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M. Tennis says Aloha to break

(03/10/00 10:00am)

After hearing where the Penn men's tennis team is spending its spring break, students may be left wishing they had practiced their forehand more often before coming to college. The Quakers today boarded a plane bound for their annual trip to Hawaii for a week of tennis with a tan. "This trip is 90 percent about playing tennis," senior co-captain Eric Sobotka said. "The other 10 percent is, well, you're in Hawaii, man." The Quakers' schedule has grown busier from last year, with five teams to play instead of three. Penn will once again compete against two squads it beat last year -- the University of Hawaii and the University of Hawaii at Hilo. The Quakers will also face Brigham Young University at Hawaii, a team that beat the Quakers last year. Hawaii Pacific -- which Penn scrimmaged last year but did not officially play -- and Chaminade are the new additions to the schedule. The challenge for Penn will be defeating Hawaii Pacific and BYU-Hawaii. The BYU team is composed of many outstanding foreign players, despite the Seasiders Division II status. The Quakers lost 5-4 to BYU-Hawaii last year, with Penn's losses in doubles the main reason for their downfall. But seeing as the Red and Blue have been on a roll in doubles matches lately, they may have greater success this year. "Last year, [BYU-Hawaii] had a couple of transfers from UCLA that were real tough. That school is for a lot of guys who weren't eligible for Division I but needed full rides," Sobotka said. "Hawaii, Pacific and BYU, they're kind of like N.C. State. Definitely beatable, but we're going to have to play well. Those are just coin-toss matches." Penn lost 5-2 to N.C. State on February 25, with freshman Ryan Harwood accounting for the only Penn win in the singles competitions . But despite the N.C. State loss, Sobotka is confident that if the Quakers stay focused, they can hand losses to all their opponents. "These [teams] are definitely not out of our league," Sobotka said. "We could conceivably go 5-0, and I'm hoping we will." The addition of two teams to Penn's Hawaii lineup is part of coach Gordie Ernst's strategy to expose his Quakers to tougher competition before the Eastern Intercollegiate Tennis League season begins. Ernst believes that one of the reasons the Quakers recorded a dismal 2-7 EITL season last year was that they didn't challenge themselves enough in preseason competition. "Last year we won six or seven matches early in the season," Ernst said. "But come the Ivy season, we weren't as strong as we could have been. This year, I've beefed up the schedule, and hopefully it will help in the long run." When the Quakers return to Philadelphia with their tans, they will have 10 days to prepare for their first EITL match against Navy on March 29. "We're going to have a good time -- you always do in a climate like that," Sobotka said. "The objective is to go down there and win five matches and come back confident for the Ivy season."


GUEST COLUMNIST: At work with Trammell Crow

(03/10/00 10:00am)

The new six-year agreement with Trammell Crow, announced last week, will allow us to build on that feedback and our experience, and will facilitate an even more productive relationship. Trammell Crow will continue to provide us with construction management services for the University's more than $700 million program. In addition, Trammell Crow will provide us with portfolio management services (i.e., property leasing, acquisitions and dispositions), and under a separate 10-year agreement with University City Associates, Trammell Crow will manage our off-campus facilities. Facilities operations will be managed directly by the University, and we are better informed and better prepared to accept those responsibilities. The decision to "extend and restructure" Penn's relationship with Trammell Crow is a natural evolution of our original core working agreement. It is not an indication that the original arrangement failed. Remember, ours was a unique model, the first between an educational institution and the private sector, and we were in uncharted waters. Much in the original agreement made very good sense, and we actively sought IRS approval to extend it for a nine-year term. In the final analysis, however, it simply wasn't feasible, in our opinion, to do so. The original agreement was grounded in three core principles; we continue to believe in them: · First and foremost, that an effective mix of private sector discipline and higher education knowledge could and should produce better and more efficient delivery of basic facilities services. Clearly, Trammell Crow brought to Penn a high level of professionalism, intensity, commitment and work ethic that is very attractive in the workplace. Trammell Crow also helped us increase financial discipline, and we use rigorous budgeting and financial analysis as a matter of course to manage our costs better. · Second, that the consolidation of three distinct organizational units -- Facilities Services, Residential Maintenance and University City Associates -- responsible for delivering those services would produce a more efficient organization, enabling us to make great strides toward providing the best service for the best possible price. Our organization is now consolidated, streamlined and re-engineered; the current model allows for both the Trammell Crow and in-house employees to work together toward a common goal, and we have accomplished an important reorganization of facilities services on campus. · Third, and perhaps most importantly, that restructuring service delivery would make it more responsive and focused on our customers. Are we where we want to be? Clearly, we have made considerable progress toward achieving our goal of better service at a lower cost. Can we improve? Yes! Will we improve? Absolutely. We believe that outsourcing allowed us to analyze and change almost every service delivery model. We attracted new talent to the organization, and we are very, very pleased with the quality of the people in our organization today, both those who will remain with Trammell Crow and those we will welcome back to the University. And we learned a great deal through the discipline of self-examination and solicitation of feedback from our customer base. There are those in higher education who have suggested that the Penn-Trammell Crow partnership is a model that demonstrates that educational institutions and the private sector can, in fact, work together. This relationship is for the benefit of both parties, providing essential services to support the educational teaching and research mission of America's colleges and universities. We're very pleased about that.


Health Sys. search to get started soon

(03/10/00 10:00am)

With William Kelley ousted as chief executive officer of the University of Pennsylvania Health System and dean of the Medical School three weeks ago, Penn officials said they hope to soon begin looking for a replacement. "We are thinking through the strategic options for the health care system and the search for a full-time CEO and dean," Provost Robert Barchi said. "Hopefully, that decision will be made at some time in the near future." Chief of Medicine Peter Traber is serving as interim CEO and dean and will remain in that role until a successor is named. Traber has expressed interest in taking the position permanently and Barchi said yesterday he will likely be a candidate. University President Judith Rodin made it clear that there is no formal timetable for the search to start, noting only that she will "move as expeditiously on a search as is appropriate for the Health System." According to Kevin Butler, the managing director of the health care division of Heidrick and Struggles -- an executive search firm with which Penn has worked in the past -- a typical search for a health system CEO takes anywhere from three to six months. "When a search works like clockwork, it is a 90- to 125-day process," he said. "But university searches are a lot more challenging." The process of choosing a candidate to run an academic medical center is like that of most other administrative searches. Each candidate will undergo a background check and a committee will evaluate the hopefuls before making a final recommendation to the president. At Penn, the five most recent major academic searches have taken more than a year each to complete, and all ultimately yielded internal selections. It took more than 15 months before Law School Dean Michael Fitts and Wharton School Dean Patrick Harker were appointed this spring. The search that landed Barchi as provost took more than 13 months and Eduardo Glandt and Samuel Preston were named deans of the Engineering School and the School of Arts and Sciences, respectively, after still-longer searches. And the process that brought Kelley from the University of Michigan in the summer of 1989 took about two years from start to finish. But the narrow pool of candidates eligible to run an academic health system can make recruiting even more challenging, as those considered must have experience managing research and educational programs in addition to overseeing day-to-day patient care. And they also must be willing to leave their current jobs. In Penn's case, the selection process is further compounded by the Health System's current financial problems. A new manager must have the financial skills -- and also the willingness -- to inherit a health system that has lost $300 million over the past three years. But while those people are few and far between, they are certainly out there, said David Shalbot, the managing director of executive search firm Korn/Ferry International's health care practice. "They are turnaround people and they are not exactly nurturing," he said. "They are people who love a challenge and have the skills to take it on." Shabot added that the prestige of running the University's health system -- which is the second-largest in the region -- and highly ranked medical school is another attraction of the job. In the meantime, Traber remains at the helm, flanked by a a leadership team of top University officials and Hunter Group management consultants. The Hunter Group became advisors to the Health System last summer, recommending a number of cost-cutting initiatives, including the elimination of more than 2,800 positions. Penn invited the group back this spring to continue helping with its remediation effort.


