CHRISTINE LUTTON and PETER SPIEGEL University Trustee committees met throughout the day yesterday, discussing subjects ranging from the recently released five-year plan to the effect of the federal budget crunch on the University. All of yesterday's committee discussions and endorsements will be reviewed at the full Trustee board meeting today at 2 p.m. in Houston Hall's Bodek Lounge. In the Academic Policy Committee meeting, Trustees discussed the nearly complete five-year plan -- released Tuesday -- with Provost Michael Aiken and other faculty and administrators. Committee Chairperson Donald Langenberg opened the meeting calling the plan "an incredibly important topic," and praised the report for keeping up with changes while maintaining the University's values. Aiken presented the report to the committee, extolling its visionary qualities and stressing that the next decade will be "a period of great challenge" for higher education. "I believe some of the great research universities won't be as great at the end of this decade," Aiken said, adding that he felt the plan will enable the University to surpass other colleges during the 1990s. After brief presentations from faculty and administrators -- all of whom supported the report and praised Aiken for the "grass roots" way the plan was put together -- the Trustees debated the plan, with most backing its content. The only dissent came from Trustee Bruce Grahm, who said the report does not address the University's role in helping Philadelphia resolve social and financial problems. But Aiken said the report was only an academic plan, adding that the administration has other reports dealing with the University's relation to the city. The Budget and Finance Committee reported that the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania is continuing to turn a profit, after last year's recovery from an $8 million deficit in fiscal year 1989. The Trustees also heard from Federal Relations official Bob Canavan, who said that although specifics of the federal government's budget have yet to be determined, he anticipates a $2 billion cut in student loans. He also said HUP will be hurt by an expected Medicare funding cut of $50 billion -- less than the previously suggested $60 billion cut. Trustees also said they are concerned that some students do not apply to the University because they cannot afford tuition costs and do not know about available financial aid. "It's simply too expensive to get a college education," Trustee Saul Steinberg said at the meeting. The Trustee's Student Life Committee extensively discussed President Sheldon Hackney's decision to bring a greater diversity of residential students to Locust Walk without relocating fraternities. The Trustees noted that because of the new campus center may shift the focus of campus, any plans for the Walk "need to have a time-span that exceeds three years." Committee Chairperson Gloria Chisum called the Walk diversity issue "one of the most significant things going on here since the planning of Superblock." Vice Provost for University Life Kim Morrisson told the committee that she will solicit ideas on changing the Walk's composition, adding that the Walk committee hopes to finish its work by the spring. Trustees also listened to a report by Greek student leaders about new programs implemented by fraternities and sororities in the past year. At the University Responsibility Committee meeting, Trustees reviewed the University's policy on investing in companies with holdings in South Africa. The University divested from such companies in 1987 after student protests, and said yesterday that they will continue the policy. The Trustees heard a report from William Moses of the Investor Responsibility Research Center. The center investigates political circumstances which surround financial decisions of major institutions. Moses, who recently returned from South Africa, said that despite reforms, it is difficult to see where changes are taking the country. Trustee Stephen Heyman, who chairs the committee, said that when the University divested in July 1987 the Trustees made provisions to review the policy periodically. "Back when we did this we redlined a country," Heyman said. "We owe it morally to ourselves and financially to the University to review it periodically." Heyman said he does not expect another review of the policy for at least a year. Helen Jung contributed to this article.Comments powered by Disqus
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