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SENATE From the Senate Chair
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December 9, 2008, Volume 55, No. 15

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, December 3, 2008

Chair’s Report. Faculty Senate Chair Sherri Adams thanked SEC members for their lively discussion on the role of the non-standing faculty.  She reported that the Senate Committee on Faculty and the Academic Mission (SCOF) will continue to discuss this and she will report back on their progress. Dr. Adams announced the 4th annual Faculty Senate Founders Day Symposium: Seeking Sustainability, Penn Confronts the Local and Global Challenge. The Symposium is scheduled for Friday, January 16:  3– 5 p.m. with a reception after the discussion and will be moderated by President Amy Gutmann. Dr. Adams encouraged SEC members and their students to attend, and noted that SEC members will be receiving more information on this event.

Past Chair’s Report. Faculty Senate Past Chair Larry Gladney reported that Academic Planning and Budget will be discussing how the economic downturn will be affecting the University.

Ballot. Selection of six faculty members to serve on the ad hoc consultative committee in the selection of a new Provost. SEC members voted for six faculty members to serve on the consultative committee in the selection of a new Provost.

Update on the University. President Amy Gutmann reviewed her imminent message to the University Community that will outline the University’s plans in response to the downturn in the economy. She noted that, due to the record-breaking success of the Capital Campaign, the University is in a better position to face the current unstable economic climate. President Gutmann reaffirmed her commitment to need-blind financial aid and the no-loan initiative for undergraduate aid; and she stated that any increases in tuition must be moderate. The President outlined the cost-cutting measures that are important to reduce the University’s expenditures. She asked SEC members to forward to Executive Vice President Craig Carnaroli any ideas that the University should consider that will help the University weather the economic crisis. SEC members questioned President Gutmann concerning the impacts on: faculty recruitment; campaign goal commitments; and ways to increase revenue during this economic downturn.

President Gutmann discussed President-elect Obama’s new administration, noting that this administration will be intelligence-friendly and science-friendly. President Gutmann discussed the search for a new Provost for the University of Pennsylvania. She is looking forward to a smooth transition and hopes to move quickly to start the search process. President Gutmann reported that she is grateful for Provost Ron Daniels’ partnership and achievements, and is looking forward to working with Interim Provost Vincent Price. 

Admissions Landscape. Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Eric Furda reported that he has been evaluating the admissions office and is excited to implement some new initiatives. He explained that he is committed to use technology and data analysis for outreach and recruitment. Mr. Furda reported that he used the Quest Bridge National College Match Program to identify motivated lower income potential student applicants. He noted that there have been some new hires in his office this year and he has updated the admissions website. Mr. Furda discussed current trends of shifting demographics and the opportunity to recruit in the growing Southeast market. He added that the applications for international students are still increasing. Mr. Furda reported that the ACT test is becoming much more common throughout the U.S., and many students will take this exam in addition to the SAT. He reported that he will be meeting with the Senate Committee on Students and the Educational Policy (SCSEP) in two weeks to start discussions on possible mechanisms for faculty input and revising the McGill Report that is out-of-date.  SEC members offered strong support for faculty to talk to potential student applicants as advocates for Penn.

 

Almanac - December 9, 2008, Volume 55, No. 15