'Philadelphia' piece critical of Kelley's style

(03/10/00 10:00am)

William Kelley knows what it's like to be in the spotlight. He is credited with building the University of Pennsylvania Health System into one of the top academic medical research centers in the country. But amidst the Health System's recent financial troubles and his dismissal last month, Kelley has been transformed from a media darling into an object of intense scrutiny. The former chief executive officer of the Health System and dean of the School of Medicine -- who University President Judith Rodin fired three weeks ago -- has been depicted as a cunning leader who showed indifference and even outright hostility to many of his employees. Most recently, an article in this month's Philadelphia Magazine entitled "Sick Days" took the scrutiny a step further, portraying Kelley as emotionless and cold -- and blaming him for the Health System's fiscal crisis. The reporter, Lawrence Goodman, described Kelley as an arrogant leader who "drove out his enemies," and was "too hard-charging, too callous in his dealings with people." He wrote that Kelley led his institution with blinders, paying attention only to the bottom line and refusing to see any of the warning signs of financial disaster. But many who have worked for Kelley saw the article as inaccurate. Health System spokeswoman Lori Doyle defended her former boss of seven years. She said she felt the depiction was an unfair portrayal of Kelley, pointing out that the author quoted mostly former employees. Goodman, for instance, wrote about a former chairman of cardiology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania who was abruptly told to resign for no apparent reason. The administrator who fired him later said the department needed change. Also mentioned was Bud Pittinger, a longtime friend of Kelley who served as HUP's executive director until 1995, when he was fired by the CEO and escorted out of the building by security guards. "They all left because they couldn't cut it," Doyle said. "So of course they're going to be disgruntled." I. William Ferniany, who was appointed interim chief operating officer of the Health System 10 days ago, explained that the type of leadership described in the piece was an exception for Kelley. "I've been here 7 1/2 years," Ferniany said yesterday. "And I've only heard of that happening once." Peter Quinn, chairman of the medical board at UPHS, described Kelley as a tough guy who demanded professionalism from those around him. He criticized the article for resorting to exaggeration to sell more papers. "I think that he wanted to make Bill a fiery persona because that would be more interesting," Quinn said. But Stephen Fried, the magazine's editor, is quick to defend Goodman's work. "All I can say is I haven't heard [any complaints] from Kelley," he said. Goodman's article also blamed the system's financial problems on Kelley's aggressive purchase of three hospitals over a three-year period in the mid-1990s and creation of a network of private clinical practices. "It is easy to look back and say Penn shouldn't have done a lot of things," said Martha Marsh, a former Penn Health System executive. "So second guessing things that were worthwhile at the time is not going to help." Quinn attributed the Health System's financial problems to two factors: managed care and the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, which drastically cut federal reimbursements to hospitals. "Dr. Kelley was doing some incredible things at the wrong time in history," he noted. "His style to me wasn't an issue." Fried, though, stands by his reporter. He points out that Goodman spoke to high level administrators from across UPHS before making conclusions about Kelley. "It's a fair and balanced article," Fried maintains. "It's [Goodman's] perception that Kelley had a certain disconnect with people." But Ferniany's experience working with Kelley was nothing but positive. He said Kelley had high expectations for himself and his employees. "You have to sit down and look at his accomplishments," he said. "When you look at it in balance, you find a great man."


Dorms expand living-learning programs

(03/10/00 10:00am)

Arabic, multiculturalism and communications will be added to the list of living and learning residential programs for next year, giving students some more exotic housing options than can be found in a traditional dormitory. The new programs will bring the total number of living-learning groups to 17, distributed through eight of Penn's 12 college houses. Programs currently exist in fields ranging from the humanities to the study of infectious diseases. In Gregory College House's Modern Languages Program, Arabic will join existing offerings in French, Spanish, German and Italian. The Modern Languages Program is one of the oldest theme-living programs on campus, having been established in the 1970s. Students in the program live with other students interested in the same language and attend seminars and movie screenings in that language. Program members are required to eat dinners in the house's section of Class of 1920 Commons, where discussions are conducted entirely in the a student's target language. "It seemed like a logical extension of the program," Gregory House Dean Chris Donovan said of the addition of the Arabic group, to be known as Al-bayt al-arabi, or "Arabic House." "There are a lot of Arabic-[speaking] students at Penn who don't have a lot of [support] resources," Donovan said. Community House is looking for students from diverse backgrounds for its new program, the Living Cultures Residential Program. This program is designed to explore international and multicultural issues, said Community House Faculty Fellow Joseph Sun, who developed the program's concept. "The vision really is to draw together students who share this common interest in this sort of multicultural, multi-religious living community and enjoying all that this sort of diversity brings to one's university experience," Sun said. Sun expects the program's activities to be "a mix of educational, scholarly and social activities that will focus on issues of race, culture, nationality and religion." He added that the program would be shaped in large part by the first year's students, who he expects will primarily be incoming freshmen. The living-learning group will have room for 42 students. Sun said the program will collaborate with other offices and departments on campus. The Greenfield Intercultural Center, the Office of International Programs and the chaplain's office have already agreed to work with the program's students, he said. Goldberg College House will also expand on its house theme of public affairs and culture with its new program in media and communications The program, still in its planning stages, will concentrate on politics and political communications but is open to students interested in any aspect of the fields, said College senior Jane Hill, a Goldberg House program assistant. Hill said the program will probably continue activities held by the house in the past, including trips to Washington, D.C., and symposiums and lectures on relevant topics by University faculty. "It's a good way of bridging academics and kind of a social theme with residential life," Hill said. All three programs will be accepting applications from current students as well as from incoming freshmen, to whom the options will be publicized.


Psych prof inspires early-morning class

(03/10/00 10:00am)

"Raise your hand if you've never experienced anxiety," Psychology instructor Andrew Shatte tells a packed lecture hall of students on a recent Thursday morning. A single arm shoots up hesitantly. "We call people who never experience anxiety sociopaths," says the Australian-born Shatte, 37, delivering his punch line nonchalantly as the students in Stiteler Hall Room B-6 erupt in laughter. But then again, laughs are more common than snores during Shatte's Abnormal Psychology class, which meets from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. By the beginning of the semester, all 280 spots in the class were taken. Arrive 10 minutes late to a Tuesday morning lecture and risk not finding a seat -- even up front. Still, it must be more than learning about people who talk to themselves, wash their hands 10 times a day or never step on cracks on the sidewalk that reels students in and gets them out of bed before 9 a.m. In fact, as students and colleagues can attest, Shatte -- a research associate in the department who specializes in depression prevention in children -- might very well be the main attraction himself. There's the Andrew Shatte whose past -- and most bizarre thoughts -- are accessible to each student he encounters. There's the Andrew Shatte who played in a comedic rock band named Funky Nigel as a college student in Australia. There's the Andrew Shatte who looks forward to his daily dose of nostalgia on Y100's Eighties at Eight in the morning. And then there's Andrew Shatte the teacher, a man who shows an airplane crash from the hit film Fearless to induce fear and anxiety in his students, a man who shares his own personal phobias -- he fears sharks -- and a man who asks his students to "raise [your] hand if you're so bored shitless that [you're] ready to explode." As it turns out, though, his students hardly ever seem bored. Instead, they respond to his enthusiasm -- and self-proclaimed oddities -- by participating in class regularly. For Shatte, that's precisely the point: to have even just a small impact on a large group of people. "The class never becomes dull for me," Shatte says from his office overlooking Walnut Street. "I understand I am seeing it fresh for the first time through their eyes. By interacting with them, I get that energy." The students' part of the bargain, Shatte said, is to come to class and be open-minded. His own end, meanwhile, is to lecture in an interesting way by relating the material to his students' own lives -- which he says is one of the great things about teaching psychology as opposed to, say, teaching math. In fact, his influence is significant enough that many of Shatte's female students are rumored to have secret crushes on him. From one anonymous woman, Shatte even received a condom-gram on Valentine's Day. "I put in in my medicine cabinet right next to my Viagra," a blushing Shatte joked with his class. Engineering sophomore Meeta Advani, one of Shatte's current students, said she was encouraged by her female residential advisor -- who, she says, was "definitely interested in him" -- to enroll in the class. From a more, well, scholarly point of view, his colleagues say he more than excels. Psychology Professor David Williams called Shatte "spectacular at what he does at 9 in the morning." "I knew he had the wit, the talent and a kind of benign worldliness that would work very well in a lecture format," said Williams, who taught Shatte when he studied at Penn as a doctoral student. Karen Reivich, another research associate in the department, is a longtime friend of Shatte's. Not only were they graduate students at Penn together, but they share an office. "The way he is in the classroom -- his humor, his energy, his compassion -- he's even more so [outside the classroom]," Reivich says. "He's more over-the-top, he's funnier and he's more irreverent." Shatte came to Penn in 1992 by way of Australia, where he received his bachelor's degree in psychology from an Australian university. He has been teaching at Penn for 3 1/2 years and has taught Abnormal Psychology three times before. When not teaching or conducting research, Shatte enjoys participating in outdoor activities ranging from rugby to tennis to hiking. He also enjoys spending time with his cat, Rockenheimer. Shatte has done his people-work during his studies. Therapy, he says, allows him to have a significant impact on a few people. But teaching is his chosen career path; it allows him to have an impact -- albeit a smaller one -- on a larger number of people.


