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FOCUS: Changing the Guard (PART 1)

(03/04/91 10:00am)

The last three years have been a period of tremendous change for the University Police Department. Three years ago, the "Department of Public Safety" was suffering from image problems and a lack of connection with students and faculty. Even the University administration didn't consider Public Safety officers real policemen, arguing in a contract fight that they were as much security guards as police. But things have changed. The department has made wholesale changes in administration, training and focus. They have hired dozens of new officers and added five new patrol cars. Many students and faculty said that it is now an organization more responsive to there requests and more understanding of their needs. Four years ago, when a wave of crime hit the 40th and Walnut streets area -- including the stabbing of three students and the shooting murder of a man in front of McDolnald's -- the response from the police was slow and minimal. Last semester, when a rash of crimes hit an area just west of campus, University Police doubled patrols in a matter of days and kept officers working 12 hour shifts for weeks. The change in the department began in 1988 with a University-commissioned security report outlining ways to improve the department. The report recommended numerous procedural as well as organizational changes, including adding a new administrator to relieve Director John Logan of day-to-day responsibilities and allow him to concentrate on long-range planning and policy making. Another major reason for the change was the work of Senior Vice President Marna Whittington. Whittington added the new position recommended in the report, but placed the new commissioner over Logan. Whittington also went beyond the report's recommendations, deciding to more than double the size of the police force. Further improvements for the department are still in the planning stages, the most important being a possible new police station on 40th and Walnut streets. · In 1988, the University asked two private security consultants to study the Department of Public Safety and make recommendations on ways to improve its capabilities and resources. The result was two independent reports -- the principle one by Philadelphia Police Captain Thomas Cooney and University of Washington Police Chief Michael Shanahan, and a smaller one by Ira Somerson, president of a private security consulting firm in Philadelphia -- both of which arrived at the same conclusion: a lot of work needed to be done. The reports found that Public Safety was still viewed by the University community as a separate entity. The report said there was an "us and them" mentality prevalent among students. Students and faculty did not feel that the department, as well as the administration, really were committed to doing something to improve campus security. The reports added that the department needed to improve its relationship and cooperate more with Philadelphia Police's 18th district. Furthermore, the reports said that the University's Victim Support Services needed to be broadened and that police officers themselves needed further training in victim support skills. The reports suggested several ways to improve different facets of the department, ranging from a police newsletter, to training officers in victim support skills, to improving police benefits. Additionally, the reports stressed that a task force should be formed, made up of officials from security-related departments within the University, to discuss the best ways to implement the reports' suggestions. Later that year, Senior Vice President Helen O'Bannon, among whose duties was supervising Public Safety, passed away. In December 1988, Marna Whittington was appointed to O'Bannon's post. This appointment proved to be a turning point in the status of campus security as Whittington adopted improving campus security as a major goal. Microbiology Professor Helen Davies, the former chairperson of the University Council Safety and Security Committee, said last week that many of the changes of the past three years might not have come about were it not for Whittington and her dedication to security concerns and issues. Since Whittington's appointment, the department has steadily improved its services as well as its relationship with the community by making the community aware of its programs and has started working more closely with Philadelphia Police. The department now has an officer appointed to coordinate investigations with Philadelphia Police. "Our relationship with Philadelphia is definitely much stronger than it ever was," Whittington said. "The work of the liaison officer has allowed us to dramatically increase the arrest record and to get the message out that if you commit a crime, you will be caught and prosecuted." Whittington has also tried to implement a policy of "community policing," a system based on residents of the community becoming more involved in maintaining safety and security. "I meet regularly with the University Council Safety and Security Committee, as well as with students and parents, and other administrators to help them deal with their concerns over the safety of our campus," Whittington said. But Whittington and the task force did not just follow the letter of the consultants' reports, but also molded their ideas into concrete programs tailored for the University. For example, Cooney and Shanahan's report said the department needed another supervisory position called "Chief of Operations" to relieve overburdened Director John Logan of some responsibilities. Whittington, together with the task force, decided that a commissioner was needed whose job it would be to examine long-term goals for the department, be the department's policy-maker, and act as a liaison between the administration and the department. It was to this position, that former Brown University Police Chief John Kuprevich was appointed last December. Another major change, and one which neither report suggested, is the large increase in the past three years in the number of officers in the force. Both reports specifically say that they do not recommend hiring any new officers. But Whittington said the task force decided on the level and concentration of security coverage it wanted for the campus and realized that such coverage would require more officers. "The reason for the increase in manpower is very simple," Whittington said. "We divided the area into sectors and decided that we needed 24-hour coverage in each sector and made the decision to hire as many officers as would facilitate that type of coverage." The University has gone from employing 43 officers in 1988, to 88 in 1991. In addition, in the past three years, foot patrols have been extended west to 41st Street. Three new patrol cars have been added, allowing vehicle patrols to extend to 43rd Street and bringing the total number of vehicles to five. An increase in officers has been a trend that many urban schools have undertaken in the last three years. But few have had increases as dramatic as the University's. The University of Chicago, for example, has upped its force by 35 percent. An impressive increase, but one which pales in comparison to the 104.5 percent increase at the University. Only the University of Southern California, which has been besieged by gang warfare in the area south of downtown Los Angeles, has a comparable increase, upping its force by 106 percent. · Although administrators and students seem to be in agreement that while a lot has been accomplished, most say more must be done. Upcoming plans for the department include relocation to a soon-to-be-built parking garage on the corner of 40th and Walnut streets. Not only will the new site have more space than the department's cramped Superblock office, but it may eventually accommodate a shooting range, gymnasium and holding cells. University Police officials said the station will serve as a deterrent on a corner which has become notorious for incidents of violent crime. President Sheldon Hackney said last week that while he is pleased with the improvements he sees, he is hesitant to say the problem has been solved "I would give us an 'A' for the effort we're putting into solving the problem," Hackney said. "It's too soon to see if we've turned the corner but we're seeing signs of that, like the lowering of off-campus crime. "The one thing we can completely control is our own measures to combat crime," Hackney added. "And we are making every effort to make this campus as crime-free an area as possible." Whittington also believes that today's students have different concerns than those at the University three years ago. She believes that the issue of acquaintance rape is more of a concern now than in 1988. "Acquaintance rape has become a bigger issue than it ever has been and the administration is re-evaluating our programs to help victims of acquaintance rape," Whittington said. "I think we, in 1991, are much better equipped to deal with these problems than three years ago."


