Rutgers Preparatory School '93 Somerset N.J. The Mathematics Department decided to keep the hotly-debated MAPLE software program in next year's calculus curriculum. Freshman students complained the program was too difficult to understand, and said they did not receiving enough instruction from professors. In protesting the program, some students sold T-shirts that read "Fuck MAPLE." After the uproar, the program was reviewed by the Math Department and changes were made to alleviate perceived problems. To overcome the fall semester's lack of instruction in the program, the Math Department instituted mandatory orientation sessions for all students taking calculus last semester. In orientation sessions, teachers watched students learn basic tasks with the programr. "The intention of the [orientation session] is to allow the students to overcome the intimidation," said Math Department Chairperson Dennis DeTurck early last semester. "Students will be able to get a syntax error and learn that they can recover from that." DeTurck said the faculty's lack of familiarity with the program will not impede the learning process. "The faculty did not know [MAPLE] very well [in the fall]," DeTurck said. "A lot of the faculty had been learning the program along with the students." Afternoon sessions, which began in the middle of the fall semester, are also being offered to help students solve MAPLE problems. College freshman Matthew Taff, one of two freshmen who petitioned Interim Provost Marvin Lazerson to change MAPLE, said last semester he believed the Math Department "scaled back on the difficulty." "Even with the improvements, MAPLE is still a royal pain in the ass," College freshman Yedida Soloff said. Outgoing College of Arts and Sciences Dean Matthew Santirocco said he hopes the changes will make MAPLE easier. "Right now, my sense is that it is very encouraging that the Math Department has taken the lead in instituting new programs," Santirocco said in January. "They have heard the students' concerns and have tried to respond to them." With new confidence behind MAPLE, the Math Department sees no reason to get rid of the program. Santirocco said the "critical mass of people" -- students and faculty alike -- now exposed to MAPLE will also be helpful for next year's freshmen in providing support. DeTurck said because doing calculus on paper is "not a marketable skill," MAPLE is all the more important and, therefore, the Mathematics Department will try to adjust to any problems to allow for the success of the program.
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Rutgers Preparatory School '93 Somerset N.J. The University Board of Trustees unanimously voted to eliminate the American Civilization and Regional Science Departments in January, after a semester of arguments between the faculty of the respective departments and the administration. The decision to eliminate the Am Civ and Regional Science Departments was proposed by School of Arts and Sciences Dean Rosemary Stevens, endorsed by Interim Provost Marvin Lazerson and Interim President Claire Fagin and approved by the Trustees' Academic Policy Committee. The closings take effect June 30. Stevens also proposed to cut the Religious Studies Department along with the other two, but put off the decision after related problems. After her announcement recommending the closures, the chairpersons of the affected departments approached the Committee on Academic Freedom and Responsibility in October, which reviewed the dean's actions in handling the matter. In December, the committee and its chair, Chemistry Professor Madeleine Joullie, concluded the dean had handled her recommendations properly with regards to the American Civilization and Regional Science Departments. But the committee decided to postpone making a final report on Stevens' handling of the recommendation to cut Religious Studies, citing the complexity of the department's case against Stevens. Citing a lack of time to review Religious Studies' case before this past winter break, the committee was unable to determine whether the procedure Stevens used to cut the department was within University guidelines. Without the decision, a recommendation to cut the department was not made to the Trustees. Instead, a Religious Studies Task Force, headed by Public Policy and Management Professor Emeritus Anita Summers, was created to review the study of religion at the University and to decide "what is the best possible way to teach religion" at the University, Stevens said early in the spring semester. In its conclusion on the Am Civ and Regional Science Departments, the committee found that Stevens did not violate University procedures. It concluded she followed a memorandum about department closings, circulated by former Provost Michael Aiken in 1991. Because it felt the University lack ed a proper code of procedures concerning departmental closure, the Faculty Senate Committee on the Faculty released a Statement on Department Closings in late April. The statement revolves around more consultation between the administration and departments to be cut, stressing that related departments be continually informed of their situation, especially before the decision to cut them is made by the dean. "The issue was whether proper procedures had been followed by [Dean Rosemary Stevens]," Auerbach said in May. "We realized the need to clarify what proper procedures are." Stevens said the decision to add the Faculty Senate's statement to departmental closing procedure will be up to Provost-elect Stanley Chodorow when he arrives at the University in July.
2,350 students expected to enroll Rutgers Preparatory School '93 Somerset, N.J. About 36 percent of applicants for admission to the Class of 1998 received acceptance letters in the mail in April, Admissions Dean Lee Stetson said. Of the 13,731 high school seniors who applied regular decision to the University this year, 4,970 were admitted. This number was down 262 from last year's 5,232 accepted students. While fewer students were accepted regular decision, the number of applicants broke a University record and was 11 percent higher than last year's 12,394 applicants. According to Stetson, the average SAT score of this year's admitted student is 1304 -- 614 in math and 690 in verbal -- up from last year's combined score of 1296. The accepted students also rank in the top three percent of their high school classes and have an average Achievement Test score of 648, up from last year's average of 645. "The quality of the class is an even greater source of satisfaction than the large number of applicants," Stetson said. Of the students admitted, 3,236 were admitted to the College, down from last year's 3,329, he said. Only 570 high school seniors of the 2,050 who applied to the Wharton School were admitted, Stetson added. The Engineering School of Applied Science experienced a slight decrease in admits with 1,028 students receiving acceptance letters, compared to 1,125 students last year. The Nursing School was the only school to experience an increase in admits, with 136 students accepted over last year's 123. "We let fewer students in to control the class size," Stetson said. "We are expecting a class in the neighborhood of a 47 percent yield [of the 4,970.]" Stetson added that he envisions a class size of around 2,350 students, down 110 from this year's entering freshman class, the largest in recent history. Stetson said the Admissions Office intends to pare back the size of the incoming classes a little each year. This year's admitted class experienced a "significant shift" in the proportion of men to women. Forty-eight percent of those admitted are women, compared to 44 percent last year. Consistent with the lower acceptance rate this year, the number of Asian Americans, Latinos and Mexican Americans admitted was also down from last year. But, the number of African Americans admitted is up to 387, from last year's 383. The number of Puerto Ricans is also up to 62 from 59 last year. Stetson said earlier in the semester that the number of applications received this year broke the record of 13,105 set in 1988. Following the University's lead, the College received an estimated 9,180 applications, also an all-time high. The number is 14 percent higher than last year's total of 8,075. And the number of Engineering and Nursing applicants also rose by 11 and nine percent, respectively. About 2,418 high school students applied to the Engineering School, and 240 students to the Nursing School. Wharton experienced a one percent drop from last year, decreasing from 1928 to 1902 applicants. While Stetson attributed this slight decrease to a stabilization in the interest level, Janice Bellace, vice dean of Wharton, offered another reason. Bellace said the 400 applications received for the new joint-degree International Relations program between Wharton and the College were all counted in the College's applicant pool. If those applications had been included in the Wharton applicant pool, the figures would have shown a 20 percent increase, she said. Stetson said, "As of May 11, we appear to be right on target with the 2,375 freshman expected. Given the higher standards of admitted students this year, the predicted decrease in the yield does not seem to be happening." "We are probably taking students away from the most selective schools in the country, including Harvard," he added.