Anita Hill talks on gender equality

(03/09/00 10:00am)

Speaking in a Penn class, the lawyer also discussed sexual harrassment. Trying to spark an activist spirit in young women, Anita Hill spoke to a Communications class focused on women and leadership last night, urging the mostly female attendees to fight for gender equality. Hill, a 43-year-old lawyer, gained notoriety in 1991 when she accused Clarence Thomas, then a nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, of sexual harassment and testified about it during his Senate confirmation hearings. She came to Philadelphia primarily to endorse her old friend from law school, Democratic senatorial hopeful Tom Foley. While in town, she made an appearance at an undergraduate class titled "Empowering Women Leaders in Emerging Democracies" to discuss issues of women's rights and female participation in the political process. Hill said she was afraid that the public criticism she received back in 1991 would discourage others from coming forward in similar situations. "I thought that women would retreat," she said to the approximately 35 audience members, but added that, "In fact, what happened was quite the opposite." Hill asserted that in the aftermath of her accusations against Thomas, women began to run for political office and report sexual harassment in higher numbers. Although the class Hill addressed has about 20 students enrolled in it, her considerable name recognition also attracted a number of outsiders and members of the local news media. Audience members responded well to Hill's speech and were eager to discuss her experiences and ask for advice on coping with harassment situations. "When I heard that Anita Hill was coming to campus, my memory of the hearings stood out in my mind," College sophomore Caitlin Anderson said. "I thought it was great. I thought it was inspiring," she continued. Most audience members vividly remembered the hearings and Hill noted that she was surprised that such a young audience was aware of her role in sexual harassment history. "I'm not sure that anyone knew of the impact that the hearings would have," Hill said. Hill also advised the female audience members on how to deal with sexual harassment when they encounter it. "You have to know who you can talk to," she said. Hill also suggested that before taking a job, one should know the employer's sexual harassment policy.


W. Soccer coach takes Stanford job

(03/09/00 10:00am)

After one very successful season, Andy nelson called it quits yesterday in favor of the Pac-10 powerhouse. After just one year at the helm of the Penn women's soccer team, coach Andy Nelson abruptly resigned yesterday to take the top job at reigning Pac-10 champion Stanford. "The program is a big-time program, top 10 in the country, but still a very academic school like Penn," Nelson said. "But there's also the possibility to use scholarships. It's just a super opportunity." Nelson's move is the latest in a chain of coaching changes that began when the United States women's national team won the World Cup last summer. National team coach Tony DiCicco stepped down in November to spend more time with his family. Virginia coach April Heinrichs was named as his successor, and Stanford coach Steve Swanson replaced her at Virginia. Now Nelson will lead the Cardinal, only a season after leading the Quakers to their first-ever NCAA Tournament berth. "Andy brought us to the next level," said Penn junior midfielder Kelli Toland, who was first team All-Ivy this fall. "The NCAA is a great accomplishment." The Quakers had plenty of great accomplishments over the course of Nelson's one-year tenure. Penn went 6-1 in the Ivy League a season after compiling an uninspiring 1-5-1 mark in the Ancient Eight. The Red and Blue were also undefeated in seven home games, never allowing a goal on the Rhodes Field pitch. Freshman goalie Katherine Hunt tied a Penn record with 10 shutouts during the season. There was plenty of offensive support, though, as Toland was the Ivy League's leading scorer with eight goals and seven assists. "I really enjoyed the players," Nelson said. "That's the thing that I'll miss the most. I really enjoyed working with them. I was lucky to work with a great group of kids." But even though Penn had a lot of success in his short time here, Nelson feels like he is leaving some unfinished business behind on the west bank of the Schuylkill. "To be honest, I did expect to be here for a minimum of five years," Nelson said. "But sometimes, when opportunities come up, you can't really time them the way you'd like to time them, and it ended up in a funny way." The departing coach regretted that he will not be able to lead the Quakers to the Ivy League title, but said he felt the Red and Blue can continue to contend for the crown and may become a top-20 team with some added work in spots. While Nelson moves on to his third head coaching job in three years -- he was at Division III Wellesley in 1998 -- the Quakers will have their third coach in that same span. Although Nelson's sudden move is a shock to the Quakers, it does not create an entirely unfamiliar situation, as it was when Patrick Baker left Penn for Florida State after the '98 season. "We've been through spring before without a coach," Toland said. "We can do it again. I feel like our team will be committed." As surprising as Nelson's decision to go to Stanford is, the Quakers' reaction of determination to continue is not going to make anyone, least of all Nelson, do a double-take. "They were very surprised, [but] I thought they took it well," Nelson said. "I thought they took it with a lot of maturity and a lot of resolve. They're not going to let this be in any way a drawback. It'll be a challenge, but it'll make them tighter and stronger as a team." The parting of ways was as pleasant as it was abrupt for the players and the departing coach. "It was a shock to everyone," Toland said. "But it's an amazing opportunity for him. A great school in a beautiful place We're all excited for him, but it was definitely a shock."