SCUE's 'Practical Scholar' would detail academic life

(03/01/91 10:00am)

Benjamin Franklin, known for his 'practical' proverbs, would probably be proud of a new project being spearheaded by the Student Committee on Undergraduate Education. The Practical Scholar, currently being assembled by SCUE, will be a guide to academics and academic resources at the University, according to SCUE Chairperson David Kaufman. "The aim of this is to be both a great resource to students at the University and to show prospective matriculants that this is a great place to study," he said last week. Currently in early planning stages, Kaufman explained that the 'Practical Scholar' will address issues currently not covered by any one publication by pooling the information in many different ones. Up to fifty pages in length, Kaufman said the project will cover subjects ranging from libraries to foreign study programs to computer resources at the University. He said that much of it will be done on computer, so that frequent updates in the future will not be difficult. "First and foremost, we want to be accurate," he said. Susanne Bradford, School of Arts and Sciences director of communications, described the project as unlike any she has seen in her 12 years at the University. "The different schools and different departments are not centralized," she explained last week. "They operate fairly independently. No one school would want to take it on." She said that responsibility for compiling such a project therefore falls to the students, adding "that's probably where it should fall." "I believe that it's important for the students to get involved in projects like this that are above and beyond the classroom," she said. "It's a monumental job." According to Kaufman, SCUE has contacted the provost and the deans of each of the undergraduate schools with the proposal. He said that their response has been favorable. "Anytime the students get involved in communication between the system and other students, it is to be applauded," said Norman Adler, who heads SAS's undergraduate division. John Keenan, head of the Engineering School's undergraduate division, said "it struck me as being a very appropriate and important thing." "[The Practical Penn] tells how to live at Penn," Kaufman said. "This tells how to study at Penn." Bradford added that because the book will be sent by the University to all incoming students, the quality of the book is important. But quality will not come cheaply. Kaufman said that the project could cost between $20,000 and $25,000 depending on the number of copies printed. Bradford said that with that amount, the high-quality book could be completed, but the amount of color and photographs, paper quality, and binding style will all effect the total bill. She said that the University's current budget difficulties may effect the project. "At this point, it is very important to watch the costs," she said.


CITY LIMITS: PennSTAR involved in trauma service dispute

(02/27/91 10:00am)

Last fall, the Delaware County Emergency Health Services Council in suburban Media drafted a contract which all emergency transport services in and around the county were required to sign if they wanted to continue to operate in the county. By the deadline of August 20th, only one air-ambulance service agreed to the pact -- Sky-Life Care, associated with Brandywine Hospital in Chester County. Neither PennSTAR nor Medevac, the helicopter that services Hahnemann and Jefferson Hospitals, took part in the agreement. Now, Sky-Life Care is the "primary provider" to Delaware County and PennSTAR and Medevac are only called in when Sky-Life Care is unavailable. But PennSTAR's base at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania is critical minutes closer to eastern portions of Delaware County than other air-ambulance services. HUP officials said last week that the hospital's proximity makes it a vital part of proper patient care. · The source of contention between PennSTAR, Medevac and Delaware County is a clause in the county's contract which governs where trauma patients are taken. The EHSC contract places that decision in the hands a Medical Command Official within the county, even if PennSTAR is called. HUP officials said that they want the decision to remain where it had been before August 20th, in HUP's hands for calls on PennSTAR. Tim Morgan, the program manager of the trauma center at HUP, said that the hospital is focusing on patient care in the dispute. "We are willing to come to some agreement with Delco that would be best for the patient," Morgan said. "That's what it's all about." Previously, when the helicopter was called by emergency crews in Delaware County, PennSTAR rushed to the scene and reported back to its base to report on the condition of the patient. A standardized Trauma Triage Program was used to make the assessment. Based on that report, a Medical Command Official at HUP decided where a patient should be taken. EHSC officials, however, decided that in certain circumstances patients had been flown to hospitals in Philadelphia, passing up closer centers within Delaware County. Robert Holm, Delaware County's Emergency Medical Service Coordinator, said that he knows of at least one case in which a patient died while traveling to a trauma center that was farther away than necessary. On top of everything else, the Pennsylvania Trauma Foundation rates the ability of trauma centers to care for emergency cases. Such ratings can affect the decisions of emergency personnel as to where they bring trauma cases. HUP is a Level I institution, while the highest rated hospital in Delaware County is Crozer-Chester Medical Center, which is only Level II. The main difference between the two is the heart-lung machines that Level I hospitals have and that Level II hospitals do not. Delaware County's Holm said that the distinction is not critical, citing a Trauma Foundation opinion that the difference between the two levels is not crucial, pointing out that Level II facilities have the capability to keep a patient alive long enough to transfer the person to a Level I center. Holm also said since it is almost impossible to discern in the field which of the two facilities a patient will need, PennSTAR has the tendency bring patients back to its own Level I base. However, HUP's Morgan disputes Holm's charges of any such "rubber band effect." Morgan said PennSTAR does not follow such a policy, adding that they were the first service to institute a practice of choosing a destination hospital on a case-by-case basis. This, Morgan said, has made HUP quite unpopular with the other Level I facilities in the Philadelphia area, because it puts pressure on them to follow suit. "We were the first in the region to break the mold," Morgan said. The situation has caught the attention of the Department of Health in Harrisburg. Kum Ham, director of the Emergency Medical Service Division of the state's Department of Health, said last week that regulation in the division depends on geographic proximity and response time. Therefore, Ham said, "there is no such thing as exclusivity." "We took the position on the Delaware County contract that we do not agree with contracting with a specific air-ambulance service exclusively providing such service to a given region," Ham said. The Health Department division is a regulatory body with the power to enforce its decisions. However Robert Fisher, a Health Department spokesperson, said that the division's stand does not mean that the contract will be voided. He added that meetings are currently being scheduled to decide on the future of Delaware County's emergency transport situation. HUP trauma center head Morgan said that HUP is working to settle the matter without angering Delaware County officials, state officials and patients. "We are probably closer to the Department of Health's position than Delco," Morgan said. "When your house is burning down you don't call a firehouse miles away if you have one just down the road." While EHSC' Holm had no comment on the Health Department opinion, he suggested that a possible solution may to implement the emergency call-up of he helicopters on a rotating basis. For example, one month HUP may be the primary provider then the next Medevac may take its turn.


U. alum Burrell running for City Hall

(02/27/91 10:00am)

Mayoral candidate George Burrell's office looks like a traditional family's Fourth of July party. Red, white and blue stars hang from the ceiling and hundreds of pamphlets proclaiming "Victory '91" adorn the walls of the Democratic candidate's office. A serious image of the 42-year-old University graduate stares out from posters on the wall. (Section omitted) Politicians can take several years to become accustomed to a new situation. "[The crisis] is not going to be solved by someone who has to figure out what it means to be a politicians in a political arena," he said. The University, Burrell has said, will have to be somewhat responsible for helping Philadelphia out with the financial problems. Asking non-profit, tax-exempt institutions for user fees is one of the four measures he has said he would use to solve the city's financial problems. The other three things Burrell said he will propose are cutting $30 to $40 million, improving labor relations and negotiations, asking for more state aid and adding a city sales tax. Burrell's ideas would obviously be for naught, though, if he is sharply hampered by continuing bad press as he has recently received. Local media reported last month that he defaulted on several school loans, but has since repaid them. And Burrell said the fact that he has repaid the loans is the key point. He emphasized that people get into difficult situations sometimes and said he feels sure the voters will understand his plight when they go to the polls in the May 21 primary. Burrell, a 1969 Wharton alum and a 1974 Law School graduate, said the University drew him from his home state of New Jersey to the city, and has kept him here since. At the University, Burrell was active as a football player and in several honor societies. (CUT LINE) Please see BURRELL, page 5 BURRELL, from page 1


U. welcomes prospective minority students

(02/26/91 10:00am)

