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PPSA and University Council

About University Council | PPSA and the University Council |
Steering Committee | University Council Meeting Schedule

About University Council

University Council is your chance to make a difference at Penn. The Council is a deliberative body of representatives from all constituencies on campus - students, staff and faculty - that discusses and debates current topics of interest on campus, and advises the President, the Provost, and other officers of the University on making Penn a better place to study, to work and to live.

Recent recommendations at Council have resulted in:

- the University Board of Trustees passing a resolution to divest from Sudan;
- gender identity and gender expression being added to the University's non-discrimination clause;
- the adoption of a policy on privacy in the electronic environment.

If you would like to learn more about one of the groups described below and/or to participate in a listserv managed by one of these groups, please contact the organization directly:

Weekly Paid Professional Staff Assembly (WPSA)
Contact person - Marcia Dotson - mdotson [at] sas.upenn.edu
Web: http://www.upenn.edu/wpsa/

All weekly-paid (non-union) professional employees are welcome to become a member of the WPSA. In addition to representing weekly-paid (non-union) professional employees on University Council and its committees, goals of the WPSA include:
- informing staff about relevant programs and speakers;
- providing opportunities to develop professional skills;
- networking with campus leaders, key organizations and each other.

Penn Professional Staff Assembly (PPSA)
Contact Information - ppsa [at] exchange.upenn.edu
Web: http://www.upenn.edu/ppsa/

Comprised of professional (monthly exempt) staff members whose positions serve the teaching, research and business missions of the University of Pennsylvania, PPSA accomplishes its mission in the following ways:
- presents a forum where staff can express their opinions on issues facing the University and higher education;
- offers seminars and programs to broaden and expand staff's background, knowledge and professional development;
- provides representation on major University committees;
- serves as a supportive and informational network to help achieve the University's goals and objectives by enhancing the professional status and well being of staff.

Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GAPSA)
Contact Person: Antonio Lambino, vc-nominations [at] gapsa.upenn.edu
Web: http://www.gapsa.upenn.edu/

GAPSA is the University-wide governing organization for graduate and professional students. GAPSA elects representatives from all twelve of Penn's schools, and its members interact regularly with the President, Provost, Board of Trustees, and other University officials. GAPSA's major functions include:
- representing graduate and professional student interests in University policy;
- funding student groups and individuals through grants and fellowships;
- organizing a variety of social and cultural events to help students engage with one another and the community at large.

The Undergraduate Assembly (UA)
Contact Person: Jason Karsh, jkarsh [at] sas.upenn.edu
Web: http://dolphin.upenn.edu/~ua/

The Undergraduate Assembly is an elected body that consists of thirty-three undergraduate students selected by their respective schools. It is charged with representing undergraduate interests to the administration, faculty, and all other constituent groups at Penn. As the umbrella branch of six different student government organizations, the UA is given the fiduciary responsibility for allocating approximately $1.5 million to the six branches of student government organizations which then distribute these funds to many student organizations on campus.

Faculty Senate
Contact Person: Susan White, senate [at] pobox.upenn.edu
Web: http://www.upenn.edu/faculty_senate/

The Faculty Senate is the deliberative assembly of the faculty of the University. All members of the standing faculty and standing faculty-clinician educators who hold the rank of professor, associate professor or assistant professor are members of the Senate and are entitled to attend and participate in Senate meetings, introduce and vote on resolutions, and serve on Senate committees.


PPSA's role in University Council

The PPSA has representatives with voting rights on several University Council Standing Committees. The UC Standing Committees are:

Committees and Their Work:

Academic and Related Affairs has cognizance over matters of undergraduate recruiting, admissions, and financial aid that concern the University as a whole or those that are not the specific responsibility of individual faculties; of all programs in recreation, intramural and club sports, and intercollegiate athletics; and of all matters of policy relating to research and the general environment for research at the University, including the assignment and distribution of indirect costs and the assignment of those research funds distributed by the University. The Committee considers the purposes of a university bookstore. It advises the administration on policies, developments, and operations of the bookstores and libraries; in such areas as international student services, foreign fellowships and studies abroad, exchange programs, and cooperative undertakings with foreign universities; on athletic operations and recommends changes in policy when appropriate; and on those proposals for sponsored research referred to it because of potential conflict with University policy.

Campus and Community Life has cognizance over the University’s electronic and physical communications and public relations activities; advises on the relationship of the University to the surrounding community; has cognizance of the conditions and rules of undergraduate and graduate student life on campus; and considers and recommends the means to improve safety and security on the campus.

Facilities keeps under review the planning and operation of the University’s physical plant and all services associated therewith, including transportation and parking.

Honorary Degrees does most of its work, intensively, during the fall term; solicits recommendations for honorary degrees from faculty and students and submits nominations to the Trustees.

Personnel Benefits deals with the benefits programs for all University personnel. Special expertise in personnel, insurance, taxes or law is often helpful.

Pluralism advises on ways to develop and maintain a supportive atmosphere for all members of the University community.

We invite Penn staff to participate in the decision-making bodies at the University. Come to our open PPSA Board Meetings, attend University Council Meetings, or contact us at
ppsa -at- exchange.upenn.edu!


University Council Steering Committee

The PPSA Chair and Chair-Elect have two seats with voting rights on University Council's Steering Committee, which prepares the agenda for Council meetings and may give its advice concerning resolutions that committees elect to place on the agenda.


University Council Meeting Schedule

2007-2008 University Council
Meeting Schedule
Wednesday, 4:00-6:00 PM
Bodek Lounge, Houston Hall

September 26
October 24
November 14
January 30
February 27
March 26
April 30

Members of the University community are invited to attend Council meetings provided they register with the Office of the Secretary via e-mail or telephone, 898-7005.




Do you have a question for PPSA? Would you like to participate in a PPSA committee? Or do you just want to be added to the PPSA listserv?

Use the form on the Contact PPSA page (you will need your PennKey and password), or email ppsa [at] exchange.upenn.edu, to get in touch with us!

Read more about PPSA's involvement in the Penn Compact and Penn's Sustainability Strategy.

Penn's Division of Public Safety Operation Theft Awareness



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