Brimming with excitement, W. Lax to start regular season

(03/09/00 10:00am)

With an optimism it hasn't had in years, the Penn women's lacrosse team heads into its first two matches of the 2000 season over spring break. The Quakers (1-12, 1-6 Ivy League in 1999) travel to Washington, D.C., to take on American University (7-9) on March 14, and then head north to face Yale (14-5, 5-2) on March 18. The Red and Blue also have their final preseason scrimmage against Lehigh this Sunday. "I'm so excited. So excited," Penn sophomore Traci Marabella said. "It's completely different than last year -- so much more confidence on the field, in our teammates. You can tell everyone is just happy to be there." While this marks the first time that Penn will play American in a regular-season game, the two squads did meet last weekend in a scrimmage at the William and Mary Invitational. And the Quakers are heartened that they came away with a victory from that match -- and several others -- in that tournament. "I think [the scrimmage] gave our team confidence that if they play well, play their game and take care of the ball, they have a great chance of hopefully winning the game," first-year Penn coach Karin Brower said. American posted its first-ever winning season last year and is led by Ashley Flanigan, who scored 18 goals last season, and Kerry Lambert, who had 11 assists. However, the Eagles will be hard pressed to replace the loss to graduation of their top two all-time leading scorers. The Elis, on the other hand, face no such trouble. Yale returns a potent attacking duo of All-American Heather Bentley (46 goals) and 1999 Ivy League Rookie of the Year Amanda Walton (57). Charged with stopping the opposing attack is Penn goalie Christian Stover. The junior will be in net for the opener, despite having a possible stress fracture in her right foot. On paper, Penn's defense -- anchored by senior Lee Ann Sechovicz and junior Sara Evans, but featuring several freshmen -- looks to be tested early and often. But Stover will be helped greatly by a new defensive philosophy implemented by Brower. "Karin says if someone scores and she says, 'Whose girl is that?' we're all supposed to say, 'It was our girl,'" Stover said, "because if someone scores against us, they've scored against a team, not just an individual. This year the defense is based more on the team talking together, working together." And, the Quakers coach has been pleased with the play of the team's defense in its limited action thus far. "They're getting there -- they're learning how to pressure out harder and be more aggressive on defense, and their positioning is getting better," Brower said. Of the two spring break contests, the Yale match may serve as a better measuring stick. Although the Elis outshot them by a very wide margin, the Red and Blue kept the score relatively close against Yale last spring, ultimately falling 11-5. "It was one of the best games we played all season," Marabella said. "I remember afterwards kind of feeling pretty good and that we could do better. And I remember scoring my first goal -- I was so excited." On attack, Quakers captain and leading scorer Brooke Jenkins will indeed look to Marabella, junior Amy Weinstein and the other Penn attackers to press the Elis. Yale has the unenviable task of replacing goalkeeper Alison Cole, who played all but 55 minutes a year ago. The scrimmage against the Engineers on Sunday, meanwhile, will answer any lingering questions about Penn's lineup. But at practice this week, it was clear the Quakers were already anticipating the start of the season. "Definitely after last weekend I'm excited," Stover said. "It's good to see that we really did click together. "We had such a positive weekend that it's really going to help our confidence, especially with the veterans."


Taking to the field

(03/09/00 10:00am)

Without workhorse Sean McDonald, a young group of pitchers will be tested early and often For the pitching staff of the Penn baseball team, one thing should be near the top of the packing list as it prepares to leave Philadelphia today to begin a whirlwind spring break tour of central Florida: plenty of bags of ice. Facing a grueling schedule of 10 games in just nine days, the arms of the Quakers' 11 pitchers are definitely going to need them. "It's tough," Penn coach Bob Seddon said of the annual spring break trip, which last year took the Red and Blue to southern California. "Basically, our plan is to stretch out our starters this year. In the past, we've tried to split the pitchers [into] three a game. We feel that this year we have the arms to be able to [stretch them instead]." Those arms will begin throwing tomorrow afternoon in Melbourne, Fla., in Penn's season opener against the Florida Institute of Technology. Sophomore Mike Mattern is slated to start on the mound for the Quakers. The Red and Blue hope that their ace will begin tomorrow right where he left off at the end of last season, when as a freshman he led the team in wins, strikeouts and earned runs average in a team-high 53 innings pitched. "He's a gamer," Seddon said. "He's got that confidence. He's not on edge on every pitch, and you know he's going to give you a good effort." Mattern has already put forth tons of effort prior to tomorrow's start. Over the off-season, the Philadelphia native worked a changeup into his already dangerous combination of pitches, giving him a total of six solid weapons to use against opposing batters. "He can come with a veritable bevy of pitches," said Penn pitcher Sean McDonald, who will miss the season with partially torn elbow ligaments. "In our pre-season he has just absolutely baffled our hitters. The great thing about him is you never know what's coming." Under Penn pitching coach Bill Wagner's planned rotation, Mattern will go as long as he can before being relieved in tomorrow's season opener. "We're hoping that he'll go five, six, maybe even [a complete] seven innings," Seddon said. Besides Mattern, two other veteran pitchers have already secured one of the four starting positions in the Penn rotation. Junior Matt Hepler will start Saturday in Penn's second game against F.I.T. and is looking to prove that he deserved his nomination last year as Penn's "Most Improved Pitcher." "He's getting better command of all his pitches," Mattern said. "He's going to be able to throw a lot of pitches on different counts whenever he wants. He's going to be tough to hit." Hepler is now the oldest member of the pitching staff after the loss of McDonald, who is now taking up more of a coaching role on the team to help the young pitching staff. Hepler, though, has already stepped up in his responsibility to the younger pitchers. "He's taken more of a leadership role," Mattern said. "He's taken people under his wing, especially some of the freshmen." Mark Lacerenza is the third Penn starter to return, and the sophomore is hoping to rebound from the 0-6 season he endured last year as a freshman. He'll get his first try Sunday in Daytona against Northern Illinois in the first game of an evening doubleheader. Lacerenza, though, has already shown signs of a comeback in pre-season practices and scrimmages. "One of his flaws last year was his control on the breaking ball," McDonald said. "You can tell he's more relaxed now. This year he's really staying within himself, is throwing strikes and is actually throwing a decent breaking ball." With the loss of McDonald, the battle for the one vacant starting spot in the pitching rotation will begin once these three established starters retire to the dugout. Already granted a chance to start in Sunday's nightcap against Northern Iowa is freshman John McCreery, who may also see time in the outfield. "He? has a very good fastball," McDonald said. "[But] everybody can hit a fastball, [so] it's going to be up to how his off-speed stuff does and how he handles his first collegiate start. I think personally I'd have as much confidence in him as I would in myself." Joining McCreery in the hunt for the final starting role are sophomore Dan Fitzgerald and freshmen Paul Grumet, Benjamin Krantz, Benjamin Otero and Kevin Wells. The tiring 10-game spring break trip will allow the Penn coaching staff to evaluate these hurlers in both starting and relief roles to determine where they best belong. "The purpose of this trip is to get ready for the season," Seddon said. "When we come back from Florida, hopefully we'll have a solid staff, four starting pitchers and a plan to work with once the Ivy League starts." With Ivy doubleheaders being extended from seven to nine innings this year, teams will need to have closers waiting to seal victories in the bullpen. Those pitchers who do not gain starting roles could be groomed to close for the Quakers. "That's what we're looking at right now," McDonald said. "We need to fill the role of a go-to guy in a [doubleheader] where you know you need to come in and shut the door."


Taking to the field: Baseball welcomes the opening of Penn's new stadium at Murphy Field

(03/09/00 10:00am)

