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Trustees’ October Meeting Coverage
November 4, 2008, Volume 55, No. 11

As Trustee Chair James Riepe remarked when he called the Stated Meeting of the Trustees to order on October 31, these are  “tumultuous times” and it is necessary to evaluate the implications for Penn but he is “still optimistic.”

 He presented a resolution to amend the Statutes of the Trustees: to reflect a name change for the College of General Studies to College of Liberal and Professional Studies as the School of Arts and Sciences’ lifelong learning program; and to reflect the addition of Clinician Educators as members of the faculty in non-health schools. Mr. Riepe also presented resolutions of appreciation for three trustees who have “served the University with great passion,” Mitchell J. Blutt, Alan G. Hassenfeld and Mitchell I. Quain.

The trustees also passed a resolution of appreciation and designation as emeritus trustee for Alvin V. Shoemaker, H’95, who has been “true to the Red and Blue” since graduating from Wharton over 50 years ago. He served as chair of the Penn Trustees from 1984-94—during the Campaign for Penn which raised more than $1.4 billion, and led in the presidential search that resulted in the appointment of Dr. Judith Rodin, and inspired the Penn Club in New York City. Mr. Shoemaker said that the biggest single change at Penn that he has witnessed over the decades is that the institution now has more “self-confidence,” there are “no limits to what we can do.”

David M. Silfen, C’66, a member of the board since 1998, was elected a charter trustee. William P. Egan II, WG’69, and Katherine S. Sachs, CW’69—both members of the board since 2004, were elected as term trustees effective January 1, 2009.

President Amy Gutmann noted that thanks to the University’s prudent management and keen focus on priorities, Penn will be poised to “do more with less” in these difficult financial times. She also announced that the Making History campaign launched last year has reached 63% of its goal as of October 28, at $2.19 billion. This year’s goal is $450 million and there are already $129 million in new gift commitments.

The Campus Development Plan, Penn Connects, is progressing—the new post office is complete where the annex had been; renovations are taking place in the historic 30th Street Post Office building and the design for the Penn Park is nearing completion. The Weave Bridge components are being fabricated in Pittsburgh, and will be assembled on site to create a pedestrian bridge that would cross the Amtrak rail lines near Bower Field. She also thanked trustee George Weiss for his generosity; the Weiss Pavilion will contain a state-of-the-art Weight Training and Fitness Center within the northern arcade of Franklin Field. The Music Building renovation has begun; the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine officially opened on October 2.

President Gutmann said that she soon will be traveling to Dubai to attend the World Economic Forum ‘Summit on Global Agenda.’ She will then be traveling to Ghana, China and to Davos, Switzerland, where the outcomes of the Summit will be presented at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2009 for further discussion and action. Wharton Dean Thomas Robertson and PIK Professor John Gearhart will also be attending that event.

Dr. Gutmann presented a resolution of appreciation for Dean Gary Hack who led the School of Design, from 1996 to 2008, presiding over the name change from Graduate School of Fine Arts and launching PennPraxis—a unique consulting and practice unit, and establishing the T.C. Chan Center, specializing in building energy and technology research.  Dr. Gutmann then presented a resolution to appoint Marilyn Jordan Taylor, an internationally known architect, as dean of the School of Design.

Provost Ron Daniels gave the Penn Medicine Report on behalf of Dr. Arthur Rubenstein. He expressed the need to be vigilant and concerned about the financial situation. He said that the Abramson Cancer Center is scheduled to move in December. This year Penn had more people inducted into the Institute of Medicine than other institutions—five from Penn Medicine and one from the School of Nursing.

Provost Daniels then gave the Academic Report, focusing on the School of Veterinary Medicine which in anticipation of celebrating its 125th anniversary next year has launched its $125 million campaign; $68 million has been raised.

EVP Craig Carnaroli gave the financial report, noting that the impact of the financial situation has rippled through the University. On a consolidated basis, the University’s total net assets as of August 31 decreased one percent since June 30, 2008. The total endowment value as of August 31 is $6.15 billion, a $80.3 million (-1.3%) decrease since June 30, 2008.  However, he noted good progress in contributions and a modest growth in sponsored programs. In the Health System component, the admissions have increased 2.8 percent and there is strength in such areas as cardiac and cancer care.

