The University Trustees will discuss Penn's long-term future and conduct a self-analysis at a retreat in Princeton, N.J., on Thursday and Friday. But tomorrow, before leaving for the retreat, the Investment Board of the Trustees will meet and go over the financial performance of the endowment during Fiscal Year 2000. The stated meeting of the Trustees will also be held tomorrow afternoon at the Inn at Penn. The Princeton retreat is the first of its kind in at least six years. While the Trustees usually meet in committee groups pertaining to different aspects of academic life, campus development and budget initiatives at their meetings, the retreat will replace these committee meetings this time. Instead, according to University President Judith Rodin, the group will spend part of Thursday looking at its governance and internal organization. Rodin said that many universities are looking at different ways for their trustees to operate effectively. Trustees at Yale, for instance, go to a different university each year to look at how other schools handle issues surrounding higher education and the trustees. The Trustees will spend the second part of the retreat in Princeton discussing a long-term plan for Penn and evaluating how the University should approach emerging topics facing higher education. "Sometimes we think we all take a Penn-specific focus," Rodin said. "It's useful to know what the broad national trends are." University Secretary Leslie Kruhly said that the Trustees will look at topics like faculty retention, student recruitment and distance learning and other issues that "all Ivies face." Robert Zemsky, director of the Institute for Research on Higher Education, will present the Trustees with general background remarks and research findings about higher education to help guide the discussion. According to Kruhly, approximately 40 of the 90 Trustees will attend this week's retreat. In the past, the financial troubles of the Health System have surfaced in many of the Trustees' meetings, but Kruhly projected that the financially beleaguered UPHS won't be a dominant part of this week's retreat. "I don't expect it to be," she explained. "The expectation is that the Health System problems will be resolved over the short term." Kruhly also said that while University administrators will be present when the Trustees look at Penn's long-term future, the self-audit will be attended by Trustees only. "They're going to be looking at the mechanisms of how the Board functions," she explained. Rodin said that in her over six years as president, the Trustees have never met in a closed retreat before. She said the retreat was prompted by the appointment of James Riepe as chairman in 1999. "This is an experiment," she noted.Comments powered by Disqus
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