The University minority community and the Admissions Office put their best foot forward this weekend as they hosted 168 minority high school seniors for the University's annual Invitational Scholars Weekend. For the past three days, 168 possible members of the Class of 1995 partied, studied and ate at the University and say they have enjoyed it. The students will be on campus through this afternoon. Several student organizers of the event said they consider it a valuable service to the high school seniors. They said it gives them a chance to learn about the University and gives them a good idea of what life at the University is like. Organizers said that although they would like to attract more minority students to the University, they do not try to "sell" the University to the high school students. The high school students who participated overwhelmingly said they came away with a positive impression of the University. As the students were herded to pizza receptions, activity fairs, basketball games and tours of Philadelphia, they said they learned that the University is committed to bringing them into the community. And while some students said the University is an ideal school for them, others said they appreciated the honest impressions of the college they received from their hosts. "My hosts have been very frank and candid," said New Yorker Alisha James. "I know it's going to be like that, but it doesn't discourage me." Student hosts, who volunteer to house the seniors, are not screened before the weekend. Sonia Elliot, the University's assistant director for minority recruitment, said hosts attend a training session prior to the weekend. Elliott said because hosts know the importance of the weekend, they are helpful. "They are, to a certain extent, more powerful recruiters than we are," Elliott said. And although many hosts participated to help the scholars, they said they learned something about themselves in the process. "You don't realize how much you like this school until you have the opportunity to talk to someone else," said College sophomore Tomilola Ogunba. While many prospective students said they wanted to attend the University, others expressed concern about its costs. Joanne Po, a Long Island resident, said she is concerned about the minority attrition rate. She said she could probably manage the academics, but the cost of the education bothers her. "I'm worried that it's not because of my academics, but because I couldn't afford it," she said. "Student loans don't go as far as they should." But the scholars had other things on their mind besides academics and financial worries. Many came to experience the social side of college life. Several students said they enjoyed Sunday's Penn Performance Night the most. They said they were impressed by Penn 6-5000, Mask and Wig and the other student groups which performed. "It was really great," said Pennsylvania resident Lynda Pham. "All students did it and it seemed so professionally done." According to organizers, there were only a few minor glitches in the weekend, which the University started planning for in September. According to Pippa Porter-Rex, the director for minority recruitment, some students were unable to attend the Sunday morning tour of Philadelphia because there wasn't enough room on the buses. "For the first time in seven years, more students wanted to go then signed up," said Porter-Rex. Undergraduate Admissions organized the first official weekend in 1984. Although the department is one of the sponsors, many other organizations have contributed to the weekend. "It really is a campus-wide effort," Elliott said. Although no statistics have been collected, Elliott said the weekend draws many students to the University. University students have told Elliott the weekend was a determining factor in their decision to attend. "It really is a wonderful recruitment effort," Elliott added.


FOCUS: Which Way? Battle over charity drive goes to employee vote

(02/25/91 10:00am)

Charity begins at home, and at the University, the house is divided. For many years, the United Way, one of the nation's most respected charitable organizations, was the only organization University employees could donate to through their paychecks. But in the last few years, some employees decided they would rather have more choice. In 1988, the University changed its policy to give employees more say over how their money is spent, but all donations still had to go through the United Way. Supporters of the new plan say it will cut out the added expense of having the United Way as a middleman. But, for the United Way, it means a loss of control over a large portion of the University's $371,000 campaign. United Way officials say placing the other four smaller organizations on as even a level as the United Way, with 2,700 member charities, is unfair. Having recently lost exclusive control over the City of Philadelphia's campaign and the Philadelphia Board of Education's plan, United Way officials have fought tooth and nail to maintain its share of the University's campaign. The University, after the government, is the city's largest employer. For two years, the two sides have fought over the campaign, with employees becoming increasingly disillusioned with the United Way, and the campaign in general. At times, the dispute has become bitter and both sides have accused the other of lying. Southeastern Pennsylvania United Way President Ted Moore summed up the entire dispute, openly stating last month that "The bottom line is money." Either late this week or next week, the issue will come to a head as University employees will have a chance to vote to keep the old program or adopt a combined campaign. President Sheldon Hackney will make a final decision based on this referendum later this semester and put the issue to rest. · When employees choose to donate, their pledge cards have had one option: How much do you want to give to the United Way? The Committee for a Combined Campaign proposes that the new card will allow the donor to give directly to additional fundraising organizations: the United Way, the Black United Fund, United Negro College Fund, Bread and Roses Community Fund, or Womens Way. The United Way has argued that this is superfluous, since donors can select these organizations through its "donor choice" path. For the past 10 years the United Way has allowed donors two alternatives. The donors may request that the United Way allocate their pledge -- with the donor having the ability to target a general area -- or they may choose the "donor choice" system, under which they can select a specific recipient for the money. But Committee for a Combined Campaign representatives say the United Way system is inefficient. When the donation goes to the United Way first, overhead costs are lost. A greater percentage of employee donations actually reach the needy when they donate directly to a specific charity. United Way officials have said they keep their overhead low at about 11 percent, while the four groups that the Committee has endorsed, have an average overhead of about 23 percent. According to the fall 1990 Combined Federal Campaign contributor's brochure for the Philadelphia area, Womens Way's administrative and fundraising costs are about 10 percent, the Black United Fund's are 32 percent; Bread and Roses Community fund spends 30 percent of its total annual income; and the United Negro College Fund, Inc. spends about 24 percent. Combined Campaign Committee member Jane Combrinck-Graham said that her group does not question the United Way's administrative costs, but said the Committee feels it is wasteful to subject donations to the initial United Way cost and then also the individual organization's overhead. "There has been some miscommunication," Combrinck-Graham said. "[The Combined Campaign Committee] is not concerned about the [United Way's] overhead, we are concerned that the donation is deducted from twice." Combrinck-Graham also explained that the United Way deductionss add to a total of 20 percent after subtracting the nine-percent deduction for uncollected pledges whenever someone uses the donor option pathway. United Way spokesperson Joe Divis said his organization determines the overall loss in uncollected pledges annually and deducts it on an equal percentage basis to all chosen organizations. "At the end, there is a shortfall and everyone shares equally . . . any campaign that is conducted will have the uncollectables," Divis said. "We can't pay out what we don't receive." Womens Way Marketing Director Joan Mintz said the deduction for uncollected pledges is not fair since Womens Way's uncollected pledges are much lower than United Way's yearly nine to 10-percent deduction. "No matter what the deduction is, it is not based on our losses," Mintz said. The Committee has asked that four fundraising organizations to be included on the pledge card alongside of the United Way. However, Combrinck-Graham has said that other funnel groups can apply to be on the pledge card. The four organizations are not "member agencies" of the United Way, which means they can only receive donor choice money. The groups argue that the administrative charge they are assessed is higher than the United Way's cost of forwarding them the money. They say much of the administrative charge subsidizes distribution to member groups. Black United Fund President Linda Richardson said earlier this month she felt the United Way's "donor choice" option was an unacceptable system. The Black United Fund's position paper says the donor choice system is merely an attempt to appease donors. The paper said donors think the United Way has made concessions to other groups, but asserts that it is merely a facade. The paper argues that the control of the campaign remains in the hands of the United Way. Richardson's position paper also said that the United Way has attempted to stop other charities from entering the workplace to maintain control of employee dollars. "United Way is not only the chief competitor with non-United Way charities, but has a history of operating as a legal and political adversary of such charities," the position paper added. "[The United Way] uses it's resources to obstruct their inclusion in employee campaigns in both government and private sector arenas." United Way's Divis has argued that by offering the "donor-choice" option, the United Way is a true "combined campaign." In total, the United Way funds over 2,700 organizations througout the Delaware Valley area. He added that the four organizations the Committee has included in its proposal all received money from the donor choice option last year. Divis also said that by allowing "a select few" organizations to gain status on the pledge card alongside the United Way, the groups gain "an unfair marketing advantage." He said various organizations would want to be able to gain donations and would bind together into federations and apply to be on the pledge card. "Then you would have all the organizations knocking on your door again," Divis said. "This is why the United Way was formed over a hundred years ago." Divis also said that by adding more organizations onto the pledge card, someone would have to run the campaign that has traditionally been handled by the United Way. Combined Campaign committee member David Rudovsky said at the Jan. 23 University Council meeting that the Committee's proposal could be run in a cost-efficient manner. · This past year's campaign was the largest ever in the history of the University. The fall charity drive raised $371,000 this year, an increase from $290,000 last year. Both sides agree that the number of participants also increased greatly. However, they dispute the motivation behind the increase. Combined Campaign Committee supporters said the implementation of the partially-combined campaign in the past two years has offered a more direct path to the donor's choice, thereby bringing in more money and more contributors. Rudovsky said the new freedom of choice is directly linked to an increase in donations. United Way supporters argue that they already are a "combined" campaign that offers a large choice to donors and that the increases are unrelated to the efforts of the Committee. But a report by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy concluded that combined campaigns do generate more money. "Multiple charity campaigns increase giving," the report said. "Employees want a choice in their giving options." The 1988 campaign was different from its predecessors in that the president's office allowed the four groups to send literature to donors separate from the United Way. But the four groups still were forced to receive all donations through the United Way's donor choice path. In the fall of 1989, Hackney allowed the four organizations to appear alongside the United Way on the pledge card. The University separated the donations marked to those four groups and sent them directly to avoid the administrative costs of the United Way. "This was a big step," Combrinck-Graham said of the 1989 revisions. "[But,] this was an incremental step, not the full step that the committee is seeking." The committee has various other requests including a system for fundraising organizations to apply to be added to the pledge card. "A set of criteria would be set up," Combrinck-Graham said. "They would have to be consistent with the University's policy of diversity, pluralism, and fairness."


