty Senate Executive Committee (SEC) has examined the question of whether or not prospective faculty members considered for appointment at the University should be asked to disclose prior criminal convictions (hereinafter referred to as “self-disclosure”). On May 16, 2007, the Senate Committee on Faculty and the Academic Mission (SCOF) produced a Report to the Provost on Disclosure of Prior Criminal Records in Faculty Hiring. SEC affirms the findings of this report as a definitive description of the rationales for and against adoption of a policy of self-disclosure. 

On this basis, SEC does not recommend the development of such a policy for Penn faculty who are not already subject to self-disclosure because of regulatory or accrediting agency policies or federal law. Furthermore, SEC does not support mandatory self-disclosure for any constituency at the University.”

For the May 16, 2007 “Report on Disclosure of Prior Criminal Records in Faculty Hiring” click here.

The Economic Status of the Faculty Draft Report. Professor Laura Perna, Chair of the Senate Committee on the Economic Status of the Faculty (SCESF) discussed the 2006-2007 draft report with SEC. Dr. Perna reviewed the economic data tables and the report recommendations. SEC discussions focused on timeliness, gender differences, and the addition of a school-by-rank table. Dr. Perna reminded SEC that SCESF will be producing the 2007-2008 report later this year.

Copyright in the Digital Age. Robert R. Terrell, Associate General Counsel of the University of Pennsylvania, discussed the legal framework for copyright issues. Mr. Terrell explained the following copyright basics: definition of original authorship, fair use of original works of authorship, the University of Pennsylvania’s copyright policies, and how the Internet has affected the copyright landscape. SEC members suggested that Mr. Terrell draft a document on frequently asked questions to help educate other faculty members. Mr. Terrell recommended that faculty call his office if they have any additional questions.



Almanac - March 18, 2008, Volume 54, No. 25