Assistant English Professor Malcolm Woodfield, who was accused of sexual harassment by former student Lisa Topol, resigned from the University on April 26 amidst hearings investigating the matter. Woodfield's resignation, part of a settlement between him and the University, allows many questions to remain unanswered, even to those involved in the hearings. According to prepared statements released by both Woodfield and the University, Woodfield admitted to having sexual relations with Topol. The releases did not mention any misconduct concerning sexual harassment. According to the University's statement, "Professor Woodfield has admitted that he engaged in sexual relations with a student in his class and that this was was unethical under the University's policies. Professor Woodfield regrets his behavior and, by resigning, takes full responsibility for it." Woodfield said this week that he always admitted to having sexual relations with Lisa Topol, relations which, according to him, were initiated by her and occurred on only one occasion. "What I admitted to was meeting Lisa in an apartment once, which she borrowed from a friend for this specific occasion," Woodfield said this week. "Only by some strange Alice in Wonderland P.C. interpretation could you call this sexual harassment." While Woodfield said his version of the story became apparent during the hearings with Topol's own testimony verifying his, Topol's attorney Alice Ballard disagrees. Ballard said Woodfield's case "totally fell apart," adding that because the hearing committee became "sympathetic" to Topol's story, she was going to win "hands down." No one could comment for sure on why the University settled with Woodfield. According to Ballard, Woodfield approached the University with his resignation when he realized his case was going to fall apart. "[Woodfield] approached [the University] when there was no way he could avoid testifying," Ballard said this week. "What they have allowed him to do is completely evade responsibility -- they allowed him to tell the world and the press that he won this case." But Woodfield disagreed, saying the University approached him the weekend after his defense had begun. He said he is not sure why the University wanted to settle, but thinks the apparent strength of his case, after only a couple of his witnesses had spoken, and the weakness of Topol's case led the University to settle. "It was clear to them that the [University] had not established any sexual harassment case," Woodfield said. "We didn't even need to put on a counter case." University General Counsel Shelly Green was unwilling to comment on the settlement agreement, saying only that Woodfield resigned and the University accepted his resignation. Both Topol and Ballard are upset with the University for allowing him to resign without properly concluding the hearings. "Although I am quite relieved that this emotionally and physically draining process is over, I am appalled that the University would give Professor Woodfield anything in exchange for his resignation," Topol said in a prepared statement. "Professor Woodfield managed to duck and run at the last minute." Topol currently has lawsuits pending against the University and Bates College, Ballard said this week. Both institutions are presently answering the first round of discovery under oath -- necessary preliminary procedures before the trial goes to court. Ballard was unwilling to comment on a formal complaint filed against Woodfield, only willing to say that "something is going on."
After a year of continuous debate over the closing of the American Civilization, Regional Science and Religious Studies departments, the Faculty Senate Committee on the Faculty released a statement on the closings late last month. Professor of Law and Economics Alan Auerbach, who chaired the committee, said this week the statement was formulated in response to the School of Arts and Science departmental closings. "The issue was whether proper procedures had been followed by [Dean Rosemary Stevens]," Auerbach said this week. "We realized the need to clarify what proper procedures are." Auerbach said the committee was not "taking sides" in the matter, but rather attempted to increase the communication between departments and the administration in such matters. Consultation of this manner is the major theme throughout the statement. "The decision to discontinue a department should therefore be based upon academic considerations as determined by the faculty as a whole or appropriate committees thereof," the statement says in the opening paragraph. "Accordingly, there should be early, careful, and meaningful faculty involvement in decisions relating to the reduction of instructional and research programs." The first of four related sections suggests existing faculty committees which presently make budgetary decisions should be "involved in decisions to limit the resources of departments or close them" and also suggests that the dean take into account the committees' advice. The section continues to state that "hard times" or "scarcity of resources" is not an excuse to close a department, only if the substance of the department is waning. "[In light of budgetary constraints,] the dean decided that some departments were more important than others," Auerbach said this week. "Money is never in unlimited supply and we all have to make tough decisions." The second section of the statement suggests that departmental reviews should be used to aid departments in improving. The section continues to say that reviews should not be initially conducted when proposals to close or make "adverse changes" to a department arise. Communication is further reinforced in the third section which recommends that "faculty members of a department facing closure must be informed well before the formal recommendation of a closure is publicly announced." The final section dealing with department cuts states that the proposal to close a department is not grounds for an academic freedom violation. Am Civ Department Chairperson Melvyn Hammarberg said he is pleased with the statement. "I'm very pleased to see that the Senate has taken action calling for full public discussion of any administrative recommendations for the closing of departments," Hammarberg said this week. "I think we have learned a lesson through what has happened in the past year -- in the future similar proposals need full open deliberation by the faculty." Stevens said the decision to add the Faculty Senate's statement to departmental closing procedure will be up to Provost-elect Stanley Chodorow when he arrives at the University in July.