SPOTLIGHT: Women's theater shows begin this weekend

(02/21/91 10:00am)

The second annual Women's Theater Festival will open Saturday in High Rise East, featuring a wide array of satires and comedies on a number of different women's issues. Eleven different shows will be performed during the week-long event. According to Katie Goodman, chairperson of the event, the festival is organized in conjunction with Black History Month, and features shows on various issues including sexism, racism and homophobia. English Professor Linda Hart, who helped found the event last year, said that since last year's festival went so well, they wanted to do it again. Meister said the main purpose of the festival is to bring more attention to sensitive issues that are often neglected. "It's both to educate and entertain," she said. "A lot of the performers deal directly and indirectly with the issues of racism, sexism and homophobia. Empowerment is one of the major themes that runs throughout the festival. As a minority in our society, facing day-to-day problems, we hope to enable women to overcome difficulties and find their power."


Scientist from NASA to lead U. computing

(02/19/91 10:00am)

NASA scientist Peter Patton will become the University's Vice Provost for Information Systems and Computing, the University announced this week. Patton, described as a "world-class" computer master and scholar, will take office April 1, replacing Acting Vice Provost Ronald Arenson. Paul Kleindorfer, chairperson of the search committee that helped choose Patton, said last night he was pleased with the committee's selection. He said the committee picked Patton from a field of more than 150 candidates through a process that took over two years. The Decision Science professor added that Patton is "someone who is really going to bring to Penn a personal dimension, one of scholar and wit." Patton could not be reached for comment last night. The vice provost for computing position became vacant in November 1988, when then-Vice Provost David Stonehill accepted a position in President Bush's Executive Office as head of the Information Systems Resource Management Department. Arenson, a radiology professor in the Medical School, has served as acting vice provost since 1989. Provost Michael Aiken said last year that the administration would have liked Arenson to take the position full-time, but the professor has decided to return to his research. Aiken, who chose Patton in consultation with other top administrators, said last night Patton "is a man of immense experience in computers and wide-ranging interests -- a person everyone will like when they meet him." Patton is the founder of the Minnesota Supercomputer Institute. He has served as chief scientist and director of the National Technology Transfer Center in West Virginia, which is funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration since 1988. Patton's career has been highlighted by a 12-year stint as director of the University of Minnesota Computer Center. He has also spent many years studying ways to apply computers to studies of the ancient world. He is the author or editor of five books and over 80 articles. He holds European Community and U.S. patents on a computer method for the generation of COBOL programs for business applications. Patton received his bachelor's degree in engineering and applied physics from Harvard University in 1957. He earned his masters in mathematics from Kansas University in 1959, followed by a doctorate in aerospace engineering from Germany's University of Stuttgart. He is "very bright and very energetic," Arenson said, "the experienced kind of leader that will identify with the faculty's need for computers." Kleindorfer said he expects Patton will also draw money to the University. "Patton has shown himself to be a very innovative, entrepreneuring fellow," Kleindorfer said.


Temple faculty approve contract offer, ending six-month dispute

(02/14/91 10:00am)

Temple faculty overwhelmingly approved a contract offer last night, ending a bitter dispute that has raged for six months. Faculty voted 338 to 65 with one abstention to approve the offer. According to the contract, Temple faculty will receive a five percent across-the-board salary increase for three years, with an extra one percent increase in the third year. In the fourth year, the faculty will receive a two percent salary increase. The contract also resolves the issue of health care co-payments, which has been one of the thorniest problems in the contract dispute. The agreement maintains the co-payment but also allows for the creation of a joint faculty-administration Health Care Advisory Board to study health care costs and make recommendations. Faculty members will receive rebates of the co-payment if health-care costs rise less than six percent in a one year period. Six other unions at Temple had already agreed to the co-payments when the faculty went on strike in September. Arthur Hochner, president of the Temple Association of University Professors, said that the faculty did not take issue with the $260 co-payment which the administration initially requested, but rather with the reasoning behind it. He added that he felt TAUP got a better deal than the other unions who signed on to the deal in September. "[The six unions] don't have an input and we do," Hochner said. "We do want them to join us. We can all benefit in the future." "It went better then I thought," Hochner added. "We made a lot of gains." Temple spokesperson Kathy Gosliner said last night that the university's administration was "happy" that the dispute was finally resolved. One issue that was not resolved by the contract, however, was make-up pay for faculty during the dispute. In November, Temple administrators offered faculty one-third of their regular pay for the period when the faculty worked under court order. The faculty was ordered to return to work by a Common Pleas Court judge on October 3. "Last November's offer of one-third pay was objectionable," Hochner said. "Now we have none, but we have a chance of getting 100 percent." Both the union and the administration said that it may be difficult to start "a healing process" after months of bad blood. "It's been a very difficult time," said Temple spokesperson Gosliner. "We have to move forward -- it's not going to happen overnight." Hochner said last night that although he now has reservations about the administration, he feels that changes must be made. "It became clear that we're dealing with a punitive administration here," Hochner said. "This is an administration that plays hardball, that takes advantage of people weaker than them. That perception isn't going to change but their attitudes have to change if there is going to be real healing. If there isn't [a change] it's just going to be a repeat of the bitterness." The strike began on September 4, the first day of classes last semester, when the union called for a faculty walkout. The strike lasted 29 days, and, before it was over, over 1800 students withdrew from the University. Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Samuel Lehrer ordered the teachers back to work on October 3. Lehrer said that the strike, which left over 23,000 students without at least one class and 6000 with none, had damaged education for the students. Both sides said that the decision should help Temple's sagging enrollment. Only about one-half of students who withdrew during the strike have returned this semester, according to Gosliner. "It absolutely has been hurtful in our ability to recruit," Gosliner said. "But we're rebounding, and with a contract agreement we should be able to do even more." Hochner said that the length of the contract guarantees stability for incoming students. "The contract goes for four years, so anyone enrolling this year is not going to see any problems while they're here," Hochner said. The contract agreement must still face the vote of the Temple Board of Trustees. The board will vote Thursday morning at 10:15 in conference, and is expected to approve the contract.


