|Penn Association of Senior and Emeritus Faculty: Annual Report 2012-2013
July 16, 2013,
Volume 60, No.1
The mission of PASEF is to initiate and coordinate activities that encourage retired faculty to maintain connections among themselves and with the intellectual and social life of the University. Such activities include organizing lectures, discussion groups, and social functions that provide fellowship and interaction among members and with the scholarly community on campus; familiarizing members, especially those planning retirement, with issues relating to retirement benefits and retired life; and promoting opportunities to render service to the University and its surrounding community.
Events and Activities
Educational: In pursuit of its mission, PASEF sponsors numerous formal and informal talks and lectures throughout the year. In the past academic year, these included nine luncheon talks in the Hourglass Room at the University Club, a talk before the Penn Annual 25-Year Club Reception in Houston Hall, and the annual PASEF Spring lecture held this year in the School of Engineering & Applied Science. Approximately 500 people attended these events. Appendix A lists the events during 2012-2013
Planning for Retirement: In conjunction with the Association of Senior and Emeritus Faculty (ASEF), we sponsored two interactive sessions with senior faculty to help them plan for retirement. Retired colleagues and spokespersons from the University’s Senior Benefits Office and from Medical School Faculty Affairs and Professional Development made presentations and responded to questions from attendees. Approximately 100 senior faculty attended these meetings.
Social Events: PASEF sponsors several social events intended to encourage retired faculty to maintain links with the University. A highlight of our year is the annual Fall Reception honoring newly retired faculty. This year’s reception was held on November 1, 2012 in Bodek Lounge in Houston Hall. Thirty-six newly retired colleagues were honored with citations describing their contributions to Penn in their respective academic fields. The Provost greeted the honorees and citations were read by PASEF’s Past President which was followed by a catered reception.
Our annual Spring Outing for members was held on May 1, 2013 when 27 members traveled to Winterthur in Wilmington, Delaware for a tour of the DuPont mansion and luncheon.
Support of the University Club: An important beneficiary of PASEF’s activities is the University Club which is very important to our success. Through our monthly Executive Committee meetings, luncheon talks and special events, we generated more than 500 paid lunches at the University Club that would not otherwise have been purchased there.
Communications: A central PASEF function is to serve as a communications link between retired faculty and the University. A member of our Executive Committee serves as a representative to the University Senate and Council helping PASEF to keep members aware of potential matters affecting them. In addition, another Committee member serves on the University Council Benefits Committee communicating retired faculty concerns when appropriate.
PASEF and ASEF: Relations between PASEF and the parallel Medical School Group ASEF (Association of Senior and Emeritus Faculty) have become closer. Both presidents serve on the other’s Executive Committees. Both attended the national convention of the Association of Retirement Organizations in Higher Education which was held at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in October 2012. Jointly sponsored activities include the Fall Reception for the newly retired as well as two Planning for Retirement Seminars. We will pursue closer cooperation on topics and scheduling for the monthly luncheon talks while maintaining our separate organizations.
Budget and Staffing: PASEF’s activities are funded by the Provost to whom we report via the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs. The budget is divided approximately 50 percent for a part-time administrative assistant and 50 percent for operations. We operated within our budget for the current year. However, our office in 111 Duhring Wing needed renovation and we have been granted permission to exceed our 2012-2013 budget by approximately $11,000 to effect the required modernization which is in process.
Challenges to Maintaining and Expanding PASEF’s Outreach
PASEF Recognition by Senior Administrators: PASEF’s main reporting channel has been through the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs who has been very supportive. We were very pleased that the Provost attended our fall 2012 Reception for the newly retired and that he has indicated a willingness to return in 2013.
University Club: The University Club is vital to PASEF’s success. We have done everything possible to support the Club by stimulating dining there. Nonetheless, a continuing problem is the Hourglass Room as a venue for our monthly luncheon talks. Virtually all our talks involve audio-visual content but the screen cannot be raised high enough for clear viewing and curtains cannot be closed to sufficiently darken the room. In addition, communications with the University’s Club liaison and with the Hotel staff are not optimally reciprocated. There appears to be some confusion about responsibilities. The recent appointment of a new liaison promises to improve communications, but there appear to be no plans to improve the Hourglass Room.
Staff Continuity: Continuity is very important to the success of our mission. In October 2012, our former administrative assistant moved to a full time position in the Medical School so we initiated a search for a replacement which was successfully concluded in late November. Several months passed before operations recovered. Learning how to operate with Penn’s systems and rules consumes a great deal of time for a part-time employee. The early months on the job require many more hours than are provided for in the job category. Our new administrative assistant has worked out exceptionally well, but completing the position duties within the hour limits of a half-time status is quite challenging.
Communications with Retired Faculty: The demise of the University’s printed Directory has heightened the challenge of maintaining contact with retired faculty. Practice around the University varies so widely that some emeritus faculty remain in local directories and email lists while others seem to disappear. We are continuing our effort to work with University staff to update and maintain address lists that reflect the desires of retired colleagues.
More Creative Use of Website: Developing real competence in managing our website has been a challenge for PASEF. Although we now post announcements easily, time has not been available to expand the content to include more news, obituaries and photographs/videos of events. Video is a special challenge. Many have suggested that we video our luncheon talks and annual lectures. Using the University’s staff, however, is generally prohibitively expensive. A few past events were videotaped by a PASEF Executive Committee member using his own equipment and editing skill. PASEF does not own the necessary camera nor does our staff have the required editing skill.