Through the initiative of the Philosophy Department, a new interdisciplinary major entitled Philosophy, Politics and Economics will be offered this coming fall term, Philosophy Department Chairperson Gary Hatfield said this week. Philosophy Professor Paul Guyer said the idea of the PP and E major first arose several years ago in the philosophy department and was negotiated with the Political Science and Economics Departments over the past year. Guyer described the major as "an integrated approach to the analysis of society and social issues." The major involves a core of nine courses, three from each department. One of the philosophy department's three courses, entitled "The Social Contract," was specially created for the major, Hatfield said. After taking the core requirement, students must then take four courses in the concentration of their choice, corresponding to the departments, and one additional course in the other two departments. The major is topped off by a seminar specially designed for the PP and E major to be taken in the fall of senior year. An optional honors thesis also exists. Guyer said this week that the major was created for many reasons. "These disciplines take somewhat different approaches to common problems and issues," Guyer said. "All too often, people in one discipline don't take notice of information in the other disciplines." Instead of isolating each subject area, Guyer said they want to make an integrated approach to these disciplines available. Guyer has recently learned from College of Arts and Sciences advisors that many students have created individualized majors similar to PP and E. "There are a large number of students going into legal careers and government careers, and this integrated approach answers a desired need," he said. Professor of Economics and Law Michael Wachter said the major will provide good training for law school. "[The PP and E major] allows for an understanding in how our legal system works and jurisprudential law," Wachter said this week. "You can do law and economics without this major, but if you would like to add the philosophical theory perspective, this major is perfect." The major is based on existing majors at Oxford University and the London School of Economics, but Hatfield said that the University's major is more "thoroughly integrated." Guyer said he does not know how popular the program will be but said there has already been a "considerable amount" of inquiries into the major.
Although the University's East Asia Program will not receive funding for graduate fellowships from the U.S. Department of Education for the next three years, administrators and involved faculty members said last night they are optimistic about the program's future. The Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies was denied Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) grants, which are used to fund graduate studies fellowships, and will not be able to reapply for another three years. "It is very disappointing because East Asia studies are something we are committed to and find very important at Penn," School of Arts and Sciences Dean Rosemary Stevens said last night. "The quality of the [East Asia] program will remain." Stevens said the University winning and losing grants all the time is commonplace. Many reasons, ranging from a lack of faculty members who specialize in the subject to the lack of an East Asian Center, were offered last week by faculty trying to explain why the funds were denied. But faculty members and the administration are trying to look ahead. "I genuinely believe that we are on the right track of building the East Asia program," SAS Associate Dean Rick Beeman said last night. "We probably won't be able to admit as many graduate students this year, but we'll try to find some fellowship money for entering graduate students." The need to compensate for the funding loss is currently under discussion between the program and the administration, and more talk between the two is still to come, Stevens said. "The faculty will be meeting with Associate Dean of Graduate Studies Donald Fitts on whether part of the funding for graduate students can be provided through Arts and Sciences' own resources," Stevens said. In fact, Beeman is scheduled to meet early this week with Fitts and East Asia Program acting Director William LeFleur. Speaking about previous meetings, LeFleur said the administration has been very "understanding." "We don't know yet what available funds will be available for the coming year," Lefleur said. "We are not talking about a tremendous amount of money, four or five scholarships." Beeman said the program's attractiveness is "very dependent" on the University's ability to give fellowships. Beeman added that the program will not be able to admit as many graduate students as before, but said the future success of the program lies in the faculty, not the students. Defending the idea that the administration is not currently doing enough to promote the East Asia program, Beeman said three new appointments have been made this year. "We have been aggressively hiring faculty in this area," Beeman said. "We are also coming close to hiring a director for the East Asia Program." Beeman admitted, though, that the need to hire these faculty members stemmed from weaknesses within the program. "It was that weakness that caused the Department of Education not to grant funding for graduate fellowships this year," he said.