Hackney, Whittington to lobby for more funding in Harrisburg

(02/11/91 10:00am)

Top University administrators will uncharacteristically be spending much of this semester lobbying in Harrisburg to convince legislators to lessen the impact of Governor Robert Casey's proposed budget cuts. President Sheldon Hackney and Vice President Marna Whittington said yesterday they are optimistic that their trips to the state capital will capture at least a portion of the $18.3 million the governor has proposed to cut from the University's annual allottment. But they added they are unsure how significant legislators' modifications to the budget proposal will be. Both Hackney and Whittington said they plan to travel to Harrisburg "however much it takes" to convince legislators the University needs more state funds to maintain its quality of education. University lobbyist James Shada, the deans of the Veterinary School, the Medical School and the Dental School and Undergraduate Assembly representatives also plan to spend time in the state capital before the legislators vote on the proposed budget. The president said he plans to show individual politicians the economic and cultural contributions the University makes to the state, adding that he will solicit alumni help in persuading legislators. The administrators said they will have to rethink the University's budget for next year, adding they may have to allot money based on the expected figures received from the Casey administration at this time. Incoming Budget Director Stephen Golding said last night that, based on statements made by state legislators, he thinks University administrators may be able to modify Casey's budget proposal. He said Hackney and other officials must "demonstrate that the University provides a valuable need to the Commonwealth and to Philadelphia." University Trustee Myles Tannenbaum said it is "unthinkable" that legislators will pass Casey's budget, adding that lobbying efforts should convince the politicians that the University is a valuable asset to the state. "There will be some signs of non-gutless leadership that will say, 'We're not willing to let this happen,' " Tannenbaum said. "I really believe that it won't be easy, but I believe that we'll come out a lot better than it looks right now."


Number of applicants drops for third straight year

(02/04/91 10:00am)

Applications for admission to the University declined for the third year in a row this year, dropping eight percent, according to Dean of Admissions Willis Stetson. Stetson said that applications were down from 10,664 last year to 9800. Despite the drop, the University will keep the size of the Class of 1995 the same as past classes, Stetson said Friday. The admissions dean said the decrease mirrors an eight percent drop in the number of 18-year-olds. He said the change in applications is a demographic issue and not a reflection on the University. He added that expensive private schools, like the University, may be suffering the effects of a declining national economy. "It's too early to be certain, but it appears that the less expensive state schools are getting more applications," Stetson said, adding that an increase in early action activity across the nation may also have contributed to the drop. Associate Admissions Dean Christoph Guttentag agreed with Stetson Friday, saying the high price of an Ivy League education may chase some applicants off, but added that most can afford it with financial aid. "The perception among students and parents is that highly selective schools are too expensive," Guttentag said. "It's more a question of perception, than reality. Chances are they can afford it." According to both Guttentag and Stetson, accepting the same number of students from a smaller pool of applicants will not hurt the academic integrity of the incoming class. Guttentag said the type of people who applied in past years but not this year are usually those who would not have been accepted anyway. The result is a smaller pool with a higher concentration of qualified students. The University will admit approximately 2250 students of the 9800 to 10,000 applicants, a ratio which yields about a 40-percent acceptance rate, according to Regional Director of Admissions Eric Furda. Furda said even though the 40-percent figure may seem high compared with fellow Ivies, the number is distorted because the University has a larger student population than the other Ivies. Furda said the three schools outside of the College -- Wharton, Engineering and Nursing -- contribute to the higher acceptance rate. He said the College is just as selective as other Ivies. Stetson admitted that he has a difficult job ahead of him. "The significance of all this is that competition to enroll them will be tough because many other schools will be trying to enroll the same students," Stetson said. Stetson also said Friday that the nation's universities are witnessing a shift of potential students from the Northeast to the Southeast, West and Southwest. Stetson said he does not feel the University will lose these students to western schools like Stanford University or the University of California at Berkeley. "There's only a certain number they can accept," he added. Minority applications, like the entire pool, fell by 8 percent, but applications by black students went from 719 in 1990 to 575 in 1991, a 20-percent decrease. But Guttentag said this is not cause for alarm. "The quality of the pool of black students is better," Guttentag said. He said the recession, combined with the high cost of attending the University , have a larger impact on black students than any other group. Hispanic applications dropped from 498 in 1990 to 420 this year, while Asian applications fell slightly from 2510 to 2499 this year. Applications to the School of Arts and Sciences fell by eight percent. Wharton applications dropped by 11 percent. Engineering applications fell by just three percent. More applications were received by the Management and Technology program, a 37 percent increase, and the Nursing School received 29 percent more applications. "Overall, the class of 1995 is the strongest in Penn's history," alumnus Furda said. "The academic quality [of this year's class] has certainly not gone down."


U. students advise high schoolers

(02/04/91 10:00am)

Twenty members of the Black Wharton Undergraduate Association explained the importance of continuing education to about 400 University City High School seniors during the association's first Business Day on Friday. Approximately 400 high school students participated in the program. The students were split into groups so two or three association members could speak directly to the students. In one section, Law and MBA student Michael Jones told a group of six students that they must pursue an education in order to succeed in business. "If you have the opportunity to expand your skill base, take advantage of it, because otherwise you are at a disadvantage," Jones said. The day consisted of three 39 sessions during which Association members met with the groups of up to thirty students. Business Day coordinator Michelle Fambro told the same group of students that the concept of business had varied meanings, and that business "doesn't stop when one leaves the nine-to-five job." "Business is an everyday experience," the Wharton junior said. "Everyday a transaction occurs whether it is buying a SEPTA token or lunch." Because business encompasses many experiences, Jones said, certain skills are required for success, such as computer literacy, typing, and economics. "These programs are good because they build confidence and keep the brain sharp," Jones said. According to Clawson, the programs teach certain skills which allow participants to become unique and "sell" themselves, a technique used in interviews for either business or college. Fambro advised students to show employers and colleges that they have something of value to offer, because the students always have something to offer and interviewers have something to gain. The Black Wharton Undergraduate Association, working with the African-American MBA Association, held Business Day because, according to Fambro, the students who are soon graduating need help in making post-graduation plans. According to organizers, Business Day was held at University City High School because of its proximity to the University, its receptiveness to the program, and the support of school principal Davis Martin.