There are no cornfields in West Philadelphia. That much is apparent when surveying Penn's brand new baseball diamond. Unlike the fictional Field of Dreams that Kevin Costner built, the Penn Baseball Field at Murphy Field is flanked not by maize but by the Schuylkill Expressway and a gigantic water cooling plant. In a way, though, the new addition to Murphy Field is Penn's own field of dreams -- despite the absence of corn and ghosts. Tucked away near the intersection of the Expressway and University Avenue, Murphy Field is a veritable urban oasis, dwarfed by the concrete landscape that nearly engulfs it. Towering above the outfield is the Expressway, smugly inviting some poor batter to try to swat a Ruthian shot over the net that surrounds the field and protects passing vehicles. The water cooling plant stands equally as imposing and smug on the first-base line, waiting for its chance to blot out the setting sun in the waning hours of daylight and shroud Murphy Field in shadows. The plant will also serve as a temporary clubhouse for the Quakers, and Penn hopes that it can be used as a true locker room when funds to convert the building into one become available. Nowhere near as garish as that which surrounds it, the ballpark at Murphy Field is a snug little facility that will be able to seat 850 in its green, stadium-style seats when the Quakers open their home schedule on March 23 against St. Joseph's. What those in attendance that day might see is saliva dripping from the mouths of right-handed hitters as the left-field foul pole 289 feet away provides them with an inviting target. On the other side of the ballpark's asymmetrical outfield, the right field foul pole is 317 feet away from home plate, and it would take a blast of 385 feet to hit the outfield wall in dead center field. Penn coach Bob Seddon said that the fences at Murphy are 12 feet high, and that if the five-foot high fences at Bower Field -- the Quakers' previous home -- were moved to the front of its warning track, the dimensions would be what they are now at Murphy Field. "It's a hitter's park," Seddon said. "I'd like to play there. You jerk the ball down the left field line, you're going to make collegiate baseball. You're going to hit some homeruns." The thing that impresses Seddon the most about the Quakers' new home, however, is how Murphy Field makes things easier than in past years. "There are a lot of amenities we haven't had before," Seddon said. "For a lot of years, I had to get down to [Bower] at 8:30 in the morning and carry out of my trunk the scoreboard box, hook it into the dugout, walk out and hook it into [the] left field [scoreboard], turn on the switch. I had to go through my routine. But, you know, a lot of that stuff now is going to be where you push a button up in the press box. There's going to be a lot of pluses there, and we never had that." Such luxuries would not have been possible without an anonymous donation to the Penn Athletic Department in 1998. The money accounted for most of the funds required to build the new ballpark at Murphy Field. Most of the other monies were acquired during a silent auction of sports memorabilia at a banquet in November held to honor the 30 years that Seddon has manned the Quakers' helm. Now, with two weeks remaining until Penn's home opener, Murphy Field is raw. Construction materials are strewn about the diamond as workers install the fences of the right field bullpen. In the late afternoon, the diminishing light of the sun makes Murphy Field look more like a forgotten relic than a baseball diamond that has yet to see its first game. The luxury-press box behind home plate is but an empty concrete shell, as are the dugouts. There is yet work to do, but not much. "You could play right now, if you really had to," Seddon said. "[But] it has to be rolled [smooth]?. They could get it ready in two days if we had a game this weekend." One word, barely readable under the dust from building materials, is painted in blue on the red concrete that borders the home place circle in foul territory. "PENNSYLVANIA," it reads. Slowly but surely, a ballpark nears its day in the West Philly sun.


M. Lax faces road test during break

(03/09/00 10:00am)

The No. 12 Quakers will travel to face Bucknell, yale and North Carolina. The Penn men's lacrosse team won't be going anywhere exotic for spring break. Unless you consider Baltimore, Chapel Hill, N.C., or New Haven, Conn., exotic, that is. "Over the next two months or so, we'll be playing two to three games a week, which means that we need to be sharp on a consistent basis," Penn coach Marc Van Arsdale said. The Quakers (1-0) will play three games in an eight-day span over spring break. After they face Bucknell on Saturday, they will play North Carolina Tuesday and then take on Yale in their first Ivy contest of the year on March 18. The Red and Blue hope that last Saturday's comeback win over Notre Dame and the No. 12 national ranking that came with it can propel them to success this week. "That game certainly gave everybody the energy for the week," Van Arsdale said. "But you do want to put that behind you, and five days ago really seems like ancient history because we just want to keep getting better as we have been through the preseason." Penn will have its first chance at continued improvement this Saturday against the Bison, a strong defensive team that the Quakers came from behind to beat last year, 11-8. "[The Bison are] a very strong defensive group," Van Arsdale said. "They make you work hard for a lot of your goals." Van Arsdale believes that a victory over Bucknell, along with the Quakers' win over the more offensive-minded Notre Dame, would provide a nice contrast in preparing his team for well-balanced North Carolina, the No. 8 team in the country. After upsetting an unsuspecting group of Tar Heels last year, the Quakers have something besides the UNC balanced attack to worry about -- the revenge factor. "That win was highly unexpected from a lot of different angles," Van Arsdale said. "Certainly, we're not going to be able to sneak up on anybody down there this year." While Van Arsdale recognized that the Tar Heels (2-0), were "back where they want to be" this season, he believes that if the Quakers could keep improving, they could come out with yet another win in Chapel Hill. "Carolina puts the whole thing together, and their makeup is not that much different than ours," Van Arsdale said. "But I think, if we can come through this Bucknell game OK, that we could be well-suited to match up with them." After the matchup of two nationally ranked teams, the Quakers will head back to Philadelphia for a few days before traveling to Yale for their Ivy opener. The Quakers beat the Elis last season in a very low-scoring 7-2 battle. However, with the graduation of Yale's goaltender and 1999 Player of the Year, Joe Pilch, the Quakers could conceivably put a few more in the back of the Elis nets this time. "The Ivy game will hopefully have a little excitement and energy to it," Van Arsdale said. "Yale traditionally plays very good 'D' -- just look at the score from last year." The Quakers will, in all likelihood, be fired up for their first league showdown of the season, but traveling up and down a good chunk of the Eastern Seaboard in a week might have adverse effects on the team's endurance. "[The trip] does mean a lot of different beds on a lot of different nights, but I hope that we'll have our legs under us against Yale. And the Ivy game should bring out our intensity," Van Arsdale said. Like the Elis, the Quakers also lost a four-year starter in goal to graduation in Matt Schroeder, and have been trying out both sophomore John Carroll and freshman Ryan Kelly in the preseason. Due in part to his performance against Notre Dame, Carroll has retained the starting role for the upcoming games. "His performance Saturday, particularly early in the game, really kept us in it," Van Arsdale said. "We'd love to see John continue that type of play. I think he's earned the start. Should something happen to John, though, we'd be perfectly comfortable with Ryan Kelly back there." For a team with two inexperienced goalies, 10 days off to focus solely on lacrosse is certainly a blessing. But, according to Van Arsdale, it's not all business. "The break is typically a lot of college basketball, and sleep and some lacrosse mixed in," he said.


Penn political groups ponder their futures

(03/09/00 10:00am)

Campus groups supporting Bradley and McCain are considering their next moves. After Super Tuesday's decisive election results, two presidential candidates were forced to consider whether to continue running in races virtually impossible for them to win. At the same time, two campus campaign clubs -- Penn for Bradley and Penn for McCain -- are also debating their next moves. Both Vice President Al Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush scored overwhelming victories in Tuesday's presidential primaries -- leaving their opponents, Democrat Bill Bradley and Republican John McCain, virtually shut out of the race. While the results left the Penn for Gore and Penn for Bush groups satisfied, Penn for McCain members are still deciding what their next move will be and the Penn for Bradley group is considering merging with the Gore contingent. Bradley was expected to announce his withdrawal from the race today and his endorsement of Gore. McCain, who won four New England primaries on Tuesday but was shut out elsewhere, was still considering his next move but is likely to withdraw today or at least suspend his campaign operations. Regretfully licking their political wounds, the Bradley and McCain supporters praised their candidates for fighting a good fight. Matt Oresman, a College sophomore and chairman of Penn for Bradley, said that although the former New Jersey senator may drop out of the race, his campaign had a positive influence on the Democratic platform. "Bradley's done a lot in bringing issues to the forefront," Oresman said, citing health care and gun control. "At least he succeeded in getting his message across. Gore's become a better candidate because of this." Oresman also said that he hopes Bradley supporters will not be "jaded by the loss." "The worst thing that could happen is that the primary season would split the party," Oresman said. "The important thing is to vote and to vote Democratic." Penn for McCain Chairman Raj Merchant, a Wharton junior and Daily Pennsylvanian sports reporter, said he hopes McCain will stay in the race despite Tuesday's results. "My personal reaction is that I'd like to see him stay for a little bit longer because I think it's good for the party," he said. "I think he still has a chance." Merchant also pointed out that McCain succeeded in bringing many Democrats and Independents over to his side. Meanwhile, College junior Michael Bassik, co-chair of Penn for Gore, said he was "overjoyed by Al Gore's performance." "Bill Bradley put up a good fight," Bassik said, "but in the end it appears that Americans from both coasts support Gore and his platform." Penn for Gore plans to join forces with Penn for Bradley to support a single Democratic candidate in the fall. Penn for Bush co-chair Patrick Ruffini, a College senior, expressed optimism at Bush's success in the primaries. "We just want to get the message out to Penn students that he's a good candidate on the economic issues that are known to be important to Penn students, as opposed to Gore," Ruffini said. "A lot of the perceptions of him aren't necessarily true." Penn for Gore plans to continue with its campaigning efforts by preparing for Gore's visit to Pennsylvania. They also hope to invite Karina Gore, Gore's daughter and chair of Young Adults for Gore, to speak at Penn. Penn for Bush also plans to help with state campaigning leading up to the Pennsylvania primaries.


