SENATE From the Senate Office
October 30, 2012,
Volume 59, No. 10
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Faculty Senate Executive Committee Actions
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Chair’s Report: Faculty Senate Chair Susan Margulies congratulated SEC member Gustavo Aguirre for his election to the Institute of Medicine. She reported that President Amy Gutmann is scheduled to talk to SEC at the November meeting and there will also be a conversation on Academic Integrity with Michele Goldfarb, director of the Office of Student Conduct and Kent Peterman, associate dean of the College. Dr. Margulies reported that the Faculty Climate Survey University-wide results can be viewed online at: www.upenn.edu/ir/Faculty2011.html She reported that the Senate committees are all meeting and SEC members’ additional questions concerning Coursera have been submitted to the Senate Committee on Students and the Educational Policy (SCSEP) for their upcoming discussion with Ed Rock, director of Open Course Initiatives at Penn. She reminded SEC members that there will be a reception following this meeting.
Discussion on Research at Penn: Maintaining the Momentum in a Challenging Environment: Senior Vice Provost Steve Fluharty updated SEC members on the work of the committees examining regulatory burdens and changes in the funding research infrastructure. He reported that the Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) Committee has addressed new federal regulations governing financial conflicts of interest and revised Penn’s Policy on Conflicts of Interest Related to Research. He outlined and explained the following changes:
- Investigators must disclose to his/her School all of his/her Significant Financial Interests and those of his/her family members that reasonably appear to be related to the Investigator’s Penn responsibilities
- Investigators must now disclose travel reimbursed or paid on the Investigator’s behalf within the most recent 12 months
- Investigators must receive FCOI training from the University prior to engaging in PHS-funded research at Penn and at least every four years thereafter
Senior Vice Provost Steve Fluharty reported that the Animal Research Committee has produced a draft report with recommendations to: revise the way IACUC conducts post approval compliance monitoring of protocols, establish two new IACUC subcommittees, include an extensive and comprehensive pre-review of animal protocols, and allow for the incorporation of multiple grants under one protocol. He reported that OVPR has formed four ad hoc committees to examine ways to enhance the research mission, meet compliance regulations, and reduce administrative burdens on faculty, and the committees meeting and working hard. Dr. Fluharty reported on changes proposed by the Research Pool Finance Committee to move to an Allocated Cost Model for the schools that will account for core research service offerings (IRB, COI, ULAR, IACUC, EH, ORS).
SEC members asked questions to clarify changes in the Conflict of Interest Policy and role of the Employee Benefits pool for severance pay for staff working on grants.
Vote on the 2012-2013 Senate Nominating Committee Ballots: SEC members voted for the members of the 2012-2013 Senate Nominating Committee.
Supporting Penn Faculty and Staff through Best Practices for Human Resources: Jack Heuer, vice president of Human Resources and Sue Sproat, executive director of Human Resources, updated SEC on the Office of Human Resources focusing the conversation on recent changes in benefits. Jack Heuer explained that the Office of Human Resources covers the following: Benefits, Compensation, Communication, Learning and Education, Staff and Labor Relations, Quality of Worklife Programs, Recruitment, and Records. He reported that he is an ex-officio member of the University Council Committee on Personnel Benefits which is composed of staff and faculty and is charged to have cognizance over the benefits programs for all University personnel. He reviewed the committee’s charges and accomplishments for 2011, 2012, and 2013 moving forward. He reported on health care benefit changes during 2012 and 2013 including: autism coverage, preventative care at no copayment, women’s preventive health initiative, transgender benefits, a new prescription drug vendor, enhancements to major restorative services with the PFPP Dental Plan, and changes to life insurance, long-term care and an additional vision vendor. He explained that Penn offers “Health Advocates” which is a resource to help Penn staff and faculty resolve health care issues. He explained the rationale for the recent changes to the Retirement Plan Investment Line-Up and compared Penn’s benefit offerings with peer institutions. He compared Penn’s benefits for health, dental, retirement and tuition to our peer institutions.
Related: An Advocate for Your Health