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November 24, 2009, Volume 56, No. 13

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, November 18, 2009

Chair’s Report. Faculty Senate Chair Harvey Rubin reported that the Senate committees are working hard on their charges.  He notified SEC members that the December meeting will be a discussion format on the topic of the trajectory of the faculty and noted that the meeting will not be held in 205 College Hall.  Dr. Rubin explained that the location of the meeting will be announced in a forthcoming e-mail.

2009-2010 Nominating Committee Ballot. SEC members voted for the 2009-2010 Nominating Committee Chair.

Developing a World Class Faculty. Provost Vincent Price updated SEC on the goals to develop and maintain a world class faculty: eminence, diversity, integration, and engagement.  He reviewed challenges in the current economic climate including: Penn’s endowment in comparison to peer institutions, recruitment and retention of faculty in a competitive environment, work-life balance for faculty, childcare needs, family friendly policies, and pressures on faculty academic leaders. Provost Price outlined opportunities at Penn such as: a strong student body, an outstanding faculty and staff, a commitment to excellence, effective stewardship of resources, and regional strengths. He discussed strategies for faculty development including: assessment and accountability, identification of best practices, tenure and promotion, mid-career development, and retirement. He reviewed new initiatives to address records management and data analysis issues, workshops to improve faculty searches and to orient and train department chairs, and resources available to promote diversity.

Admissions Update.  Dean of Admissions Eric Furda reported on the admissions landscape locally at Penn and nationally around the country. He stated that the office has received all early admissions applications as of November 1, noting that Penn receives more early admissions applications than any other university in the country. Mr. Furda outlined admissions outreach efforts including programs such as partnering with the Posse Foundation and the Quest Bridge program that advance the goal of making Penn more accessible to exceptional students who otherwise could not afford an Ivy League education. He expressed interest in utilizing Penn faculty as advocates to talk to potential students noting that MIT and Brown University are both doing this in various ways.  SEC discussion focused on topics such as outreach to international students and students in rural areas of the country, gender identification on the online application, and ways that graduate school faculty and retired faculty can help the Office of Admissions.

 

Almanac - November 24, 2009, Volume 56, No. 13