Traber settles into top UPHS position

(03/09/00 10:00am)

While his office walls are bare, his plate is full as the Health System's new chief. The walls of Peter Traber's new penthouse office overlooking Franklin Field in the Penn Tower Hotel are bare. Nailholes can be seen where the diplomas and degrees of his predecessor once hung. In fact, just about the only thing in the office that Traber has added is photos of his children. The 44-year-old Traber understands that there is an asterisk next to his title as Chief Executive Officer of the University of Pennsylvania Health System and dean of the School of Medicine. The asterisk reads, "interim." But for Traber, about the only thing that evinces that asterisk is his bare office. "I cannot act like an interim. Everything I would do as permanent dean, I will do as interim dean," Traber said in an interview yesterday, adding that he would be interested in taking on the job on a longterm basis if asked by University President Judith Rodin. It has been three weeks since William Kelley was dismissed from his decade-long tenure at the helm of UPHS, the $1.9 billion juggernaut that in recent years went astray, leaving deficits in the hundreds of millions of dollars in its wake. Chosen by Rodin to succeed Kelley -- at least temporarily -- Traber is charged with plugging the hemorrhage. And quickly. "The institution recognizes that I have to act as the CEO and dean and not as a placekeeper," Traber explained. "Because we don't have time for that." Traber, who served as chair of the Department of Medicine before taking the position, already has clear ideas about what he must do to right UPHS. And one of the first things he set out to do as CEO was to assure faculty and staff about the transition. "I spend most of my time communicating to different stakeholders within the School of Medicine and the Health System and there are lots of them," Traber said. And many in UPHS have bought his style of medicine. "These are difficult and unsettling times," said Jack Ende, Chief of Medicine at the Penn-owned Presbyterian Medical Center. "And we need strong and identifiable leadership. That certainly is Peter Traber. I think he'll get the respect of the faculty." Ende said he doesn't see the "interim" in Traber's title as detracting from his ability to lead UPHS. He speculated that the Health System will have the same leverage in negotiating with insurance companies as it would have had under Kelley. "I don't think the fact that Peter has the interim title is going to mean much in that regard," he said. But most would admit that Traber has more serious issues to deal with than negotiating insurance contracts. UPHS has lost $300 million over the past three fiscal years, which has sparked speculation that the University Trustees may choose to force a financial separation from the Health System or a selloff of key assets, like one of Penn's four wholly-owned hospitals. And the recent ban on gene therapy at the Institute for Human Gene Therapy has added to the Health System's difficulties. In January, federal regulators accused IHGT director James M. Wilson and his researchers of breaching research protocol in their gene therapy clinical trial that resulted in the death of an 18-year-old. Traber was hesitant to talk about Wilson or the IHGT, though he stressed that researchers must follow rules and that the IHGT must put systems in place to identify potential problems before they escalate. Well-versed in the troubles the Health System is facing, Traber -- who arrived at Penn in 1992 -- has not yet formed any definite plans for its revival, though he has ideas about ways to mend the fiscal bleeding of UPHS, namely increasing efficiency as a primary means of cutting costs. Traber will have help with the specifics. Executives from the Hunter Group -- the Florida-based consultation firm known for its slash and burn tactics in cutting costs -- have been brought back to Penn after helping to plan a 20 percent workforce reduction last year. Traber and other University officials have maintained that the executives from the Hunter Group are serving only as consultants for the time being. But their continued presence has prompted speculation that other moves may be in store. The recent resignation of the Health System's chief operating officer has been blamed at least in part on Hunter's involvement in Penn affairs. "You don't bring the Hunter Group because you want everyone to fall in love with the board," said Alan Zuckerman, a consultant with Health Strategies and Solutions in Philadelphia. "It's very straightforward, you bring the Hunter Group in to cut costs." While Traber promised that UPHS would find its way back to financial solvency, he said additional lay-offs are not currently on the agenda. Traber maintained that he was opposed to a total separation, though adding that he would not discount some sort of separation of the Medical School and the Health System, which Ende and the rest of the faculty, strongly oppose. "I'm committed to that integration between academic medicine at the school and at least a portion of the healthcare delivery process," he said. And he stressed that any decision to change UPHS would involve consultation of faculty along with trustees and administrators from UPHS and the University. "There are lots of different people that'll be involved in that," he noted. "And that discussion will be ongoing."


Nader stops at Penn o discuss campaign

(03/09/00 10:00am)

The consumer advocate is running for for president on the Green Party ticket. A subtle irony hung in the air of Room 1206 in Steinberg-Dietrich Hall yesterday afternoon, when Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader addressed about 200 Penn students and faculty and other interested area residents on his campaign and his cause. But the liberal press conference and rally's location -- a pristine classroom in Wharton, a school whose Economics classes espouse principles of free-market capitalism -- was not intended to produce any ironic effect, College freshman Lincoln Ellis said. "It was the only room available," said Ellis, a member of Penn Students Against Sweatshops, which sponsored the event. Nader is running for the presidency on the ticket of the Green Party -- the 16-year-old left-leaning party that focuses on grass-roots democracy, social justice, non-violence and ecology. Quoting Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, Nader, 66, told his audience that history teaches two important societal lessons: "Democracy works," he said. "But the concentration of power and wealth in the hands of a few doesn't work." He called specific attention to current economic conditions, noting, "There's a huge disconnect between most people and the booming economy." Citing statistics that showed that the average American has become progressively less wealthy and more indebted since the 1950s, Nader chided the media for not addressing the financial difficulties that many citizens face. "Millions of Americans after years of work are essentially broke," Nader said. He then elaborated on pollution, declining public works, corporate under-regulation and military overspending, which he said were "the results of an oligarchy" of corporate interests and "tweedledum, tweedledee, look-alike political parties." It is the inability of most Americans to influence change, Nader said, that causes "civic demoralization," which he described as the belief of many citizens that their voice will not be heard. Nader drew applause when he decried inaction on the part of the United States and its citizens in regard to the exploitation of children as laborers in other parts of the world. He went on to cite PSAS as an example of a student organization whose dedication during its recent sit-in in University President Judith Rodin's office evoked comparisons to student activists in the 1960s. Nader was introduced by Philadelphia City Councilman David Cohen. Of Nader, Cohen said, "I know of nobody in the U.S. who's fought more consistently over time on behalf of consumers?. It's wonderful Ralph Nader is going political." To this, Cohen added, "It is my hope that the Democratic Party can someday adopt all the principles which the Green Party espouses." Nader's speech was followed by an open question-and-answer period. One audience member commented on the lack of a Green Party membership base in this part of the country. Nader pointed out that the party is relatively new, having been founded in the United States in 1984, and that all important political movements start small. He said that it had the potential to become "a populist-progressive movement? of thought, not blind belief." History graduate student Chris Klemek looked to Nader as a potent alternative to the Democratic Party. "I'm attempting to look elsewhere for progressive politics," he said. "It's inspiring," local political activist Val Sowell added, "to see someone so fueled by their beliefs."


