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April 26, 2011, Volume 57, No. 31

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 email at senate@pobox.upenn.edu

Faculty Senate Executive Committee Actions
Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Chair’s Report: Faculty Senate Chair-Elect Camille Charles reported that Emeritus Professor Henry Teune passed away on April 12 (Almanac April 19, 2011). Dr. Charles explained that the May 11 SEC meeting will be held at the Inn at Penn and will feature a discussion with Vice Provost Lynn Hollen Lees on the broad strokes of the faculty diversity plan and discussions with the Senate Committee Chairs concerning their annual reports. Dr. Charles noted that there will be a reception from 5 to 6 following the meeting. She reminded SEC members to forward a name of a faculty member for the 2012 Nominating Committee and noted that this candidate should not be a SEC member and should be a member of the standing faculty.

Past Chair’s Report: Faculty Senate Past-Chair Harvey Rubin reported that the Academic Planning and Budget committee heard a presentation from Robin Beck, vice president for information systems and computing on revamping Penn’s databases. 

Open Access: Senior Vice Provost for Research Steve Fluharty updated SEC on the Open Access draft Statement of Principles for Scholarly Articles. He defined Open Access as a term used to describe any digital online resource that is free of most copyright or licensing restrictions. He noted that Open Access increases the access and dissemination of research and scholarship and explained that University action is being mandated by federal funding partners and Congress.  Dr. Fluharty reported that there are many models of Open Access that have been adopted by other peer universities and explained the pros and cons of the various models. Dr. Fluharty stated that Penn started looking at Open Access in the fall of 2008 and charged a committee to recommend guidelines in fall of 2009. He reported that the Open Access committee developed a draft policy in the spring of 2010 and solicited feedback from all 12 schools this past academic year. He explained that the Open Access committee preferred a Statement of Principles rather than a policy; to advocate and promote this as a voluntary program to disseminate research and scholarship as widely as possible.  He reviewed the Open Access committee recommendations: participating faculty would grant Penn nonexclusive permission to make publicly available scholarly articles for open dissemination; faculty will provide a digital copy of the final version of the scholarly article to the Penn Libraries no later than the date of publication; Penn Libraries will deposit in Penn Scholarly Commons and/or similar open access repositories; faculty may request an embargo period not to exceed 12 months; the Open Access program is voluntary and faculty participation will be monitored and the guidelines reviewed periodically. Dr. Fluharty reported that the University is willing to put resources into this program once the guidelines are adopted.

SEC members had a robust discussion on the ambiguous wording in the draft Statement of Principles for Scholarly Articles document. SEC questions focused on how multiple authors of papers will be handled, how the program will be monitored, whether data can be submitted for publication, and if the Statement of Principles should be inclusive to all faculty in the University community. 

SEC members unanimously agreed that a vote of support for the draft Statement of Principles be tabled until the May SEC meeting to allow time to make wording changes to the document to ensure that the language is clear and encourages participation.


Almanac - April 26, 2011, Volume 57, No. 31