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SENATE From the Senate Office

May 22, 2012, Volume 58, No. 34

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 May 9, 2012

Chair’s Report: Faculty Senate Chair Camille Charles reported that the Senate Ad Hoc Faculty Climate Survey Review Committee had their first meeting and will continue to meet this summer.  She noted that President Amy Gutmann accepted a 5-year extension to her contract. She thanked each outgoing SEC member for their service. Dr. Charles asked SEC members to vote for the four faculty members who will serve on the 2012-2013 University Council Steering Committee.

Past Chair’s Report: Faculty Senate Past Chair Bob Hornik reported that Academic Planning and Budget discussed the new Coursera education platform and approved the formation of the Department of Africana Studies. 

Discussion and vote on the proposal to add an Academic Clinician Part-time Faculty Track in the Perelman School of Medicine (PSOM): Dr. Lisa Bellini, Vice Dean for Faculty and Resident Affairs, and Vicki Mulhern, Executive Director of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development, represented the Dean in the Perelman School of Medicine and gave a brief review of the proposal. Dr. Bellini explained that the purpose of the Academic Clinician faculty track is for individuals whose primary responsibilities are in patient care and education, not in research activities.    Dr. Bellini stated that the average PSOM faculty member works 61 hours a week. She explained that currently Penn only offers the Reduction in Duties policy for faculty interested in career flexibility needs and noted that the Reduction in Duties policy is limited to six years. She reported that this proposal is designed to offer a family-friendly career option at Penn and explained that several of the PSOM peer institutions offer part-time faculty tracks to address worklife balance needs. Dr. Bellini reported that the proposed Academic Clinician Part-time faculty track appointments will be designated as a percentage full-time less than 50% and will share in the rights and privileges of other full-time members of the Associated Faculty. She explained that they may convert to full-time status if a full-time position is available, with the support of their department. She noted that during the first three years, appointments will be limited to conversions from other tracks and the number of part-time faculty will not exceed 20% of the total number of Academic Clinician faculty. Dr. Bellini reviewed several charts showing data on the PSOM faculty size over time and included data on national trends for medical faculty.

SEC members’ questions focused on the following topics: reasons why the PSOM preferred to propose a part-time faculty track as opposed to revising the Reduction in Duties Policy, ways to reconcile the current faculty caps to align with the caps mandated in the Faculty Handbook, a clear understanding of the mission of the PSOM and how the organization of the PSOM faculty tracks fit into that mission, options for faculty who wish to be part-time and work more than 50%, monitoring whether faculty members working part-time are able to keep their competitive edge, and the exploration of benefits for part-time staff and faculty at Penn.
SEC members voted unanimously to approve the proposal to add an Academic Clinician Part-time faculty track in the Perelman School of Medicine.

Senate Committee Reports: SEC heard and briefly discussed annual reports given by the chairs of Senate Committees. Senate Committee reports can be found in the May 8 issue of Almanac: www.upenn.edu/almanac/volumes/v58/n33/pdf_n33/senateReports.pdf    

New Business: Faculty Senate Chair Camille Charles thanked the following: the Senate Committee Chairs, Senate Committee members, and Past Chair Bob Hornik for his service and excellent advice. As her last order of business, Dr. Charles turned the meeting over to the new Senate Chair, Susan Margulies, and welcomed the incoming Chair-Elect, Dwight Jaggard.

Almanac - May 22, 2012, Volume 58, No. 34