Class explores Diallo killing in depth

(03/09/00 10:00am)

When a jury found officers accused of murdering Amadou Diallo, a West African immigrant and Bronx resident, not guilty last month, people across the country raised their voices about the controversial case. And yesterday, Fels Center of Government Director and noted criminologist Lawrence Sherman continued that discussion by speaking about the case in his Sociology class titled "Deviance and Social Control." Sherman, who is also a Sociology professor, used a third of his regular three-hour lecture in College Hall 200 to discuss and analyze the recent trial and the circumstances surrounding it. "I think it is one of the most important events in the history of policing in this country. It is as important, if not more so, than Rodney King, and it is going to have an earth-shaking effect on the field," Sherman said. Diallo was shot and killed in 1998 by the four New York City police officers, who claimed that they thought Diallo was reaching for a gun. The officers were indicted on charges of second-degree murder. During the trial, the officers argued that that they fired in self-defense. Sherman, who served as a consultant for the prosecution in the Diallo case, gave detailed analysis of the inner workings of both sides of the issue. A large part of the discussion focused on the shooting and the fact that 41 shots were released from the officers' semi-automatic weapons, 19 of which actually struck Diallo. One student asked if the officers could have just aimed for a limb. But Sherman said, "Every police officer in this country is trained to hit body mass instead of shooting a limb." However, Sherman pointed out various flaws in both sides of the argument. "Not only the police but also the prosecution is taking a huge beating from the press for not cross-examining, for not focusing on identification and for focusing too much on the 41 shots," he said. "The jury ultimately said that it was the first shot that mattered. The jury was not impressed [by the amount of shots]," he said. One complication, Sherman explained, was that in order for the officers to be convicted of second-degree murder, the prosecution had to prove intent to be negligent. "Calling it criminally negligent homicide probably would have been more credible," he added,"but I think they overshot and missed the jury and just couldn't bring the jury back." The students taking the class said the time spent on the Diallo case was appropriate and informative. "This is a perfect example of what needs to be worked on in the system today. I think it is very important because everything that we have been learning can be found in this situation," College freshman Stephanie Beyer said. Adam Warshafsky, a College senior, agreed. "He is talking about police strategies and plans and how they are supposed to approach suspected offenders. And there's a real-life case where we can examine where they [the police] didn't follow the proper strategy," Warshafsky said. Sherman himself voiced a strong opinion about the long-lasting effects of the Diallo case. "It had effect on people's view of the law all over the country. Everyone gets labeled with the failures that were perceived in this case and that is why we have to fix them," he said following the lecture.


Record number of applicants apply to Class of 2004

(03/09/00 10:00am)

Nearly 19,000 high school seniors await the University's admissions letters. The Penn Admissions Office is in the midst of the most competitive admissions period in the University's history, according to Admissions Dean Lee Stetson. Admissions officials are weighing the fates of the record 18,803 applicants for the roughly 2,350 spots available in the Class of 2004. The total applicant group is 6.6 percent larger than last year's pool. The rise in applications means that the final acceptance rate may drop to 23 percent for the applicant pool as a whole, compared with 26.6 percent for the Class of 2003, Stetson said, adding that Penn will accept a smaller number of students this year to make up for last year's higher-than-expected yield. "We're going to be more conservative with admissions? and we will use the wait-list to control the class size," Stetson said. About 200 students more than were expected accepted admissions offers to this year's freshman class, resulting in a housing shortage in the fall. Stetson said this year's applicants are stronger than ever. "Penn has moved into a new realm," Stetson said. "The personal qualities of the students are exceptional." The average SAT score of the applicant group is 1355. But, Stetson said, "It's not even close to where we're going to end up with our average [for the Class of 2004]." Each of the four undergraduate schools reported an increase in the number of applicants this year. The College received 11,986 applications, up 7.7 percent from last year, Stetson said. Engineering applications rose to 3,325, marking an increase of 7.4 percent. Wharton received 3,278 applications, 1.8 percent more than last year's 3,220. And applications to the Nursing school increased by 5.9 percent. In addition, interest in the dual degree programs increased this year. Management and Technology -- the joint Wharton and Engineering program -- received 829 applications, 36 percent more than the 610 received last year. And 641 students, 1.6 more than last year's 631, applied to the Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business. The applicants hail from all 50 states and 87 foreign countries. Also, the University received record-high numbers of applications from 23 states. A record number of minority students applied for admission to the Class of 2004. African-American students submitted 1,222 applications, Asians filed 5,847 applications, Latinos submitted 907 and Native Americans sent in 40 applications. Those figures are all increases from last year. Admissions Officer Leslie Smith estimated that 85 percent of the applicants are academically qualified to attend Penn. And Admissions Officer Martin Bonilla said the statistics suggest that Penn is a hot school for high school seniors right now. "The message is that Penn is a really elite institution but not elitist," Bonilla said. Stetson agreed, saying the applicant pool shows Penn's growing popularity. "I think students are telling a good story about the University," Stetson said. Bonilla attributed part of the rise in applications to the popularity of schools located in cities. "Urban universities seem to be quite in vogue," Smith said, noting that many students are attracted to the city's internship opportunities. The Admissions Office will mail acceptance, rejection and wait-list letters on April 1. Penn has made a remarkable climb through the ranks of the nation's top colleges and universities over the past decade. In 1991, the University accepted 47 percent of applicants applying for admission to the Class of 1995. Since then, the number of applications has continued to rise while Penn has moved higher and higher in national college rankings.


Workers cheer U.'s Trammell Crow decision

(03/08/00 10:00am)

Penn decided last week to retake control of on-campus facilities from the Dallas-based corporation as part of a reqorked contract. Less than a week after the University announced it would once again manage its on-campus facilities, Penn employees said they were optimistic about the change in leadership. As part of a new, six-year contract unveiled last Thursday, Trammell Crow Co. will continue to manage Penn's for-profit real-estate arm, University City Associates, as well as its large scale construction projects. But the University will retake control of the day-to-day operations, housekeeping and maintenance of its on-campus facilities, scaling back its groundbreaking but controversial decision in 1998 to outsource nearly all operations. Trammell Crow has always been particularly unpopular with most workers who became employees of the Dallas-based real estate management firm in April 1998. And now, those maintenance and housekeeping workers say the University's agreement to restructure its outsourcing relationship did not happen soon enough. "I think [Penn management] will definitely be better because [Trammell Crow] was a disaster from the start," said one University worker, who has been a housekeeper for more than 20 years. "The system wasn't perfect before, but it was much better than when Trammell Crow took over." "It's a big change throughout the University," a veteran Penn maintenance worker added. "We're hoping it's going to work and trying to be positive." But Vice President for Facilities Omar Blaik said that the shift in management will not necessarily translate into noticeable -- or even immediate -- change. "Just because we are creating structures doesn't mean things are changing over," Blaik said, pointing out that the University management will retain the same organizational structure procedures and even the same Trammell Crow personnel. "This is a long-term effort." Under the new agreement, the 75 current Trammell Crow managers for on-campus facilities were told that the University would rehire them to do the same jobs, with comparable salaries and benefits. And Blaik said that, so far, more than 20 of those former Trammell Crow middle managers have signed on to come back in the same role as University employees. However, while the management personnel may be the same, University workers say that having Penn take responsibility for its own facilities might improve service. "Penn is going to be taking care of their own problems instead of having someone else take care of them," a veteran University maintenance worker explained. "Now there is going to be a little more of a push to get the job done." Many current workers complained that Trammell Crow tended to drag its feet when responding to service requests, bogging them down with bureaucratic red tape and delaying the start of projects because of a lack of supplies. In an interview last week, Executive Vice President John Fry said the new University management would concentrate on deploying staff more efficiently. He added that Penn might work out an arrangement with the unions to allow more University workers to cross-craft -- allowing a carpenter who also had knowledge of plumbing, for instance, to save time by performing multiple tasks at one site. But most of all, Penn employees said that eliminating Trammell Crow's extra layer of management would get rid of the confusion caused by too many organizations running one university. "It's so tripped up over here, I don't know who is running this place," one campus maintenance worker said.


