Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Business Procedures

Business Procedures


DELIVERY AND PICK-UP SCHEDULE: Mail is delivered to the department at 9 AM; it is immediately sorted into the mail boxes in our mailroom. Mail is picked up in the department at 9 AM each day when incoming mail is dropped off, this is the only mail pick up of the day.  Of the two bins in 127, one is for U .S. and International  mail, the other for intramural mail. The department is charged for all U.S. and International mail that it sends out; it is every individual's responsibility to see that costs are limited to legitimate departmental and professional uses.

PERSONAL MAIL: Personal mail should not be sent through the University system; it should be stamped and taken to a U.S. mail box (the nearest is outside Fisher-Bennett Hall on Walnut St). Stamped mail placed in the department mail bins is delayed in its passage through the University mail system.

OUTGOING PACKAGES: No personal packages should be sent out through the department mail. (If a member prepares and weighs such a package in the department, the individual must supply his/her own envelope and postage).

MAIL TO STUDENTS: If papers and exams are to be returned to students by mail, students must provide stamped self-addressed envelopes. The department cannot assume the costs incurred in returning such papers to students.

RETURNING STUDENTS' PAPERS AND FINAL EXAMS: Students are not permitted to have access to other students papers. They cannot be left outside of faculty offices, nor in the main office unless they are placed in individual intramural envelopes with the student's name on them. They can be given out during an assigned time in faculty offices or arrangements may be made in the main office for students to pick them up within a certain time period that does not carry over to the next semester.

FORWARDING MAIL: For those away from the University for any period, the department cannot pay for the packing and mailing of books and other materials to be sent to oneself. If you are away and would like mail to be forwarded, see the office staff for a forwarding request form.

FOREIGN MAIL: There are two modes, airmail and surface mail. Airmail has two rates: first class and printed matter both have a maximum weight limit of four lbs. Surface mail has four rates: first class and printed matter have a maximum weight limit of four lbs.; book rate, 11 lbs; small packet rate, two lbs.

SPECIAL MAILINGS: No mail should be sent out special delivery, express, overnight, or certified without prior clearance from the chair. Other special mailing procedures such as Federal Express should be sent only with the chair's clearance.

FAXING: The number is 215-573-2063. You are welcome to receive fax messages at this number, fax cover sheets are located next to the fax machine for all outgoing faxes.

Use of Departmental Stationery

Departmental letterhead stationery, along with its matching second sheets, is expensive, and should be used only for departmental and professional business, and for the most part used for business outside the department; it should never be used for merely personal correspondence or for informal communication among members of the department.

Please try to restrict your use of this expensive medium. Within the department, and where appropriate within the University, Intramural Correspondence sheets should be used whenever possible. Plain paper (e.g., xerox sheets) should if possible be used for casual communication among individuals in the department. Scrap paper for casual notes is available from the staff. (You will notice that this memo is written on plain paper, the cheapest available, and of course this message is also being sent on e-mail, the paperless alternative toward which we are moving rapidly.)

Intramural envelopes should be used for all departmental and University mail, letterhead envelopes should never be used for departmental or interdepartmental mail. Airmail envelopes should be used only for official overseas mailing.


Long-distance telephoning should be used primarily for departmental and University business. When the monthly bill is received, you will be asked to separate departmental uses from personal, and to pay for the latter. Long-distance is not to be used, even for legitimate reasons, when with some forethought a letter or an e-mail message will accomplish the same purpose.

Use of the Departmental Copier

The departmental copier is to be used primarily for departmental and University business.  Requests for copying should be made by using the forms provided in the main office; at least two days in advance: that is, Tuesday for a Thursday class, Thursday for a class the following Tuesday, and so on.  A substantial amount of copying should be requested well in advance of the due time, so as not to interfere with other necessary and routine uses.  During the first two weeks of any semester, given the enormous volume of traffic at that time, the staff will need a minimum of five days notice to undertake copying for faculty members teaching courses.

The copier can be used for limited amounts of class materials. But when a number of articles or substantial parts of a book are meant to be distributed to students, such materials should be prepared at a local copying service, wher e they can be bought by the students.

The department has no funds set aside in its budget for the copying of research material and manuscripts, although requests from individuals to the Chair for funds for such purposes are always possible and sometimes successful, if the funds are available.

Office Supplies and Equipment

The department cannot provide office supplies for individual use, and supplies should not be taken from the desk drawers of the staff.  Certain supplies are available (envelopes, stationery, and so on), but they must be requested from the staff; they are not there for the taking by individuals.

Faculty Printers and Faculty Printing

The department supplies printers to its faculty.  If any faculty member needs a printer, they should contact Chris Gravener ( ). The printers that the department provides are not necessarily new or state of the art. For that reason, faculty may choose to use research funds to purchase a printer, or use research funds to pay the difference for an above-standard printer, if a standard one is being purchased for them.

The department does not supply printer toner or paper. Faculty members are responsible for providing such supplies themselves.  The Computer Connection is the most convenient place to purchase printer toner cartridges in relation to Fisher-Bennett Hall, but it may be more cost effective to look elsewhere.  When heading to a store to purchase printer toner, make sure that you know either the exact type of cartridge you need or your exact printer model to determine what cartridge you should buy.

Please report printer problems to Brian Kirk (