Dr. Deborah Marrow’s Academic Policy report noted that there are many collections at Penn, such as rare books and museum artifacts that could provide more students with research opportunities. Abby Seldin, a graduate student in anthropology, co-curated the Museum’s exhibition, Fulfilling a Prophecy: The Past and Present of the Lenape in Pennsylvania.

The Audit and Compliance Committee presented a resolution to oversee the development, implementation and administration of the Federal Trade Commission Red Flags Rule Program—an Identity Theft Prevention Program to be overseen by the Associate Vice President for Audit, Compliance and Privacy.

The Development Committee reported that the Campaign’s first public year went well and there have been and will continue to be alumni events in the US and abroad to engage alumni.

The External Affairs Committee reported on the new Public Safety video, with voice over by trustee Andrea Mitchell. Penn faculty have given more than 180 interviews on election-related topics. Penn student groups, Penn Democrats, Penn Republicans and Penn Leads the Vote have collaborated on voter registration and registered more than 4,000 voters.

The Facilities and Campus Planning Committee chair William Mack reported on the work of the Environmental Sustainability Committee and that Penn is seeking LEED certification for all new buildings. There will be another HUB residential/retail building developed east of the first HUB on Chestnut Street; this one will an be 8-story building with 60 apartments, and sheltered parking spaces for bicycles.

Neighborhood Initiatives  reported on collaborations between the Office of Government Community Affairs and the members of the community, such as the First Thursday meetings; the effects of City and Commonwealth budget cuts on the Penn Museum and the School of Veterinary Medicine; the effectiveness of Public Safety’s deployment of resources and their ‘PennReady’ emergency preparedness campaign. Anne Papageorge, vice president, Facilities and Real Estate, is tracking the potential opportunity for the Neighborhood Preservation Development Fund to acquire real estate in the University City area. Penn’s Mortgage Program, which expanded its boundaries in 2004, has had 895 participants in the last ten years.

Student Life reported on OASIS (Online Admissions Staff Information System), the new online application system for undergraduate admissions which now has 90% of applicants applying online. The Office of Alcohol & Other Drug Program Initiatives has a new program which has been successful in reducing binge drinking.

Howard Marks, chair of the Investment Board, reported that although this is a tough period financially, Penn’s cash is secure. 

Budget and Finance presented eight resolutions:

to authorize design and construction of the Richards Building and John Morgan Building renovations for Otorhinolaryngology ($1.085 million);

to authorize purchase and delivery of a PET/CT Scanner for the Roberts Proton Therapy Center at the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine ($1.4 million);

to authorize the Museum purchase of a collections database management system ($1.578 million);

to authorize the design development for a new College House on Hill Square for an additional $2.8 million (total to date $5 million);

to authorize the purchase and replacement of an air handling unit, back-up chiller and emergency generator for ULAR at Stemmler 5 ($5.85 million);

to authorize Rodin/Du Bois College House interior renovation ($29.8 million);

to authorize the ground lease and development by the lessee of the property at 3939-41 Chestnut Street for The HUB 3 project;

and to authorize the refinancing of certain UPHS indebtedness.

Mr. Riepe announced these appointments to Boards: Richard D. Feintuch was appointed as the vice chair of the Overseers of the Annenberg Center; William W.M. Cheung was appointed chair of the Overseers of the School of Dental Medicine; Alex Haidas and Jeffrey M. Rosenbluth were appointed overseers of SEAS; Stephen A. Cozen, Robert C. Sheehan and Robert I. Toll were re-appointed overseers of the Law School; Peter G. Gould and Luis Fernandez were appointed overseers of the Museum; Stephen Golding was appointed to the board of Penn Praxis; Shiv V. Khemka was appointed an overseer of Wharton.




Almanac - November 4, 2008, Volume 55, No. 11