School of Arts and Sciences Dean Rosemary Stevens said last night she hopes to meet with a prospective candidate for the deanship of the College of Arts and Sciences in the near future. College Dean Matthew Santirocco announced last month that he will leave the University this summer to become dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at New York University. Stevens said she has been soliciting suggestions from student groups, such as the Student Committee on Undergraduate Education and the Dean's Advisory Board. She has also spoken with various faculty members, College advisors and administrators. The dean search has been limited to full professors in SAS, she said, adding that she hopes the search will be over "as soon as possible." "I'm going to spend the next week or so branching out as widely as possible, giving everybody an opportunity [to speak] about the role of associate dean and about [candidate requests]," Stevens said last week. "It is important that we get exactly the right person." Stevens said she has been looking for someone to continue the "strengthening" that has occurred in the College under Santirocco. "I would like to see the College take a more central role in undergraduate education at Penn as a whole," she added. SCUE President and Engineering junior Matthew Kratter said he is confident Stevens will make a wise choice to fill the spot vacated by Santirocco. "We've had sort of a model of what the associate dean of the College should be," Kratter said last night. "[Stevens] and [SCUE] have the same image." Kratter added that SCUE submitted a recommendation list with about 30 candidates on it, but he could not recall any of them last night. "Two years ago, at least three people from SCUE specifically picked Santirocco," Kratter said. Kim Van Naarden, chairperson of the Dean's Advisory Board, said a list of recommendations was submitted to Stevens by her organization. She refused to comment on the list. David Brownlee, chairperson of the Committee on Undergraduate Education, said although Stevens had not met with CUE as a whole, she has met with individuals from the committee. Brownlee added that CUE is scheduled to meet with Stevens sometime in the next two weeks. Santirocco said last week that he is not involved with picking his replacement.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia denounced the "living constitutional approach" in his speech on constitutional interpretation yesterday afternoon. Scalia's lecture, sponsored by the Distinguished Jurist Series of the University's Institute for Law and Economics, centered around the benefits of the "textualist," or "originalist," interpretation of the U.S. Constitution to which he repeatedly said he subscribes. The originalist view of the Constitution relies on interpreting the document from the point of view of the framers, Scalia said, not interpreting it according to the changing views of the majority. "The Constitution was once fixed and stable, like a statue," Scalia said during his lecture. "It would have been unthinkable [in the past] to write what the Supreme Court has written in the past 30 years." Scalia described the the Court's legal position over the past 30 years as reflecting "the evolving standards of decency in a changing society," which he said is both wrong and harmful. "The living constitutional approach will ultimately, in my view, destroy the document," Scalia said. Scalia added that the Constitution is presently being interpreted as what it "ought to mean," not as what it simply is, a prescription he finds troubling. "What is now believed is that the Constitution is what the judges say it is," Scalia said. Along with the change in interpretation, Scalia noted that society has now given the Court, a group of "nine unrepresentative people," the last word on the Constitution. He said the power should lie in the legislature instead. Scalia offered the 19th amendment -- women's suffrage -- as an example of this change in power. "We wouldn't adopt the 19th Amendment today," Scalia said. "We would have the Court decide." While Scalia did admit his originalist view of the Constitution is not always perfect, he added that this view will allow the document to serve its intended purpose. After the speech, Scalia fielded what Institute Board of Advisors member Jim Agger described as "well-researched questions" from the audience. Second-year Law student Elliot Fertik questioned the validity of basing constitutional interpretation around what the framers intended. "Given the fact that the founding fathers often disagreed, how can the original text be a guide to what the Constitution means," he said. Scalia answered by saying that he does not "pretend that originalist theory is easy." "But, what is your candidate in place of it -- there is none," Scalia said. Reiterating that he finds it wrong for the public to constantly turn to the Court, Scalia joked that he feels like he's sitting on a mountaintop when he's asked such questions as, "Judge Scalia, is there a right to die?" Scalia said these questions should be debated and voted on, not left to the judgement of "nine lawyers" who have been chosen. University Law School Dean Colin Diver said Scalia's speech was "fabulous." "[Judge Scalia] is a very entertaining speaker and substantive as well," Diver said. He added that he, personally, "leaned" more towards an originalist interpretation, but disagrees with Scalia on specific cases. College senior William Shrubsall said he "wholeheartedly" agrees with Scalia. "I have been following [Scalia's] opinions since he joined the Court in 1986," Shrubsall said. "I like his interpretation of the Constitution." Past Distinguished Jurist lecturers include Judge Douglas Ginsberg, Judge William Allen, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, Judge Richard Posner and Judge Frank Easterbrook.
The Student Committee on Undergraduate Education released its White Paper on University Minors and Minor Programs yesterday. The White Paper, which comes at a time when the College of Arts and Sciences is developing inter-school minors with the School of Engineering and Applied Science and the School of Nursing, points out many problems that exist within minor programs at the University and offers a number of suggestions to rectify them. "The main goal of the paper was to try to create positive relationships between the students," said Brian Toll, co-chair of the University Minors Subcommittee of SCUE. "These types of common intellectual experiences try to break down the barriers between students of the different schools." The core of the paper centers around eight proposed inter-school University minors which utilize different strengths from the four undergraduate schools. The minor proposals such as Consumer Psychology recommend that certain classes be taken from the College and others from the Wharton School. The paper argues that many dual-degree programs presently exist, such as one between Marketing and Psychology, denoting that similar minor programs would be successful and useful to students. Other suggested minors are Health in Society, which pools resources from Wharton and Nursing, and Legal Environment and Technology in Society, which utilizes classes offered in Engineering and the College. "We want to add innovative programs to allow students to do more of what they are doing now on an unofficial level," said Satya Patel, co-chair of the University Minors Subcommittee. Along with the inter-school minors, the paper proposes minors in Business Study and Communications, two majors that do not presently offer minors. The White Paper also points to the fact that students obtain minors by taking six to eight "arbitrarily" selected courses from a field, which at many times prevents intellectual coherence. The four undergraduate schools are also encouraged to allow all students throughout the University to take minors in any school of their choosing. The paper points out other University inconsistencies, such as the inability for Wharton students to obtain credit for minors in the other schools. "We are trying to make this a University-wide central issue," SCUE president Matt Kratter said last night. College Dean Matthew Santirocco said he applauds SCUE's dedication to the matter of inter-school minors. "It's remarkable that SCUE's vision and our's coincide in many areas," Santirocco said last night, speaking on the two inter-school minors that are presently under development. Representatives from the College and Engineering met for the first of many times last Thursday to discuss a computing minor that would be conducive to the needs of College students. Santirocco repeatedly stated that the needs of College students are different than those of Engineering students, thereby making it necessary to create minors that appeal to the needs of College students. "It's a full partnership where faculty and administration from both schools are creating something new," Santirocco said. "The Engineering school has a minor in computing for their students, but we both agree that the interests that arts and sciences students have are different from those of Engineering students." Santirocco said the computing science minor serves as a pilot program and its success could lead to other similar inter-school courses. He also said that he hopes the College be involved in the development of all minors which students in the school will take. Unlike the Engineering minor, the Nursing School developed a Nutrition minor, which it has made available to all University students, on its own. The College Curriculum Committee is currently considering it, but has not approved it.