Students file for state DA probe

(02/01/91 10:00am)

In the complaint -- registered at the office's Bureau of Consumer Protection on behalf of over 120 subscribers seeking refunds on their newspaper subscriptions -- Alyssa Rokito alleged that the students received "undependable and infrequent delivery," were billed for subscriptions they had already paid and had almost no success at reaching Monk directly to discuss the problem. No one at the attorney general's office could be reach for comment last night. Monk, who has refused to discuss Penn News with The Daily Pennsylvanian on several occasions, did not respond to several phone messages last night. Wharton graduate student Jonathan Eilian, who said last week that he and Rokito were exploring the possibility of filing a class-action lawsuit against Monk and Penn News, said he helped file the complaint. According to Eilian, the attorney general's office will begin "investigating Penn News immediately" to see whether the delivery service may have violated various Pennsylvania statutes, including the Unfair and Deceptive Trading Act. If found guilty, Penn News could be forced to pay each subscriber listed in the complaint up to $300, regardless of the amount of their claim, according to Eilian. He added that the total judgment against Penn News could exceed $35,000. To facilitate the investigation, Eilian said he and Rokito provided the office with copies of cancelled checks, subscriber complaint forms and bills reportedly sent to the parents of subscribers who already had paid Penn News. Eilian said he would like to see the matter resolved as quickly as possible, but he stressed that he and Rokito will persist until all refunds are paid. "As soon as Penn News fulfills its obligation to all those students who paid in advance, I would be happy to inform the attorney general that the claims have been paid," Eilian said. If this attempt to resolve the problem fails, Eilian said he will continue working to get refunds. "This complaint is only our first step," he said. "We have only just begun to pursue this claim. Now that we've come together and are acting in unison, I feel that we are much more likely to get Monk's attention." The other students are similarly determined, he said. "The students feel taken advantage of and are willing to take whatever steps are necessary to get their money back," he said. "They're going to stick with it."


Pair threatens to file lawsuit vs. Penn news

(01/28/91 10:00am)

Graduate student Jonathan Eilian and senior Alyssa Rokito, who claim they have spent months trying to reach Monk without success, said they spent the weekend gathering the names of other dissatisfied subscribers in order to file a lawsuit. "We've concluded that the only hope we have is to pool our claims and retain a top corporate attorney," Eilian said yesterday. He said one possible solution could involve a class-action lawsuit -- a suit in which a company or individual is sued by an individual on behalf of a group of people with similar complaints. Although Eilian said he hopes to resolve the situation before the case reaches court, the graduate student stressed he and Rokito would "pursue all legal channels available to us." "Hopefully, we won't need to waste time and money in court," Eilian said. "But we will pursue Monk until justice is served." He said that two are in the process of hiring a Chicago lawyer to coordinate a possible lawsuit. Last Friday, Eilian and Rokito hung up signs throughout campus asking students interested in getting refunds to call them. Since then, Eilian said the response has been "tremendous," even though many of the signs have disappeared. Eilian said 48 students have called him since last week to register their interest in obtaining refunds. He added that 100 names are needed before any legal proceedings would occur. "Everyone so far is enthusiastic, willing to give it a try," he said. "After all, we have nothing to lose and can't be any worse off than we are now." Eilian said he will leave a letter and response form for all students interested in joining the group in the Steinberg-Dietrich student mail folder area beginning this morning. Monk refused to discuss Penn News last night, choosing instead to submit a letter to The Daily Pennsylvanian. In the prepared statement, the Wharton junior said that "the students who have paid will be compensated for each paper that has not been delivered" since three newspaper companies suspended delivery of papers to Penn News last month. He failed to specify what type of compensation students can expect, however, and he did not address the possibility of refunds for newspapers not received during the previous semester. After writing that he did not "create this situation," Monk added, "I am doing everything I can to correct [the suspension of delivery], for the sake of those students who have paid up front and have every right to expect prompt delivery." Monk did not describe exactly what he is doing to correct the problem and The Philadelphia Inquirer, The New York Times, and USA Today said last week that they will not resume delivery until they receive payment. According to officials from all three papers, Monk owes them over $24,000. According to Eilian, his goal is "a single lump sum payment in the form of a certified check" to all students that have not received refunds. He said that is the only way to avoid "the confusion of bounced checks, purposeless delays or any other games." In addition to leaving messages on Monk's answering machine, Eilian said he has complained to the University, the Better Business Bureau and Penn Student Agencies, which formerly operated Penn News. "We've tried for months to pursue every reasonable method of collection, and we've gotten nowhere," he said. "No one is helping us. We have no choice other than to organize and start helping ourselves." The purpose of a collective effort against Penn News, according to Eilian, is to ensure that Monk does not assume he can ignore individual complaints. "We believe that if Monk ever decides to pay his claim, it will be to his largest creditors: the newspapers who are owed over $24,000," the Wharton graduate student said. "These people have lawyers. No individual student has the time or resources to pursue a $100 claim." Eilian claimed he has "retained the advice of a top corporate lawyer in Chicago," but declined to provide the name of the attorney. According to Eilian, the lawyer reportedly agreed to take the case on a contingency basis, meaning the lawyer will be paid only if his clients win the case.


Pair threatens to file lawsuit vs. Penn News

(01/28/91 10:00am)

Graduate student Jonathan Eilian and senior Alyssa Rokito, who claim they have spent months trying to reach Monk without success, said they spent the weekend gathering the names of other dissatisfied subscribers in order to file a lawsuit. "We've concluded that the only hope we have is to pool our claims and retain a top corporate attorney," Eilian said yesterday. He said one possible solution could involve a class-action lawsuit -- a suit in which a company or individual is sued by an individual on behalf of a group of people with similar complaints. Although Eilian said he hopes to resolve the situation before the case reaches court, the graduate student stressed he and Rokito would "pursue all legal channels available to us." "Hopefully, we won't need to waste time and money in court," Eilian said. "But we will pursue Monk until justice is served." He said that two are in the process of hiring a Chicago lawyer to coordinate a possible lawsuit. Last Friday, Eilian and Rokito hung up signs throughout campus asking students interested in getting refunds to call them. Since then, Eilian said the response has been "tremendous," even though many of the signs have disappeared. Eilian said 48 students have called him since last week to register their interest in obtaining refunds. He added that 100 names are needed before any legal proceedings would occur. "Everyone so far is enthusiastic, willing to give it a try," he said. "After all, we have nothing to lose and can't be any worse off than we are now." Eilian said he will leave a letter and response form for all students interested in joining the group in the Steinberg-Dietrich student mail folder area beginning this morning. Monk refused to discuss Penn News last night, choosing instead to submit a letter to The Daily Pennsylvanian. In the prepared statement, the Wharton junior said that "the students who have paid will be compensated for each paper that has not been delivered" since three newspaper companies suspended delivery of papers to Penn News last month. He failed to specify what type of compensation students can expect, however, and he did not address the possibility of refunds for newspapers not received during the previous semester. After writing that he did not "create this situation," Monk added, "I am doing everything I can to correct [the suspension of delivery], for the sake of those students who have paid up front and have every right to expect prompt delivery." Monk did not describe exactly what he is doing to correct the problem and The Philadelphia Inquirer, The New York Times, and USA Today said last week that they will not resume delivery until they receive payment. According to officials from all three papers, Monk owes them over $24,000. According to Eilian, his goal is "a single lump sum payment in the form of a certified check" to all students that have not received refunds. He said that is the only way to avoid "the confusion of bounced checks, purposeless delays or any other games." In addition to leaving messages on Monk's answering machine, Eilian said he has complained to the University, the Better Business Bureau and Penn Student Agencies, which formerly operated Penn News. "We've tried for months to pursue every reasonable method of collection, and we've gotten nowhere," he said. "No one is helping us. We have no choice other than to organize and start helping ourselves." The purpose of a collective effort against Penn News, according to Eilian, is to ensure that Monk does not assume he can ignore individual complaints. "We believe that if Monk ever decides to pay his claim, it will be to his largest creditors: the newspapers who are owed over $24,000," the Wharton graduate student said. "These people have lawyers. No individual student has the time or resources to pursue a $100 claim." Eilian claimed he has "retained the advice of a top corporate lawyer in Chicago," but declined to provide the name of the attorney. According to Eilian, the lawyer reportedly agreed to take the case on a contingency basis, meaning the lawyer will be paid only if his clients win the case.


