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Annual Report of the Committee on Manufacturer Responsibility
September 7, 2010, Volume 57, No. 02

The following report was sent on July 15, 2010 to President Amy Gutmann from Dr. Peter Cappelli, Chair of the Committee on Manufacturer Responsibility (CMR) in accordance with the Code of Workplace Conduct for University of Pennsylvania Apparel Licensees. As outlined in the Code, the CMR will review the Code annually; review the effectiveness of  monitoring; review the state of compliance of the apparel licensees and review any alleged violations of the Code.

The Code of Workplace Conduct for University of Pennsylvania Apparel Licensees can be found online at www.upenn.edu/almanac/volumes/v55/n02/apparel.html.

Annual Report of the Committee on Manufacturer Responsibility

Below please find our report on the activities of the Committee on Manufacturer Responsibility (CMR) for 2009-2010. This is the seventh year that the Committee has been in operation as mandated by the University’s Code of Workplace Conduct (the Code) for manufacturers licensed to provide apparel with the Penn logo or identification. We held four meetings, as required by the Code, on October 14, 2009, December 4, 2009, March 22, 2010 and April 27, 2010.  Membership in the CMR has been refreshed each year.  The 2009-2010 membership list is below.

As part of its monitoring efforts, the CMR works with and is a member of two organizations: the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC), an independent labor rights organization sponsored by a coalition of universities and colleges, and the Fair Labor Association (FLA), an independent monitoring organization sponsored by both industry and universities.

In addition to participating in these organizations, the CMR monitors our licensees annually by requiring them to complete a License Compliance Questionnaire (LCQ). This year the committee amended the Questionnaire to ask suppliers to disclose any difficulties they have encountered in the past year related to the Code. 

In 2009-2010, the University staff, led by Jackie Miraglia, developed an online version of the LCQs. Of the 37 licensees, 35 have responded, and 2 have decided not to renew their license agreement on July 1, 2010.

The Civic House invited representatives from the CMR to attend an event commemorating the anti-sweatshop sit-in 10 years ago that eventually led to the CMR.  Our CMR intern attended the event and briefed the attendees about the background to the Committee and the work that it does.

Our most substantive activity followed from the actions of the 2008-2009 CMR, which determined that Russell Athletics, one of our licensees, had violated the University’s Code in relation to its closure of a company-owned manufacturing facility in Honduras (Jerzees de Honduras).  As a result Russell Athletics’ license was not renewed for July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010.

This year’s Committee worked with the WRC and FLA to monitor Russell’s efforts to improve its workplaces.  The committee found that Russell has made significant progress during 2009 and 2010.  (The WRC Progress Report for Russell Athletics can be found at www.workersrights.org.)  As a result, the committee voted to invite Russell to reapply for licensing in July 2010.

As part of its future work the committee proposed the following:

• Monitor the situation with NIKE and factories in Honduras

• Explore the possibility of expanding the purview of the CMR to include non-apparel licensees

• Seek out potential licensees that are socially and sustainably responsible.

Thanks to the University administrative staff and the CMR members for their efforts this year.

—Peter Cappelli, Chair,
Committee on Manufacturer Responsibility

Committee on Manufacturer Responsibility

Peter Cappelli, Wharton School, Chair

Robin Leidner, SAS

Ken Foster, SEAS

Taylor Berkowitz, PPSA

Steven Hauber, WPPSA

Nicole Dillard, Civic House

Ayesha Chacko, Civic House

Dong Chen, Undergraduate Assembly

Ryan Burg, GAPSA

Tina-Marie Ranalli, GAPSA

Leo Charney, Provost’s Office

Leah Popowich, President’s Office (Ex-Officio)

Christopher Bradie, Business Services (Ex-Officio)

Ilene Wilder, Business Services (Ex-Officio)

Pierce Buller, Office of General Counsel (Ex-Officio)

Jackie Miraglia (Staff Support)

Andrew Schlossberg (Intern)


The following response from the president was sent to Peter Cappelli on August 19, 2010. 

Response to the Chair from President Gutmann

Thank you for writing on behalf of the 2009-2010 Committee on Manufacturer Responsibility (CMR). I appreciate the efforts put forth by the members of the Committee this past year and I am particularly grateful for your skilled leadership.

I applaud the Committee for the deliberative process used to report violations of the University’s Code of Workplace Conduct for Penn Apparel Licensees and to subsequently analyze the resulting actions of our apparel licensees. I support your recommendations with respect to the Russell Athletics facility in Honduras and praise the diligent process that resulted in your conclusions.

As evidenced by the Committee’s level of engagement in determining possible Code of Workplace violations, you and the other members of CMR have a full agenda in reviewing, investigating and ensuring our apparel licensees are honoring the policies and values on which Penn prides itself. Thank you for your able leadership on this important committee and please accept my best wishes for an enjoyable remainder to the summer.


Amy Gutmann

Almanac - September 7, 2010, Volume 57, No. 02