Members of Penn's Board of Trustees convened on Nov. 9, approving the appointment of two new deans, commemorating the deaths of Penn alumni, and authorizing funds for new construction projects across campus.
The trustees approved hundreds of millions of dollars for construction and leasing costs including $24.8 million for HVAC renovations in Kings Court, English, and Dubois College houses, $16.4 million for internal Vance Hall renovations, and $152.5 million in additional funds for the building of New College House West.
The University's Executive Vice President Craig Carnaroli presented a three-month financial report up through Sept. 30, reporting that the total assets of the University were $18.6 billion — over $2 billion more than the previous September. He also said that capital expenditures in academics summed to be $89 million, which contribute to projects like the Houston Market Renovations.
Both University Chaplain Chaz Howard and Penn President Amy Gutmann commemorated those killed in the recent Pittsburgh Synagogue shooting, mentioning Penn's Vigil for Pittsburgh in their addresses to the group.
Gutmann presented two resolutions to officially appoint Sara Bachman and John L. Jackson Jr. to be the deans of Penn's School of Social Policy and Practice and the Annenberg School for Communication, respectively. The group "okayed" the appointments.
Provost Wendell Pritchett also spoke at the meeting and discussed recent success associated with the Take Your Professor to Lunch program. He noted that the program's usage had quintupled last semester.
"[It is] one of our most valuable programs to help all members of the Penn community support each other and get to know each other outside of the classroom," Pritchett said.
Perelman Dean and Executive Vice President for Penn Health Systems Larry Jameson, like Gutmann, took time to remember 1973 College graduate and 1977 Penn Medicine alumnus Jerry Rabinowitz, who died in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. He announced that Penn medicine began construction in Radnor for a new outpatient facility to better serve the people of Bucks and Montgomery counties. He also discussed a recent $18 million grant awarded to Penn Medicine for researching the effects of tobacco use.
The trustees also approved two new master's degrees in genetic counseling and in biomedical informatics through the Perelman school.
Student members of Fossil Free Penn, once again attended the meeting with signs encouraging the trustees to divest. They stood for a portion of the meeting, before sitting silently as the presenters spoke.
"We don't expect that change is going to come just by being at a meeting," College senior and FFP Trustee Coordinator Zach Rissman said. "The main goal is just to show the sustained and widespread student support."
Staff Reporter James Meadows contributed reporting.