Sororities give out almost 400 bids to women

(01/28/91 10:00am)

By 3 p.m. yesterday afternoon, the heavy doors of Bodek Lounge were about the only thing holding back the nearly 400 women anxiously awaiting their entrance into the Greek system. In the final event of the Panhellenic Council's week-long rush, invitations were extended to these women from one of the eight sororities they began to rush one week ago. And although rushes were able to pick up their invitations over a two-hour span, Bodek Lounge was nearly deserted after a half-hour. According to College senior Jenny Gonell, Panhel vice-president for rush, the main event for many of the rushes was an hour-long party after which they had to submit their top two choices for sororities. The rushes were assigned to their new sororities by a committee made up of two alumnae from each sorority, Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs Director Tricia Phaup and a separate alumna from a sorority. At a Saturday night session, the committee matched the rush's choices with each house's list of women it wanted, in preferential order. According to rush officials, some women "committed a suicide" by only putting one sorority on their bid card -- hurting their chances for a selection but potentially improving their chance of making it into their top choice. Wharton freshman Nicole Shumanis said she "suicided" to make certain she would make it into only one sorority. "I knew from the beginning that I liked one sorority more," she said. "I did not want to join a sorority for the sake of joining a sorority." Women who were not picked for any house were called by their Rho Chi, or rush counselor, in order to save them any embarassment, said Gonell. Throughout rush, counselors and each sorority gave rushes financial and pledging information about each house, she said. Gonell added that the Panhel system is taking in 391 pledges, and each house was able to take up to 55 women. However she said Panhel regulations prevent her from saying how many bids each house actually extended. As students celebrated in little groups around Houston Hall, there was varied reaction to the process they had gone through and what awaits them as members of a sorority. "The rush process worked really well," said College freshman and new Kappa Alpha Theta pledge Jen Gold. "People ended up where they were meant to be." While waiting for her invitation, Wharton freshman Sangeeta Nayak expressed some apprehension. "I am still undecided," Nayak said. "Rush should be longer." Although this is a common complaint, Gonell said that pledging, rather than rush, is the time when a house and its new members learn about each other. "Houses are trying to get a diverse sisterhood, and a good way to do this is to take someone that they do not know a lot about," said Gonell. And according to rushes, getting to know a new group of people is also one of the top reasons women joined the sorority system. College junior Liza Herzog, a transfer student from the University of Michigan, said the Greek system is a "good way to meet people if you are coming from another school."


200 students rally to support Gulf war

(01/25/91 10:00am)

Approximately 200 students gathered on College Green yesterday afternoon to express their support for the American action in the Persian Gulf and to criticize student opposition to the war. The rally was organized by Operation Homefront, a newly formed group of approximately 30 students which hopes to rally support for American troops in their effort to free Kuwait, according to coordinator Denise Wolf, a College junior. "It seems that every time there's a rally against the war, there are more people standing around who support the troops," said College senior Alex Lloyd, an Operation Homefront member. "I think we showed that there is a significant number of students who support the troops," he added. During the rally, more than a dozen students delivered speeches in support of the troops in the Gulf. "Right now we are in the midst of a war," said Wharton junior and group member Victor Miller during his speech, adding that criticism might undermine the war effort. One protestor, clad in army fatigues with a black hat and carrying a "Peace is war" poster, interrupted several speakers yelling "Nuke 'em, just nuke 'em." College senior and group member David Lite addressed the protester saying "Screaming is not the way to express your ideas." "It was good to see that students came out and spoke," he said. "We're adding to the history of time." Dozens of students stopped by the rally on their way to class to pick up yellow ribbons and "Free Kuwait" buttons and to listen to the speakers.


Religious studies dept. lacking Islam prof

(01/22/91 10:00am)

With interest in the Persian Gulf region reaching a feverish pitch around campus last week, Religious Studies Department Chairperson Ann Matter found herself with a lot of explaining to do. "We've been getting calls all week from residence halls, student groups, and community groups, asking if we can recommend someone on this issue to speak, and I can't," Matter said last week. The problem for Matter is that without a standing professor of Islam -- the religion overshadowing much of current events in the Middle East -- she has had to turn away requests for speakers. Matter instead routed callers to visiting lecturer Lynda Clarke, the teacher for the department's only course on Islam this semester, "Introduction to Shi'ite Islam." And having only one class on one of the world's major religion, says Clarke -- who is working on her doctorate while teaching at the University -- is the major flaw with the current Religious Studies Department. "I think the obvious thing is: a Religious Studies Department is not a Religious Studies Department if it does not cover one of the world's three major religions," Clarke said. Faced with budget constraints and hiring limits within the School of Arts and Sciences, the University's small Religious Studies Department has gone for more than five years without a faculty member specializing in the study of Islam since the previous standing professor of Islamic Studies departed for Yale University. The vacancy, criticized by several faculty members this week who say it jeopardizes the University's research reputation in the field, shows signs of eventually being filled -- but only after extensive debate on the purpose, direction, and feasibility of Islamic Studies at the University. Progress has been slow. The Religious Studies Department and the Oriental Studies Department last semester were assigned the joint task of identifying potential candidates, but neither department head has been permitted to contact anyone yet. Associate Dean for the Humanities Stephen Nichols said yesterday that budgetary constraints limit the School of Arts and Science's faculty to 500, and that he hopes one appointment of a professor who concentrates on both Arabic and Islamic studies will satisfy the needs of both departments. "We have a pretty bad budget crisis in the School of Arts and Sciences and we're trying to be creative with this," said Nichols. However, many faculty members said they doubt such a dual appointment would provide sufficient coverage for the Islamic religion or that an Arabic expert would satisfactorily present a religion where, worldwide, only one out of five members are Arabs. Administrators indicated, however, that compromises would have to be made or departments might have to re-examine priorities to determine which fields of study are of greatest importance. "It's a matter of departments making choices," Dean of Arts and Sciences Hugo Sonnenschein said yesterday. Faculty members said this week that the professor is sorely needed, not just for research or teaching, but to combat lingering stereotypes and prejudices on campus against Muslims. Visiting professor Clarke said she has recently found graffiti scribbled over signs for her "Introduction to Shi'ite Islam", and said she has also seen shirts which also play off the word "Shi'ite." Oriental Studies professor Roger Allen also said he has seen the defaced posters for Clarke's class. Yale Professor Gerhard Bowering, the University's last professor of Islamic Studies, said yesterday he was attracted to the New Haven school six years ago by the opportunity to design a program of broad-based research -- which had been impossible to create here. Bowering said that researchers in Islamic Studies draw on many concentrations, including language, history, political science, anthropology and art. Difficulties obtaining primary source materials from other departments at the University brought about his departure, he said. "The elements are there, the focus is not there," Bowering said this week. "You would need someone in Religious Studies to really push through an Islamic Studies program but you must do it as an interdisciplinary program." Bowering said that when he was hired fifteen years ago, the Religious Studies was making a progressive attempt to break through into Islam as a new religious field, but that the department lacked both resources and political clout within the University. That trend is only a recent one at the University, according to Middle East Center Director Brian Spooner, adding that during the first half of the century, the University was at the forefront of Middle Eastern studies. "It looks to me as though we hit a low," Spooner added. "Penn was one of the four major places in the world in the study of the Middle East in the first half of this century. But then things declined in the later 70's and early 80's, and since then I think things are improving again."