M. Hoops declaws Tigers for 14-0 Ivy record

(03/08/00 10:00am)

Jordan and Langel say goodbye to Palestra by leading M. Hoops win There were 14 minutes and 19 seconds left in the Penn men's basketball game against Princeton last night. The Tigers, after trailing by as many as 21, had just gone on a 9-0 run to cut the lead to 12. And most of the Penn fans in the sold-out Palestra crowd all thought the same thing. Not again. The fans remembered back to February 9, 1999, when the Quakers blew a 33-9 halftime lead to lose by a heartbreaking score of 50-49. But that disaster would not be repeated thanks mostly to the senior backcourt leadership of Michael Jordan and Matt Langel. Playing in their final game at the Palestra, Jordan and Langel stepped to the forefront and led the team to victory. Following a C.J. Chapman three-pointer that capped the Princeton run, Langel found Jordan cutting through the middle for an easy layup, and the Quakers were back on track. "When they cut the lead, we knew we had to step up and stop the run, and I think we did that," Jordan said. "Guys stepped up and made some big shots." Following the layup, Chapman sunk another three-pointer. But the Quakers did not panic, and Jordan spotted up from beyond the arc at the other end and responded by nailing another clutch shot. Later in the game, the Tigers clawed back to pull within 10, 55-45, but unlike in last year's debacle, the Langel-Jordan backcourt stayed poised throughout the game and did not allow the Tigers to cut into the lead any further. On the next trip down the court, Jordan hit Penn center Geoff Owens, who scored to increase the lead. On the Penn possession after that, Langel did the same, finding Owens for another bucket. "We're a totally different team from last year," Jordan said. "They had a lot of veterans last year. This year we have the veterans. We were prepared. We knew they were going to make a run. We just had to withstand it." And withstand it they did. Langel nailed his third three-pointer of the game with 3:44 left in the game, vaulting him past Garett Kreitz and into second place on Penn's all-time list. The bomb from downtown also put Penn up by 17 points, which the Quakers extended to 21 to win 73-52. While the crowd may have worried about a Princeton comeback, Penn coach Fran Dunphy did not think about it, knowing the type of leadership his co-captains provide. "I felt as good going into tonight's game about what [Langel and Jordan] were going to do as I have all year long and as I have anytime they've been playing for us," Dunphy said. "There was a feeling that they knew what they had to do, and there was a sense that Matt and Mike would step up and make big shots and that's exactly what they did. They played great defensively and did everything you would want from senior leadership." The Tigers' second-half run was not the only time that Langel and Jordan rose to the occasion last night. The Quakers went on a 17-0 run that began with 6:52 left in the first half and ended with 16:59 left in the second. Jordan was the main contributor to the run, coming up with a steal and a breakaway layup in the final seconds of the first stanza and an assist and a basket in the opening two minutes of the second. "I guess I had a little extra energy tonight," Jordan said. "I was feeding off the crowd, I know when I got that steal I was really high over the rim. We talked about making a statement within the first five minutes after halftime, and I think we did that." Both guards ended the game with impressive numbers. Jordan had 25 points -- two shy of his career high -- along with six rebounds and three steals. Langel had 11 points on 3-of-5 shooting from three-point land. He also tied a career high in assists with eight to go along with four boards. "Mike was able to get to the rim and get some open shots. I didn't get a lot of looks, but I thought I was able to set some people up for some good buckets," Langel said. "The second half I got more screens off the ball, and my teammates got me open for some threes." While Penn's guards clearly illustrated what leadership means to a team, Princeton coach Bill Carmody did not put much stock in the experience factor. "We have guys that have played before -- they're 19, 20 years old -- so I don't like that out," Carmody said of the Quakers, four of whom have been playing together for four years. "It might be a factor, but I don't want our guys to think that it is. You can win with sophomores." Jordan and Langel's veteran inspiration will certainly help the Quakers as they enter the NCAA Tournament next week. Last year, Penn had an 11-point halftime lead over Florida in the first round, but then closed up shop in the second half to lose, 75-61. "The two guys in the backcourt are better than they were [last year]," Dunphy said of the senior duo's readiness for the Big Dance. "They were good last year, but now they understand how hard it's going to be. But they also understand that they can go there and do some damage."


W. Hoops wins with balance on offense

(03/08/00 10:00am)

All season long, Penn women's basketball coach Kelly Greenberg has insisted that the Quakers' offense does not revolve around Diana Caramanico and Mandy West, the Ivy League's top two scorers. The fans who filed into the Palestra to watch the first game of the Penn-Princeton doubleheader last night saw four of the five Quakers starters score over 10 points for the third time this season. While the top two scorers were once again tri-captains West and Caramanico -- with 17 and 22, respectively -- sophomore forward Julie Epton also had 13 points, and freshman guard Jennifer Jones scored 11. This is the kind of balanced attack Greenberg has been trying to develop since she arrived in Philadelphia last summer, and she thinks this could be a good omen for the future of the program. "I hope that it is," Greenberg said. "I thought that our team was really aggressive. I thought that Jen Jones seemed really relaxed, and we haven't seen that Julie in a long time. Hopefully we will build on that." Jones missed just one shot on the night, and Epton, in addition to her 13 points, grabbed six rebounds and made three steals. Greenberg thought the Quakers' balance was a byproduct of their heightened defensive intensity and increased communication on defense, qualities that have been sorely lacking in late-season losses that knocked the Quakers out of Ivy contention. "I thought that in the first half, we came out extremely aggressively," Greenberg said. "And you know, [Princeton] has that darn offense that you just hate, and we only let them get the back door once the entire game. Even that time I cringed. When we all play together on defense, I think that helps everyone offensively." West and Caramanico do not usually need that help. Last night, West ended her impressive two-season Quakers career in which she scored 1,076 points. She now owns the records for most three-pointers made in a season and two of the top six spots in the record book for most points in a season. She is also third all-time for three-pointers made in a career. Caramanico, meanwhile, finished her record-breaking year with a mere 19 points shy of Ernie Beck's all-time Penn career scoring record (1,827). With 1,808 career points, she could conceivably break it in her first outing of the 2000-01 campaign. "That's huge, I mean that's 1953," Greenberg said of Beck's mark. "That's a big-time record, that's back when my dad played at La Salle. I know that name from growing up, and it's just incredible that she's breaking someone like that's record." Caramanico, who has had her fill of records this year, was simply content that the Quakers came out on top. "[Princeton is] scrappy. They're really tough. So I'm just glad we won the game," she said. Caramanico thought that the Penn-Princeton women's matchup carried with it nearly as much intensity and emotion as the men's game. It also had as much contact. "It was physical," Greenberg said. "And a lot of times off the ball there were a lot of altercations going on." One instance that was indicative of the contact throughout the game came in the middle of the second half. After a scramble for a loose ball, Princeton forward Hillary Reeser grabbed Caramanico's ankle and brought her to the floor. Greenberg, whose coaching style centers on running the floor and getting quick buckets, also pulled out all the stops at the end of the game when she ordered her troops into a slowdown offense that they had only run in practice. "We haven't [run it yet this year]," she said. "It's our 2-1-2, it's as basic as possible. Towards the end of the game, we obviously weren't making good choices, so I thought let's just hold [the ball] a little bit. We did get some good stuff out of it, so you will see that more next year."