Mayor Ed Rendell has accepted an invitation to speak at this year's Ivy Day, Senior Class President Matt Canner confirmed last night. Canner said Rendell is a perfect choice to speak at the annual event, where the Ivy Day plaque of the graduating class is presented. "[Ivy Day] is usually one of the more fun events during Senior Week," Canner said. "[Rendell] fits in with that because he has a very good sense humor and is a good speaker." Another speaking position for Senior Week was filled last week when Commission on Strengthening the Community Chairperson Gloria Chisum accepted an invitation to give the Baccalaureate address. Interim President Claire Fagin, who picked the Baccalaureate speaker with University Chaplain Stanley Johnson, said she believes Chisum is a good choice because of her involvement in the University over the past year. Fagin said Chisum is a most active alumna, devoting her "love and time" to the University. Johnson cited Chisum's involvement in the Commission as a major reason why she was chosen. "I think she's had a very significant role in the life of the University this year," Johnson said last night. "I think that with heading the Commission this year, it makes it a very appropriate choice." Fagin voiced similar sentiments. She said the Commission has a lot to do with students' increased involvement in the University. Fagin said Chisum's University involvement is indicative of the positive changes that the University is presently undergoing. "[The University] has been trying to reconcile students' views over the past year," Fagin said last night. "The Commission has exemplified this [change] and [Chisum] exemplifies the leadership of this." Because Chisum and the Commission have developed "the blueprint" for the future of the University, Fagin said she couldn't think of anyone better to give the Baccalaureate address. Chisum was unavailable for comment last night. The five recipients of honorary degrees are architect and urban designer Denise Scott Brown; photographer Mary Ellen Mark; Brandeis University President Samuel O. Thier; Emeritus Professor of Anatomy and Human Biology at the University of the Witwasrand Philip V. Tobias; and U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary and Commencement speaker Henry G. Cisneros. Ward Goodenough, emeritus professor of the Anthropology Department and chair of the University Council on Honorary Degrees, said the recipients were chosen because of their incredible accomplishments in the sciences, humanities, fine arts and performing arts. The council recommends the degree recipients to the University Board of Trustees, which makes the final decision. Goodenough said an individual's relation to the University is also a consideration when choosing honorary degree recipients. "We look at nominees from the point of view of their accomplishments and what connections they've had with Penn," Goodenough said. "[It is] more appropriate to give [an honorary degree] to someone who has had something to do with Penn than someone with equal qualifications who has not."
Thirty college counselors from around the country spent the past weekend soaking up the University's atmosphere during the Counselor Visitation Program. The program, run by the Admissions Office, attempted to not only teach these counselors about the admissions process but also about the University, Dean of Admissions Lee Stetson said this week. The counselors represented high schools that have not had much of a relationship with the University in the past, Stetson said. "These are not counselors we work with regularly," Stetson said. "They haven't spent a lot of time working with schools in the Ivy league." Stetson said that by giving the counselors a sense of the University, they will hopefully promote the University to top students in their high schools. By way of campus tours, panel discussions with the schools' deans and students, and various activities, such as attending classes, the Admissions Office gave the counselors a strong feeling for the University, the city and the entire admissions process, Stetson said. "[Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Matthew Santirocco] framed it well when he said that we're not here to say that we are the best, we are here to show you what is unique, what sets us apart from other schools," Stetson said. "The counselors said they were expecting a more aloof, if not arrogant manner and found Penn to be exactly the opposite." According to feedback received this week, Stetson said the weekend was quite successful in promoting the University. "[The college counselors]?said the school was a welcoming environment, more than they have sensed elsewhere," he said. "They said that we were not selling Penn, but presenting it -- it would sell itself." Along with presenting the University to the counselors, the program also attempted to teach the counselors about the admissions process from the inside. The counselors took part in a mock admissions selection committee where they looked at two very different students' transcripts and weighed the positives and negatives of each.
Thousands of students, recently admitted to the University's Class of 1998, will visit classes, sleep in dormitories and shop at The Book Store over the next month as Penn Preview Weeks kick off tomorrow. Admissions Dean Lee Stetson said last night Penn Preview Weeks are a modified version of "Locust Weeks," intended to give students an introduction to the University. The Kite and Key Society works with the Admissions Office on Penn Preview Weeks by organizing campus tours, offering members as tour guides and providing ambassadors who will house the students. Members of the society will also be on hand to answer questions about the University during daily information sessions in Bodek Lounge. Kite and Key President Roberta Griff describes Penn Preview Weeks as an "exciting time." "There is so much to do [during Penn Preview Weeks], I don't see how anyone can come and not like it," Griff said. Along with the various official programs the high school students can attend, Griff said the admitted students also get a feel for the social side of the University. Kite and Key Vice President Simone Betchen said she believes the next few weeks are helpful for students who are deciding whether to matriculate. Stetson said he expects 300 to 400 students to arrive tomorrow alone. And he added that the numbers will increase during the next 10 days. Along with the large number of students who normally visit each year, Stetson said he expects to see even more because of the academic strength of this year's admitted class. "There are more students on the fence because there is a stronger class this year and they have many options," he said.
Watch out 573, here comes 417. Yes, by the time students return to campus this fall, phone numbers for on-campus residences will begin with the number seven instead of the now familiar three. Why the change? With the introduction of ResNet in many dorms in the fall of 1992, many students began obtaining their own, private telephone lines, instead of sharing one with three or four other roommates, Department of Telecommunications Manager Laurie Cousart said this week. The Telecommunications Department controls all administration phone lines, including those used for modems and faxes. In addition to allocating 573 numbers to students and administrators, Telecommunications also assigns the 898 prefix. Before ResNet was introduced, only phone numbers between 573-4000 and 573-9000 were allocated for on-campus residences, Penntrex Manager Darren Yamin said this week. Then, last year, phone numbers in the 573-1000s and 9000s were also allocated by Telecommunications for Penntrex. Despite this, both groups realized that they would soon run out of phone lines for residential and administrative use, Cousart said. "We realized that there wouldn't be enough phone lines in the future," Cousart said. "Before [the 573 prefix ran out of available lines], we wanted to take the necessary steps so that changing the prefix wouldn't inconvenience more people later." Yamin said the 898 prefix only has about 100 numbers left for administrative use, and this has prompted Penntrex to offer the 573 numbers to administration. To be consistent in all on-campus residences, Cousart said the University reserved the 417 prefix from Bell of Pennsylvania last fall. With the 417 prefix, 10,000 lines will be available strictly for residential use, she added. "The move to 417 will allow for enough growth for awhile," Yamin said. Whether the change will be an inconvenience to students who have now become accustomed to 573, many have said the new number will not pose much of a problem. "I don't think it will be a big inconvenience," Engineering senior Christopher Chang said. "It's just going to take a little adjusting." Wharton freshman Gregory Nesmith said he foresees some problems, but added, "It shouldn't be too much of an inconvenience -- we're pretty smart here."
