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March 30, 2010, Volume 56, No. 27

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 24, 2010

Senate Rule Changes. In a special meeting of the Senate, open to all members of the Senate, the Proposed Changes to the Rules of the Faculty Senate were unanimously approved: to provide a Penn Association of Senior and Emeritus Faculty (PASEF) member of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee (SEC) with a seat on University Council.

The Bylaws of University Council state that 45 members of SEC are to be voting members of University Council. To keep that total, the Senate voted to replace the SEC Past-Secretary seat on University Council with the SEC PASEF member.

Chair’s Report. Faculty Senate Chair Harvey Rubin reported that the Senate Committee on Students and Educational Policy (SCSEP) asked for SEC feedback on faculty concerns regarding the possible distraction of laptops in the classroom. SEC members discussed various approaches they have used to limit or prohibit the use of laptops in the classroom and Dr. Rubin encouraged SEC members to contact him with their thoughts on this subject.

Past Chair’s Report: Faculty Senate Past-Chair Sherri Adams invited all SEC members to the Penn Forum for Women Faculty lecture and discussion on Mirages of Equality: Progress of Women in Science at MIT, 1971–2009 by Nancy Hopkins on Thursday, March 25.

Discussion and vote of School of Engineering and Applied Science Proposal to amend Faculty Handbook provisions relating to non-standing faculty tracks: Dr. Rubin reminded SEC members that at the February meeting, SEC 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. 

Dr. Rubin reported that SCOF met with SEAS Dean Eduardo Glandt and Deputy Dean Vijay Kumar on March 12, 2010 and discussed numerical data concerning the Penn Engineering courses taught by non-standing faculty. Dr. Rubin reviewed the SEAS data with SEC and noted that over the last few years the school has shifted from using part-time adjunct faculty to full-time specialized faculty and the proposed changes in faculty tracks will provide a career path for those full-time specialized faculty. SEC members discussed the impacts of the proposed faculty track change. 

SEC members voted to approve the School of Engineering and Applied Science Proposal and the Faculty Handbook Section II.B.3 Associated Faculty and II.B.4 Academic Support Staff language changes recommended by SCOF.

Discussion on Copyright Templates. SEC members voted unanimously to approve the two copyright templates (see below) developed by the Senate Committee on Students and Educational Policy (SCSEP) working with the Office of General Counsel.  

Update from the Provost. Provost Vincent Price updated SEC on the work in the three main areas of the Office of the Provost: Faculty Affairs, Education, and Research. He announced that Vice Provost Lynn Lees is a wonderful new addition to the office and will continue with faculty development plans such as the Penn Fellows and Chair orientation programs. Provost Price reported that Vice Provost Andy Binns has been working on the online course evaluation system and online syllabi system and continues his work on the challenges of interdisciplinary teaching. He explained that Vice Provost Steve Fluharty is very busy managing the research enterprise and the stimulus funding. Provost Price reported that there were 26,800 applicants to Penn this year which is a significant increase from last year. SEC members and Provost Price discussed the micro and macro decisions that rest with individual school faculties, the challenge of monitoring and managing faculty track numbers, the burden of growing regulatory demands, the Target of Opportunity Committee and fund, and the need for Penn to increase their visibility in international education.

Senate Committee on Committees. SEC members voted on a ballot of names for specific 2010-2011 committees, as proposed by the 2010 Senate Committee on Committees.

Copyright Templates

The Senate Committee on Students and Educational Policy (SCSEP) explored situations involving student reuse or distribution of course materials which have lead to questions about faculty rights in and the limits on student use of course materials.  SCSEP, working with the Office of General Counsel, developed the following model statements that faculty may use on their syllabus, course website, and introductory materials to inform students of their expectations, if they so choose.  Recognizing that courses differ and that not all faculty share similar views on how their original materials may be used, the statements are not intended as recommendations, but rather as examples of acceptable conditions among a range of permissible positions.  If faculty have questions or wish to modify the statements to permit other uses of their materials, they may contact the Office of the General Counsel for advice.

General copyright statement that could be placed on the syllabus and course website:

“Copyright (year) (author’s name).  All federal and state copyrights reserved for all original material presented in this course through any medium, including lecture and print.  Any copyrighted material provided in this course is for your personal, noncommercial use and may not be copied and distributed to others without the prior permission of the copyright owner.  Individuals are prohibited from being paid for taking or transferring class notes made during this course to any person or entity without the express written permission of (author’s name).”

Statement about lectures that could be included in introductory materials and given at the first lecture:

“My lectures are my own original expression and they are protected by state common law and federal copyright law.  You are of course authorized to take notes in class for your own personal, noncommercial use.  You may share them with other course participants, but you may not distribute them to anyone else without my prior permission.  If you wish to record my lectures, you must ask me in advance and I  may allow it.  However, any such recordings are solely for the personal, noncommercial use of you and other course participants and they may not be copied or distributed to anyone else without my prior permission.”

Related: Senate Nominations 2010-2011

Almanac - March 30, 2010, Volume 56, No. 27