The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

Several faculty members said yesterday they resent tactics the United Way is using in an attempt to keep control of the University's employee charity drive, which are in violation of University policies. Faculty said this week they are unhappy that the United Way is conducting a half-hour telephone poll of employees, but were even more upset yesterday about violations of University policy the charitable group has committed. University officials said the United Way violated University policies governing access to and use of the Faculty/Staff Directory. When confronted about violations, United Way officials changed their story several times. The United Way began calling faculty at home this week conducting a survey to see how they will vote on a referendum that will determine the method the University will use to distribute charity funds. United Way Vice President of Resource Development Ned Montgomery initially said the United Way purchased the directory, which includes faculty member's home phone numbers, from The Book Store on campus. But Book Store Director Michael Knezic said that in his seven years with The Book Store, "we have not sold the directory." When told about The Book Store's policy and asked how he obtained the book, Montgomery stuttered for several seconds before replying, "one of the people at Penn gave it to us." Montgomery would not release the University person's name. The University's policy on use of the Directory is printed on the first page of the book. It reads, "The Faculty/Staff Telephone Directory is to be used by University and Hospital personnel only. It should not be used by any outside organization, business, or persons for non-University purposes including solicitation or advertising." University Business Services officials, who control the production of the directory, said the United Way violated the University's policy. "[The United Way] was granted no access to the directory," Business Services administrative assistant Susan Tietjen said. "And on the first page it says the directory is for faculty and staff use only." United Way spokesperson Joe Divis said his organization conducts research of its donors on a regular basis. Divis also said that normally the University is not probed as much as it is now. Divis initially said the United Way was not aware that it was violating University policy and later added "my point is, I guess, we didn't read the fine print." Divis also said he believed the United Way was following University procedures, and therefore did not violate the policy. Assistant to the President Nicholas Constan said the telemarketing was, "not for the purposes of the University, but for the purposes of the United Way." Officials from the United Way also said yesterday the telemarketing was conducted internally within the United Way. But according to Assistant Dean for Administration in the Nursing School Kristin Davidson, the surveyer who called her said she was calling from an external agency on behalf of the United Way. "They clearly said they were not employees of the United Way, but a market research firm doing it on behalf of the United Way," Davidson said. She added that her poll took approximately 30 minutes. Faculty Senate Chairperson Almarin Phillips said yesterday that the person who called him gave a similar report. Divis later said, "who does it is immaterial, it was on the behalf of the United Way." Phillips said he has sent a letter on behalf of the Faculty Senate to United Way President Ted Moore addressing various issues including the phone survey. The letter and any response will be discussed at Wednesday's University Council meeting, Phillips said. Moore was unavailable for comment last night and did not return phone calls placed at his office during the day. United Way representatives will not say if and when they will return the directory, but have discontinued the survey. Constan said that he is uncertain if the president's office will take any action on this matter or what such action will be. Assistant to the President Linda Hyatt said the president's office asked the United Way earlier this week to stop the survey and the United Way complied. Phillips said Wednesday night that in addition to the "resentment among faculty members," he is concerned that the United Way may be, "spending an exorbitant amount of money at Penn to influence the vote." Divis said yesterday that the United Way is spending less than one percent of its budget on telemarketing research. Hyatt stressed that the University community must remember that, "Giving is good, even though determining the way of giving can be difficult."

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.