Changes to the College General Requirement allowing for greater academic freedom were passed unanimously last week by the faculty of the School of Arts and Sciences, Committee on Undergraduate Education Chairperson David Brownlee said last night. The changes also provide for a unified Committee on the General Requirement, which will "review all proposals originating in departments and programs for General Requirement and Distributional Courses, approving or disapproving such courses and assigning them to sectors," the proposal states. According to the proposal, which was formulated by CUE, College students will now have the option of substituting a "Distributional Course" for one General Requirement course in each of the first three sectors. Distributional Courses will include almost all courses offered throughout the University, each course tagged with a designated sector, Brownlee said. He added that the option was undertaken for many reasons. One reason Brownlee pointed to is the difficulty some majors, especially those in the "hard sciences," encounter when trying to finish the General Requirement by the end of their first two years. Because of the number of pre-requisites these students must take, they are unable to do so. "Frequently, [Natural Science majors] end up fulfilling the General Requirement in their last two years," Brownlee said. "In general, we tried to create a system where [students] should at least be able to take one course in the six sectors in their first two years." The Distributional Course option will allow students to take upper-level courses to fulfill the College requirement, which in essence offers students more academic freedom, Brownlee said. "The changes help preserve the central integrity of the General Requirement and also allows students flexibility," Brownlee added. The decision to offer Distributional Courses was influenced greatly by the Student Committee on Undergraduate Education's White Paper on the matter, submitted last year, both Brownlee and SCUE Chairperson Matthew Kratter agree. "I think its wonderful that [CUE is] essentially following the SCUE model of restructuring the General Requirement," Kratter said this week. College of Arts and Sciences Dean Matthew Santirocco said he was delighted that SCUE participated so effectively. "I am particularly pleased that the student input was so valuable and that their opinion was taken so seriously by CUE," Santirocco said. In another portion of the report, the CUE proposal states that the General Requirement has been continually criticized because "it is difficult to discern the rationale by which its many and diverse courses have been selected, especially in the first three sectors." The proposal asks for all departments, especially those involved in the first three sectors, to review the courses offered to fulfill the College requirement and to form a smaller, more cohesive list of courses. Working on its own initiative, the English Department has reviewed its General Requirement offerings throughout the year and has already made changes for next semester, English Department Undergraduate Chairperson Al Filreis said last week. "After years of having the General Requirement, we realized that courses designated as Arts and Letters courses were incoherent," Filreis said. Filreis said the English Department also decided to change its General Requirement offerings because it wanted to "act as citizens of the College." He pointed out that no courses, up until now, have been created specifically to fulfill the intellectual ideal behind each sector. "There is no such thing as an academic constituency that transcends departments," Filreis said. "We created courses that would cross departments and represent the actual sectors." Four of five newly created courses will be offered next semester by the English Department in place of the previously offered requirement courses. "I'm impressed with what the English Department has done this year," Brownlee said. "I think that this kind of scrutiny is what other departments should be doing." Brownlee said the General Requirement course list will shrink significantly in the near future in hopes of creating a more cohesive list. To aid in the creation of a more cohesive course selection, the CUE proposal replaces the seven sector panels with one General Requirement Committee. The committee will contain one representative from each of the six sectors plus one from the Science Studies sub-sector. "This new single-certifying committee will provide a wonderful impetus for the creation of specially designed General Requirement courses," Santirocco said.
Applications hit record high About 36 percent of those who applied for admission to the Class of 1998 will receive acceptance letters in the mail starting today, Admissions Dean Lee Stetson said last night. Of the 13,731 high school seniors who applied to the University this year, 4,970 were admitted. The number was down 262 from last year's 5,232 accepted students. The number of applicants in this year's pool set a University record, which was 11 percent higher than last year's 12,394 applicants. According to Stetson, the average SAT score of this year's admitted student is 1304 -- 614 in math and 690 in verbal -- up from last year's combined score of 1296. The accepted students also ranked in the top three percent of their high school classes and have an average Achievement test score of 648, up from last year's average of 645, he added. "The quality of the class is an even greater source of satisfaction than the large number of applicants," Stetson said last night. Of the students admitted, 3,236 students were accepted to the College, down from last year's 3,329, he said. About 1,500 of those are expected to enroll. Only 570 high school seniors of the 2,050 who applied to the Wharton School were admitted, Stetson said. He added that he expects about 400 students to enroll in the school, the same number as he expects for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. The Engineering School experienced a slight decrease in the number of admitted students with 1,028 of them receiving acceptance letters, compared to 1,125 students last year. The Nursing School was the only school to experience an increase in admits, with 136 students accepted over last years 123. The Admissions Office is expecting 85 to enroll, Stetson said. "We let fewer students in to control the class size," Stetson said. "We are expecting a class in the neighborhood of a 47 percent yield [of the 4,970]." Stetson added that he envisions a class size of around 2,350 students, down 110 from this year's entering freshman class, which was the largest in recent history. Stetson said the Admissions Office intends to pare back the size of the incoming classes a little each year. He added that if the number of students who enroll by the May 1 deadline does not reach the target, students will be admitted from the wait list to fill the open spots. "We are always uncertain as to what the breakdown of the class will be," Stetson said. "[The breakdown] will be finally realized when students finally accept in May." This year's admitted class experienced a "significant shift" in the proportion of men to women. Forty-eight percent of those admitted are women, compared to 44 percent last year. Consistent with the lower acceptance rate this year, the number of Asian Americans, Latinos and Mexican Americans admitted is also down from last year. But, the number of African Americans admitted is up to 387, from last year's 383. The number of Puerto Ricans is also up to 62 from 59 last year. Stetson said he expects the number of minority students who enroll to be on par with last year's numbers. "Now, the challenge is to enroll the class we've admitted," Stetson said last night. "My sense is that the [accepted] students will have many options and there will be significant competition from other schools."
