|University Council Coverage
May 4, 2010,
Volume 56, No. 32
Last Wednesday’s Council meeting was the final one of the semester. The meeting began with Provost Vincent Price thanking all of those who served on the Council this year. University Secretary Leslie Laird Kruly presented a certificate to Mark Lloyd, recognizing his 19 years of service as Council’s Parliamentarian. Provost Price also thanked the representatives of student constituencies, Corbett Brown of GAPSA, and Alec Webley of the UA, as well as Sherrill Adams, former chair of the Faculty Senate and Laurie McCall, chair of PPSA, for their service.
Executive Vice President Craig Carnaroli gave a presentation on the University’s response to the economic climate. He began with a broad overview of the University’s financial picture, and then discussed the various ways in which Penn has managed in the recession, including successful cost containment measures and ongoing efforts to reduce operating costs.
He noted that Penn should be especially proud of the increase in revenue from the stimulus act. 1,403 grants were submitted for $980 million, the largest of any private university in the country, with all 12 of Penn’s schools represented.
Mr. Carnaroli noted that it is a difficult time for the School of Veterinary Medicine, which lost 34% of its appropriation from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
He also stressed that Penn will continue to offer no-loan aid packages to accepted students in keeping with the Penn Compact’s goal of increasing access. In terms of future projections, the University has prepared a recession factor to account for the increase in demand for financial aid that correlates to the rise in unemployment.
He also said that 75% of the $3.5 billion goal for the Making History Campaign has been raised.
The chairs of the Council Committees each gave a brief summary of their final reports, which are included as a supplement to this issue.
Michael Topp, chair of the Committee on Academic and Related Affairs, discussed the issue of podcasting, and recommended that all classrooms across the University be equipped with the technology to record lectures.
Chair of the Committee on Campus and Community Life, Philip Nichols, noted that his committee met with directors of many cultural centers at Penn. He said that the centers are important because they create small communities within the larger one, and give students an opportunity to learn, grow and become leaders. The committee noted that non-traditional students tend to be underserved, and that Penn would benefit from a stronger working relationship with the religious centers on campus.
Chair of the Committee on Diversity and Equity, John Jackson, spoke about the new diversity website and new initiatives for retaining female faculty.
Walter Wales, who chaired the Committee on Facilities, recommended that changes be made to encourage bicycle safety at Penn, beginning with more facilities for bicycles.
Ingrid Waldron, chair of the Committee on Personnel Benefits, recommended that Penn provide a health care option that covers treatment for faculty and staff who identify themselves as transgendered.
Robert Hornick, chair of the Committee on Committees, thanked the committee chairs and members for their efforts this year. He noted that the inclusion of an administrative liaison was a successful endeavor, and that the administration will strive to give chairs direct feedback on their recommendations.
Steering Chair Harvey Rubin took suggestions for additional focus issues for next year.
In closing, the Provost once again thanked the committee members, chairs and everyone who had participated in Council for their service this year.