|SENATE From the Senate Office
December 18, 2012,
Volume 59, No. 16
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, December 12, 2012
Chair’s Report. Faculty Senate Chair Susan Margulies updated SEC on upcoming meetings. She reported that Provost Vincent Price will be on the agenda of the January SEC meeting followed by a demonstration of the new Travel Management Expense System. She encouraged SEC members to write down questions for the Provost. Dr. Margulies explained that President Amy Gutmann will be on the February SEC agenda followed by a discussion on the Gender Equity Report and an update on the Faculty Diversity Action Plan with Vice Provost Lynn Lees. She reported that the March SEC meeting will feature a panel with one or two guest speakers on the topic: The Future of Research-Intensive Institutions in the 21st Century. She handed out bios on guest speaker Ronald Ehrenberg, professor of industrial and labor relations and economics at Cornell University and another possible guest speaker, Andrew Delbanco, professor of American studies and humanities at Columbia University, noting that this event will be open to all faculty.
Strategic Plan for Global Initiatives. Vice Provost for Global Affairs Zeke Emanuel presented the Strategic Plan (Almanac Supplement December 4, 2012) that provides a framework for increasing Penn’s global impact over the next five years. He reported that he consulted widely across the University with deans, faculty, and relevant staff and encouraged SEC members to offer feedback. He explained that the plan includes three pillars of action: preparing students for an increasingly globalized society, strengthening Penn as a global agenda-setter; and promoting healthy, inspiring, and productive lives. He noted that one of the highlights of the plan is to establish a World House on campus to provide a focal point for global engagement on campus. He reported that he conducted an inventory of the many programs, initiatives, collaborations, and research projects that Penn students and faculty are involved with around the world to better integrate the activities. He noted that he would like to provide incentives for faculty to teach cross-disciplinary and cross-school courses on global topics. Vice Provost Emanuel explained that he hopes to increase the amount of international internships, research and volunteer programs, and the number of post-graduate fellowships. He added that he would like to get Penn Alumni overseas involved to support, mentor, and serve as cultural ambassadors. SEC members asked questions on the following topics: financial aid for international students, ways to collaborate with the sciences, vision of the impact of the Strategic Plan, opportunities for undergraduate students, details about the World House, funding and personnel needed for the Strategic Plan, and whether there are metrics to measure success.
Discussion on the Ad Hoc Sabbatical Report: Ad Hoc Sabbatical Committee Chair Tom Sollecito explained that the committee was formed in 2011 by Vice Provost Lynn Lees and Past Faculty Senate Chair Bob Hornik to review sabbatical use at the University of Pennsylvania. He explained that the charge included: investigation of the number/type/rank of the eligible faculty who have accrued the maximum sabbatical credits across all schools; investigation of the number of scholarly leaves with the past three years based on track/rank of faculty; develop a questionnaire elucidating reasons for using or not using the sabbatical; and develop alternative plans, if needed, which could facilitate faculty in scholarly refreshment. He explained that the committee gathered sabbatical data and formed focus groups to help understand the reasons for sabbatical use and non-use. He explained that the report outlines the findings for the barriers to sabbatical use, facilitators to sabbatical use, and alternative sabbatical models. He noted that the report contains a proposed action plan that recommends the following: sabbatical credits should be given to each faculty member during their yearly faculty appraisal, sabbatical training be provided for deans, chairs, and faculty to provide information, and add hybrid sabbatical models that compress the sabbatical in terms of time and place. SEC members had a robust discussion on: sabbatical funding, sabbatical compensation, and increased transparency of existing models.
SEC members unanimously passed the following resolution: faculty should be given an annual account of the individual accruement of sabbatical credits, preferably in an annual salary letter to each faculty member.