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Faculty Senate Executive Committee Actions
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Chair’s Report: Faculty Senate Chair Harvey Rubin reported that the March SEC meeting will be held in the Meyerson Conference Room on the 2nd floor in the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library. Dr. Rubin announced that the March SEC meeting will start as a meeting of the full Senate with an agenda to vote on a Faculty Senate Executive Committee Bylaw change.
Past Chair’s Report: Faculty Senate Past-Chair Sherri Adams reported that the Academic Planning and Budget Committee heard a report on undergraduate research and had a short presentation on the status of the budget. Dr. Adams reported that Capital Council approved infrastructure improvements.
Discussion and vote of School of Engineering and Applied Science Proposal to amend Faculty Handbook provisions relating to non-standing faculty tracks: Senate Committee on Faculty and the Academic Mission (SCOF) Chair Reed Pyeritz presented the SCOF recommendation to endorse the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) proposal to alter several specifications in the Faculty Handbook regarding non-standing faculty and academic support staff. Dr. Pyeritz explained that specifically the proposal is asking for: an ‘Associate Professor of Practice’ to be established in the practice professor track of the non-standing faculty; a ‘Principal Lecturer’ designation superior to the current senior lecturer rank in the academic support staff; and that the 5% current cap (as a percentage of the number of standing faculty) on the number of senior lecturers be increased to 15% for senior and principal lecturers combined. He reported that SCOF devoted several meetings to these requests, posed questions to the senior leadership of SEAS, and met with Deputy Dean Vijay Kumar to review data on courses taught by academic support staff. Dr. Pyeritz stated that after this review SCOF endorsed the SEAS proposal and while urging for continued examination of the role of non-standing faculty at Penn, did not want that analysis to impede the SEAS request.
Dean Eduardo Glandt explained to SEC members the background of the request citing a need to enhance the quality of lecturers, and reduce reliance on part-time and adjunct lecturers. He explained that the proposed expansion in academic support staff is important to establish ties with and stay relevant to modern industry, as well as educate and train students in current areas.
After much discussion, SEC members voted unanimously to table the vote on the SEAS proposal and requested that SCOF invite SEAS Dean Eduardo Glandt and Deputy Dean Vijay Kumar to a meeting to discuss the rationale for the increase to 15% for the cap and also to gather more information about the range of courses that the proposed non-standing faculty would teach.
Division of Public Safety Overview: Vice President of Public Safety Maureen Rush updated SEC on public safety at Penn. She reviewed a map showing the Penn Patrol Zone which comprises a 2 1/2 mile radius. VP Rush provided crime statistics for aggravated assaults, homicides, sexual assaults, burglaries, and thefts. She showed the importance of crime mapping which enables the Department of Public Safety to track where a crime is committed and the location of the perpetrator’s residence. VP Rush reviewed Penn’s Public Safety Model which is comprised of: Human Resources, Fire Safety Technology, Emergency Communication, Community Engagement, and Lighting. She updated SEC on recent changes in the Philadelphia Police Department and how they have affected Penn’s Department of Public Safety. VP Rush reviewed the new Penn Siren Outdoor System, lighting, CCTV cameras, and diversity education and training for Penn police personnel. VP Rush proudly reported that for the third year, Penn is ranked number one for safety in the Higher Education sector by Security Magazine.