Clemente's friends express shock

(01/21/91 10:00am)

Students and administrators close to former Wharton student Christopher Clemente expressed sadness and shock last week over the guilty verdict entered against him Wednesday. Clemente and co-defendant Leah Bundy were found guilty on nine counts of drug and weapons charges last week in New York. They now face sentences of 25 years to life in prison. Clemente's attorneys plan to appeal the decision. Several of Clemente's friends and associates, including the steering committee of the Black Student League, said they were surprised by the verdict, especially by the fact that he was found guilty on every charge. Van Pelt College House Graduate Fellow Andrew Miller, who lived in the building with Clemente for three years and who testified on his behalf at his trial, said last week he was "amazed" by the guilty verdict. "I was just really, really shocked," said Miller. Vice Provost for University Life Kim Morrisson, who suspended Clemente weeks after his arrest in a Harlem apartment, said last week she was "saddened" by the verdict. Morrisson's decision to suspend Clemente last year sparked several student protests. Judicial Inquiry Officer Constance Goodman later reached an agreement with Clemente's attorneys to list the student's absence as a voluntary "leave of absence." "My heart goes out to his family," said Morrisson. Harold Ford, who is the managing editor of the University's black student newspaper The Vision and a friend of Clemente, said that he had been confident Clemente would be found innocent. "I was terribly, terribly disturbed," Ford said. "His defense was very strong." Ford also thought that the evidence in the trial seemed "shaky," adding that he was "curious to know why the judge wouldn't let Clemente's academic record be admitted to evidence." Miller also questioned the jury's verdict, saying "there's just no proof." "[The evidence] was merely circumstantial. . . I don't see how a jury could have convicted him," Miller said. "It's just crazy what he has gone through, when there is no evidence to connect him to [the crimes]." In addition, the ten members of the BSL steering committee showed their support for Clemente, a former member, in a written statement released yesterday. "The BSL would like to continue its support of Christopher Clemente and his family despite the decision of the court," the statement said. "We strongly feel that the circumstances and evidence upon which he was convicted were not concrete, and that his conviction cannot be upheld without a questionable doubt."


Faculty concerned about about future of region

(01/18/91 10:00am)

With the war in the Persian Gulf just two days old, many University professors yesterday expressed greater concern this week over the aftermath of the conflict rather than the war itself. But for the professors, some of whom have spent years of their life researching the Middle East, the Gulf War is just one in a series of episodes in the continuing evolution of a turbulent region. For the past week, the experts have repeatedly voiced concerns over the future of Iraqi government, increasing animosity between Western and Arab nations, and the continuing impasse in solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As of late yesterday, Iraq had already launched a missile attack on Israel and many University experts said they feel Iraq may also exploit strengths in other forms of combat -- perhaps resorting to terrorist attacks. Understanably, faculty are becoming increasing wary of making predictions that could soon turn out to be wrong. Most recently, many were surprised at the speed with which the U.S. and its allies attacked after the United Nations deadline passed. Most professors said they had expected the U.N. coalition to delay the start of fighting, in part to make further military preparations. But in the end, the decision to attack Iraq Wednesday may have come down to weather. "It's a new moon for these few days and the weather is going to be clear," said Political Science Professor Frederic Frey. "So it's ideal conditions for night fighting." But such discussion have become academic. The question for many now has become how long the war will last, and who will eventually prevail. "There's very little doubt that we will win the war eventually, whether it is short or long," Frey said. He said he worries more about the turmoil the war will create in the region. One of Frey's predictions made earlier this week came true as Iraq launched a missle attack on Israel last night. "The longer this goes on without an attack on Israel, the harder [an attack on Israel] will be for Iraqis to avoid," Frey said. Peace Science Professor Stephen Gale also predicted the Iraqi attack on Israel, but questioned whether it was an intelligent move strategically. "If Hussein is smart he won't bring in the Israelis because Israel has no compunction against leveling Iraq," he said. There was no word on a possible Israel response as of late last night. Gale teaches the Peace Science program's Terrorism class. He said Iraq may resort to terrorist tactics as an alternative form of leverage if direct military action is unsuccessful. "As soon as Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, all of the major players in terrorism moved to Baghdad," he said. Gale said possible terrorist acts could include bombings, airplane hijackings, assassinations, and disruptions of water and electric utilities, among possible Iraqi targets. He said terrorism experts currently believe terrorists will choose targets in Western Europe, but that the United States is extremely vulnerable as well. "They'll be spot actions, but I'm sure they will be planned out very carefully," added Gale. Gale said that Saddam Hussein's is now destined to leave the international theater in a "blaze of history." He said that Hussein may survive the war only to be assassinated by any of the many enemies he has made since the Gulf showdown began. But the defeat of Saddam Hussein would not mean instant peace in the Middle East, the experts warned. A political vacuum in the Persian Gulf created by an Iraqi defeat might be filled by Syria or Iran. "We haven't explored what the effects of a war will be on the balance of power in the area," History Professor Alfred Reiber said. He added that tensions could escalate with Arab nations as a new precedent is set of "U.S. intervention under U.N. sponsorship." "In the near future, there will be an enormous backlash against the Western Europeans and the U.S. in general," he said. Such a backlash would jeopardize hopes for a Middle East peace conference, recently advocated by leaders including U.N. Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar, he said. Other experts agreed, saying that tensions between Arabs, Israelis, and Westerners inextricably linked in the current Gulf crisis might become an insurmountable obstacle at the bargaining table. This could leave other countries that have a stake in the Gulf Region out of potential talks, Oler said. He added that he fears further destabilization of third-world countries that have important economic links with Arab countries. "The issue of oil prices [in third world countries] is one of food or famine, rather than the type of car you can drive," he said.