|SENATE From the Senate Office
January 29, 2013,
Volume 59, No. 19
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, January 23, 2013
Chair’s Report: Faculty Senate Chair Susan Margulies asked SEC members to complete the 2013 Senate Committee on Committees ballot. She reported that the February SEC meeting will feature President Amy Gutmann and Vice Provost for Faculty Lynn Lees and asked SEC members to write down their questions for the February speakers. Dr. Margulies updated SEC with information addressing questions from the SEC December meeting on sabbatical funding, compensation and transparency. She noted that the Senate Committee on Faculty and the Administration is continuing conversations regarding sabbatical concerns. She reminded SEC members that the March SEC meeting will feature guest speakers Ronald Ehrenberg, professor of industrial and labor relations and economics at Cornell University, and Andrew Delbanco, professor of American studies and humanities at Columbia University. This event will be open to all faculty.
Update from the Provost: Provost Vincent Price updated SEC on a recent report published by Moody’s on the challenges facing the higher education sector, noting that Penn is well positioned for pressures Moody’s outlined regarding traditional revenue streams. He updated SEC on the four portfolios in the Office of the Provost: Faculty, Education, Research and International Affairs. He reported that the Vice Provost for Faculty has just completed an update on Gender Equity and is working on implications of health care reform for part-time faculty and discussions with deans on school diversity action plans. He stated that the Vice Provost for Education is working on a self-study for the Middle States Accreditation, suggestions for improvement of policies and procedures for Academic Integrity with the SAS Committee on Undergraduate Education (CUE), and the online education Coursera platform. He noted that Penn has launched more than a dozen Coursera courses and there have been 20 new proposals for the next round of courses. Provost Vincent Price explained that the Senior Vice Provost for Research is collaborating with working groups to reduce regulatory burdens and improve efficiency. He noted that research commercialization has been very successful this past year. He reported that the Vice Provost for Global Affairs is moving forward with the strategic plan to prepare students for an increasingly global society, strengthen Penn as a global agenda-setter, and promote productive leadership to advance healthy lives. He added that Penn is moving ahead with the Penn Wharton Center in Beijing in the near future to facilitate research and teaching for the University community in China and the development of a World House on campus to provide a center for all organizations involved in global engagement. SEC questions focused on the following topics: state funding support, challenges for research funding, revisions with the Patent Policy, and ways to keep up with the rapid rate of data production, innovation and the pace of change.
Travel & Expense Management System (TEMS) Overview: Marie Witt, vice president for the Division of Business Services; Steve Golding, vice president of Finance and Treasurer; Hilary Easley, Travel & Expense program manager; and Mark Mills, director of Purchasing, updated SEC on the Travel and Expense Management Project. Ms. Witt explained that this project is in response to feedback that there are many inefficiencies and significant time drain with the current methods to reserve travel. She outlined the breakdown of the $33.5 million dollars that is annually spent for travel. Ms. Easley explained the features of the Travel and Expense Management System’s three components: Concur Travel Tool for travel booking, approval, and fulfillment through World Travel, Concur Expense Management for expense report submission and approval, and Concur Pay for travel payment/reimbursement. Mr. Mills explained that a new Bank of America VISA travel credit card will be offered that has the ability to be integrated with Concur and will feature reduced fees for international travel. He noted that the goal of the TEMS is to greatly improve efficiency, reporting and time for reimbursement. He outlined the rollout plan for the TEMS and added that the group is hoping to pilot the system in March for all schools and centers with a target launch to all faculty in July. Ms. Easley showed a short demonstration of the TEMS for the SEC membership.