Applications hit record high About 36 percent of those who applied for admission to the Class of 1998 will receive acceptance letters in the mail starting today, Admissions Dean Lee Stetson said last night. Of the 13,731 high school seniors who applied to the University this year, 4,970 were admitted. The number was down 262 from last year's 5,232 accepted students. The number of applicants in this year's pool set a University record, which was 11 percent higher than last year's 12,394 applicants. According to Stetson, the average SAT score of this year's admitted student is 1304 -- 614 in math and 690 in verbal -- up from last year's combined score of 1296. The accepted students also ranked in the top three percent of their high school classes and have an average Achievement test score of 648, up from last year's average of 645, he added. "The quality of the class is an even greater source of satisfaction than the large number of applicants," Stetson said last night. Of the students admitted, 3,236 students were accepted to the College, down from last year's 3,329, he said. About 1,500 of those are expected to enroll. Only 570 high school seniors of the 2,050 who applied to the Wharton School were admitted, Stetson said. He added that he expects about 400 students to enroll in the school, the same number as he expects for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. The Engineering School experienced a slight decrease in the number of admitted students with 1,028 of them receiving acceptance letters, compared to 1,125 students last year. The Nursing School was the only school to experience an increase in admits, with 136 students accepted over last years 123. The Admissions Office is expecting 85 to enroll, Stetson said. "We let fewer students in to control the class size," Stetson said. "We are expecting a class in the neighborhood of a 47 percent yield [of the 4,970]." Stetson added that he envisions a class size of around 2,350 students, down 110 from this year's entering freshman class, which was the largest in recent history. Stetson said the Admissions Office intends to pare back the size of the incoming classes a little each year. He added that if the number of students who enroll by the May 1 deadline does not reach the target, students will be admitted from the wait list to fill the open spots. "We are always uncertain as to what the breakdown of the class will be," Stetson said. "[The breakdown] will be finally realized when students finally accept in May." This year's admitted class experienced a "significant shift" in the proportion of men to women. Forty-eight percent of those admitted are women, compared to 44 percent last year. Consistent with the lower acceptance rate this year, the number of Asian Americans, Latinos and Mexican Americans admitted is also down from last year. But, the number of African Americans admitted is up to 387, from last year's 383. The number of Puerto Ricans is also up to 62 from 59 last year. Stetson said he expects the number of minority students who enroll to be on par with last year's numbers. Consistent with last year's pool is the returning interest in the University from students in the Northeast. Students from New England and Mid-Atlantic states represent about 60 percent of the accepted class, Stetson said. The other 40 percent are students from other states and from around the world. About 410 international students were admitted from the pool of 1,681 students. This year, international students made up 10 percent of the entering class. "Now, the challenge is to enroll the class we've admitted," Stetson said last night. "My sense is that the [accepted] students will have many options and there will be significant competition from other schools. "We will be going head-to-head with our peer institutions," he added. Stetson said it is important for the University to be seen as a viable choice for the admitted students. He hopes the Penn Preview Weeks, which begin this weekend, will be influential in the students' decisions. "I think we will fare well," Stetson said. "The attractiveness of Penn has never been greater."
Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. denounced political correctness, suspension of free speech and other aspects of the "new-left's" agenda during his key-note speech, entitled "Multiculturalism and the Bill of Rights," at the Dean's Forum last night. The Dean's Forum, in its 10th year, honored 20 students in the School of Arts and Sciences chosen to be Dean's scholars. Ten of those awarded are graduate students, nine are College students and one is from the College of General Studies. Schlesinger's speech, which criticized multiculturalism and its impacts on the First Amendment, advocated all forms of free speech, including hate-speech. Speaking about those who "lead the attacks on free speech in the name of a multicultural society," Schlesinger pointed to the switch of students' roles on college campuses over the past half century during his hour-long speech in Meyerson Hall. Whereas conservative students once looked to denounce liberal professors espousing communism, Schlesinger said the new leftist students now attack their conservative professors for anything construed as not falling in line with the new multiculturalistic ideologies. "Multicultural idealogues regard the Constitution as written for nations of groups, not individuals," Schlesinger said last night. "This new theory undermines the idea of civil liberties." Schlesinger also said that while most of America's history is seen as "a stage of absorption," the "new ethnic politics" favors distinct communities. While there are a few healthy consequences of this eruption of ethnicities, such as the recent drive for American education to reflect the achievements of minorities, many problems have arisen because of this drive for distinct, separate communities, he said. "The ethnic gospel in militant form rejects ideals of assimilation and integration," Schlesinger said. "[The multicultural militants] reject America as a common culture and reject the cornerstone of the Constitution, the First Amendment. Along with advocating equal opportunity and integration in the marketplace and school, Schlesinger noted that the white majority must treat minorities as they would treat "their own" if any progress is to be made. Repressing the First Amendment, even if the speech is construed as evil, is not the way to bring minorities into society, he said. Before Schlesinger's speech, SAS Dean Rosemary Stevens began the night by congratulating the 20 award winners. "[The Scholars] represent best what the University is all about," Stevens said. After the Scholars stood for recognition, Stevens introduced Joel Conarroe, who formally introduced Schlesinger. Conarroe, who was SAS dean from 1983 to 1984, began the Dean's Scholars program. Conarroe spoke of Schlesinger's constant "willingness to speak his mind" amid raised eyebrows and heckles as a reason why he was perfect to give the keynote speech at the forum. Among the many things Conarroe listed, Schlesinger wrote his first book The Age of Jackson, which won him one of his two Pulitzer Prizes, at age 27. Schlesinger also helped formulate the "New Frontier" while a special assistant to President John F. Kennedy. Although "retired," he is the Albert Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities at the City University of New York. Schlesinger has also written a total of 15 books, worked on Adlai Stevenson's presidential campaigns in 1952 and 1956, and served as a professor at Harvard University after graduating from there Phi Beta Kappa.