Broadening PASEF’s Educational Outreach: We would like to attract more people to our monthly luncheon talks. The average attendance was in the low twenties with some rising into the forties. This was satisfactory for a room holding a maximum of forty-eight. A few talks, however, attracted fewer than ten. Transportation is a problem for some of our emeritus members. They can’t use public transportation and consider Penn’s daily parking fees excessive. We might explore providing free parking or a free lunch to those attending (perhaps for the first 25 to sign up in advance.
Conversations were held in February and March with the University Vice President for Development and with the Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations to explore whether PASEF’s educational efforts might be beneficial to Penn’s stewardship and cultivation efforts. Both voiced general views that some of their alumni, especially older prominent people leaving Trustee and Overseer positions, were hungry for intellectual stimulation and might find our talks and lectures attractive. Specific invitation arrangements would have to be worked out in a manner consistent with our current limited administrative support.
PASEF Executive Committee Members 2012-2013
Alan Myers, Emeritus Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Anna Meadows, Emerita Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine, PSOM
Arnold Rosoff, Professor, Legal Studies and Business Ethics, Health Care Systems
David Balamuth, Emeritus Professor, Physics, SAS
David Pope, Emeritus Professor, Material Science and Engineering, SEAS
Elsa Ramsden, Associate Professor Emerita, School of Nursing
Gerald Porter, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics, SAS
Howard Goldfine, Emeritus Professor, Microbiology, PSOM
Howard Rosenberg, Associate Professor Emeritus, Pediatric Dentistry
Jack Nagel, Emeritus Professor, Political Science, SAS
Janice Madden, Professor of Regional Science/Sociology/Real Estate
Lance Donaldson-Evans, Emeritus Professor, Romance Languages, SAS
Martin Pring, Associate Professor, Physiology, PSOM
Neville Strumpf, Emerita Professor, School of Nursing
Peter Kuriloff, Professor, FPE, Graduate School of Education
Rob Roy MacGregor, Emeritus Professor, Infectious Diseases Division, PSOM
Roger Allen, Emeritus Professor, Arabic, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, SAS
Ross Webber, Emeritus Professor of Management, Wharton
Sherrill Adams, Professor, Biochemistry, School of Dental Medicine
Vivian Seltzer, Emerita Professor, Human Development and Behavior School of Social Policy & Practice
PASEF Executive Committee Members 2013-2014
President: Rob Roy MacGregor, Medicine
Past-President: Ross Webber, Wharton
President-elect: Jack Nagel, Political Science
At-large members (3 year terms):
Peter Kuriloff, Education
Janice Madden, Sociology
Sherrill Adams, Biochemistry, Dental Medicine
David Pope, Materials Science, SEAS
Howard Rosenberg, Dental Medicine
Arnold Rosoff, Legal Studies & Healthcare Ethics
Mitch Marcus, Computer Science
Paul Shaman, Statistics
Anita Summers, Business & Public Policy
Secretary: Elsa Ramsden, Nursing
Rep to the U. Council Committee on Benefits & Pensions:
David Balamuth, Physics
Rep to the Faculty Senate & Council; and
coordinator of Hitchhiker’s Guide to Retirement
Martin Pring, Physiology, PSOM
ASEF chair, ex officio: Anna Meadows,
Roger Allen, Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations
Vivian Seltzer, Social Policy & Practice
Neville Strumpf–Road to Retirement presentation, Nursing
Gerald Porter–Rights & Responsibilities of Retired Faculty, Mathematics, SAS
Administrative Assistant: Heidi George,
May 7, PASEF luncheon, Jeffrey Tigay, Emeritus Ellis Professor of Hebrew and Semitic Languages and Literatures in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. “Loose Constructionism: Its Forerunners in Biblical Interpretation, or: ‘You are telling Scripture: Be quiet while I interpret.’”
May 1, PASEF Spring Outing, “Winterthur Museum, Gardens and Library”
April 29, PASEF luncheon, “Road to Retirement” Forum
April 25, Annual Spring Lecture, Vijay Kumar, UPS Foundation Professor in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, “Flying Robots”
April 3, Special PASEF luncheon, Roger Allen, Emeritus Professor, Arabic—Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations, “The Arab Spring???”
March 21, PASEF luncheon, Larry Gladney, Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Professor for Faculty Excellence and Chair, Physics and Astronomy, “From Nothing to Everything: The Origin and Evolution of the Universe”
February 18, PASEF luncheon, Larry Silver, Professor, History of Art, “Jews and Christians in Rembrandt’s Amsterdam”
January 25, PASEF luncheon, Robert Seyfarth, Professor of Psychology, “Mind and Society in Monkeys and Apes”
December 4, PASEF luncheon, Liliane Weissberg, Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor in Arts and Science, and Professor of German and Comparative Literature, “Rich Jews: An Exhibition”
November 14, PASEF luncheon, Louis Girifalco, University Professor and Emeritus Professor of Materials Science, “The Creation of ENIAC: The Beginning of the Digital Age”
October 17, PASEF luncheon, Martha Farah, Walter H. Annenberg Professor of Natural Sciences in the Department of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and founding Director of Penn’s Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, “Twenty-First Century Neuroscience: From Lab and Clinic to Home, School and Office”
October 4, 25-Year Club Presentation, Arnold Rosoff, Professor of Legal Studies and Healthcare Management, “Healthcare Reform and Obamacare: What does the future hold?”
September 20, PASEF luncheon, Samuel Preston, Frederick J. Warren Emeritus Professor of Demography, Populations Studies Center; Sociology Department, “Causes of Lagging Life Expectancy in the United States”