A task force to evaluate the study of religion at the University was created earlier this month by School of Arts and Sciences Dean Rosemary Stevens. The move follows Stevens' recommendation to disband the Religious Studies Department with the American Civilization and Regional Science Departments last fall. The latter two department cuts have been approved by the University Board of Trustees, but the fate of the Religious Studies Department has been in limbo up until late. The task force "has been charged to come up with options for substantive development of education in religious studies for the 21st century," Stevens said last week. "[Given the added time,] we decided that it was a good opportunity to do more task study of the religious studies field at Penn, outside of looking at the department," Stevens said. "The task force is looking at options we have for defining and teaching religious studies at Penn given the resources we have." The committee, comprised of eight faculty members from various University departments, will analyze the best ways to teach religious studies at the University, Religious Studies Department Chairperson and Task Force member Ann Matter said last night. History Professor Bruce Kuklick, chairperson of the Task Force, added that the committee intends "to figure out the best way in which students needs can be met in religious studies and teach the core of courses that define religious studies as a discipline." Everything discussed by the committee is confidential, said Matter, but she was willing to say that after the first three meetings, "everybody has agreed that the study of religion is very important." After meeting two more times, Kuklick said the Task Force will prepare a final report for the dean to be submitted by the end of the semester. As to whether the committee could decide that the best way to teach religious studies is through the current department structure, Kuklick said, "it could be a possibility." David Brownlee, chairperson of the History of Art Department and Task Force member, said that while discussions have been confidential thus far, the committee is looking forward to making a recommendation to the dean. "I don't think that the primary question is whether there should be a department, but how best to teach the subject, that is what we want to inform the dean about," Brownlee said. Stevens said she is also eager to read the Task Force's report. "We need to have strong programs in religious studies here at Penn," Stevens said. "We want to talk about the programs without prejudice, one step at a time, and having an open mind." Stevens added that she has faith in the capability of the Task Force, whether they propose to keep the Religious Studies Department or not. Daily Pennsylvanian Staff Writer Jennifer Kushner contributed to this story.
As dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Matthew Santirocco has accomplished more in a year and a half than any student, faculty member or administrator could hope to achieve while at the University. And because of this, many people at the University are still recovering from Santirocco's announcement that he will leave the University after the semester to become dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at New York University. "[Santirocco] had provided for the first time in years, a reason for all of us to be optimistic about undergraduate education," English Professor Peter Conn said this week. Interim President Claire Fagin summed up the University's sentiment Sunday night by sighing twice when asked about his decision to leave. "There is no one who does not rave about [Santirocco]," Fagin said. "He has been a tremendous strength in the school and in improving services for students." Fagin, as well as many administrators, faculty members and students all said they were upset by his decision to leave, but all wished him well in his new position. Why is Santirocco regarded so highly across all levels of the University? Upon becoming dean of the College in January 1993, Santirocco immediately established his dedication to improving education by initiating a flurry of academic and institutional reforms, all intended to establish the College as the center of the University. One of the many tasks that Santirocco undertook was the complete revamping of the College advising system which will go into effect next fall. Changes to the program include the creation of a four-tier advising system for freshmen, which allows them more direct contact with advisors in the College Office and the addition of faculty members to the program. The new advising program also formally allows sophomores to return to their freshmen advisors for help. Under Santirocco's leadership, the College also began reviewing the General Requirement, created in 1987 to give students a broad-based education, last fall. Santirocco has said that he wants a more coherent requirement program that does not consist of throwing together a group of randomly offered courses. In an effort to enhance the idea of the College as the center of the University, Santirocco is presently overseeing the College Office move to Houston Hall. Before the move was announced last month, he made it clear that the College's present office is inadequate in providing proper student services. To improve the level of education in the School of Arts and Sciences, Santirocco realized that the base of education lay in the quality of the professors teaching. Santirocco initiated the Teaching Center last semester to provide help to those professors who believed they needed it. The Center provides a videotaping service, which allows professors to witness themselves, and offers a mentoring program that allows professors who want advice to be paired with faculty members who have either won the University's Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching or the SAS Ira Abrams Memorial Award. "Obviously, if a professor is having a problem, videotaping and having a mentor can be very helpful," Santirocco said last November. "But, it's for all teachers, because even great teachers can improve." Speaking on Santirocco's committment to education, Chairperson of the Committee on Undergraduate Education David Brownlee said this week, "I think Matthew Santirocco is the most effective dean we have ever had since I've been here -- 1980." Brownlee has worked alongside Santirocco on many projects because of their involvement in CUE. He said he believes Santirocco is so successful because he not only has a vision of what undergraduate education is supposed to be, but also has the political savvy to make changes. To do this, Santirocco has established a close bond with students and faculty. "[Santirocco] has always been close to students," Student Committee on Undergraduate Education Chairperson and Engineering junior Matthew Kratter said over the weekend. When appointed dean, Santirocco decided to stay on as a senior faculty resident in the Quadrangle and he has consistently formed many lasting relationships with students. Last semester, Santirocco even set up an electronic mail account so students can reach him with questions or comments. "Santirocco was one of a kind and we will not succeed in replacing him," Conn said. "In my view, Matthew was the only member of the administration who spoke with eloquence and passion and good humor and conviction in describing a vision of education for Penn."