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For Release: 12 PM October 6, 1998

Wharton Dean Thomas P. Gerrity to Step Down Next Year; Led School to Unprecedented Growth and Momentum During Past Eight Years

PHILADELPHIA, PA, October 6, 1998 -- Thomas P. Gerrity has announced his intention to step down next year as dean of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania after eight years in which he led the school to unprecedented growth and momentum.

Gerrity, who will remain as dean until July of 1999, plans to pursue scholarly interests and teach at the School as well as spend more time with his wife and four children.

"I have been looking forward in recent years to spending more time with my family as my children enter their middle school years," he said. "I also look forward to having time to explore more deeply some of my thoughts on the field of management and to return to the faculty to teach."

Gerrity is the 11th dean of the School since its founding 117 years ago as the nation's first collegiate school of management. During the past eight years, the School has attracted record numbers of applications, high levels of academic quality of students, strong financial support and widespread recognition for Wharton's leadership position around the world.

A well-known authority on strategic change management and an early pioneer in business re-engineering, Gerrity was previously founder and CEO of the Index Group, which he built into one of the world's leading consulting firms in information technology and management.

Arriving at Wharton in 1990, he worked with senior faculty and management during that first year to develop a long-term strategic program aimed at extending Wharton's capabilities and leadership position. Since that time, the School has made significant accomplishments in each of its strategic areas and has been recognized as the leader in business education with top-ranked programs at the undergraduate, MBA, doctoral and executive education levels, and the broadest faculty of any top school with 194 standing faculty, 11 academic departments and 18 research centers.

"We have an extraordinarily healthy spirit and energy at Wharton," Gerrity said. "I have been truly honored by the commitment of the entire Wharton community to the success and accomplishments of the School across all of our strategic priorities."

In its educational programs, Wharton continued its long tradition as an innovative leader by launching a range of curricular and research initiatives, creating new interdisciplinary majors and joint-degree programs and instituting groundbreaking educational partnerships with companies, organizations and governments around the world. The School revolutionized both its MBA and undergraduate curricula, which now serve as models for business schools in the U.S. and abroad. Wharton also emerged as a pacesetter in the use of information technology and has extended its global impact through executive education programs in 20 different countries.

The School has tripled its endowment in eight years to more than $292 million. Plans were finalized to build a new 300,000 sq. ft state-of-the-art academic facility for Wharton that will break ground next spring. The School is widely acknowledged for its culture and entrepreneurial environment in which faculty, students and staff take the leadership and work together as a community toward further academic excellence.

"No one has had more impact on Wharton's rise to national, indeed international, prominence than Tom Gerrity," said University President Judith Rodin, adding that he has "truly brought a global focus" to Wharton's academic programming and reach. "Clearly, he has been the linchpin in Wharton's reputation as the finest business school in the world."

"His leadership has been magnificent," she said, "not only in advancing curricular innovation and stimulating exciting new academic collaborations around the world, but in his ability to attract unprecedented support for Wharton and its teaching and research mission."

Dr. Gerrity said: "One of the things that has made it such an honor to be a dean at Penn is to experience the wonderful, committed leadership of Judy Rodin. And I know that further greatness lies ahead for Penn with her tremendous leadership and vision. Wharton has a very firm foundation on which to build and our organization has never been stronger or more capable. It is an ideal time for a new dean to begin writing the next chapter of Wharton's continued worldwide academic leadership."

The Wharton School Under Thomas P. Gerrity, 1990-98

The School has achieved strong momentum and has reached new heights during the past eight years under Gerrity's leadership.


During the past eight years, the Wharton School has received more top rankings in academic programs across the board than any other school. Its MBA, Undergraduate, Executive MBA, and Executive Education programs have all been top-ranked in leading national and international magazine surveys. The School's entrepreneurship program, environmental management program and Technology MBA Program were all recently cited as among the best in the nation. The School's academic departments have been rated the best or in the top five more times than any School in U.S. News & World Report since 1990.


Applications have grown to record levels in both the undergraduate and MBA programs since 1990. Applicants to Wharton's undergraduate program have increased 80 percent in eight years to a record this year of over 3,800. In the MBA Program, applications have gone up 76 percent over the past eight years with this year's total reaching more than 8,300 -- a new record for the sixth straight year. Applications from international students to the MBA Program have more than doubled--from 1,700 in '91 to 3,800 in 1998. Applications to the Executive MBA Program have grown 60 percent during the eight-year period.

Quality of Students

Over the past eight years, Wharton has seen measures of academic quality of its students increase each year. For Wharton undergraduates, the average SAT score in 1991 was 1376. This year, the average score is 50 points higher at 1426. Among Wharton MBA students, the average GMAT score eight years ago was 643. This year, that average has grown to 685. In the MBA Program, 13 percent of applicants are now admitted, compared to 27 percent eight years ago. Wharton's doctoral program, as well, now receives eight applicants for every space in the program.

Fundraising and Endowment

Wharton raised more in total gifts over the past two years than any business school. During that period, the School raised $170 million, including a $40 million gift from alumnus Jon Huntsman, the largest gift ever to a business school. Over the eight-year period, the School has raised some $337 million in new gifts. During that time, Wharton's endowment has grown from $97.4 million (market value) to $292 million in 1998.


Growing the size of the School's faculty has been a key strategic objective of the School. Since 1990, the standing faculty has steadily increased from 174 to this year's total of 194, the largest of any business school in the world.

Growth of Executive Education

The School's long-term commitment to being a leader in executive education is evident in the significant growth in revenues of Wharton's executive programs over the past eight years. That area has nearly tripled in revenues, from $13.6 million in 1991 to $37 million in 1998. During the period, the School emerged as an early leader in developing customized programs for individual companies and organizations. This fall, the School launched "Wharton Direct", a technology-based management development program that will deliver courses simultaneously to more than 30 sites around the U.S., using a combination of satellite, on-line and videoconferencing capabilities. In addition, the School has been expanding its executive programs around the world. This month, it will begin its pathbreaking management training program for governments officials of the People's Republic of China.

Curricular Innovation

Wharton's bold step in developing a new and innovative curriculum was one of the most significant advancement in business education since the early 1960s and continued Wharton's pioneering tradition of setting new standards and anticipating the needs of business. The School utilized input from its landmark Management 2000 study, which drew on insights from hundreds of alumni, corporate recruiters, CEOs and other executives. The curriculum builds on the School's well-established strengths in specialized fields, increases cross-functional learning and the application of that knowledge, provides increased global perspective and places special emphasis on leadership and interpersonal skills. In addition to the curricular changes, the School's faculty also approved more than 100 new courses over the past eight years and established several interdisciplinary and joint-degree programs with other schools at the University of Pennsylvania.

New Technology Initiatives

The School has made significant investments in technology including the Wharton Research Data System, a leading-edge web-based interface for financial research data on thousands of companies, as well as macroeconomic data back to 1946. Technology initiatives have also changed the way students submit applications, select courses, develop research papers, communicate with other students and faculty, as well as how alumni network with each other. In addition, the School has expanded its curriculum to include courses and programs designed to educate future technology entrepreneurs and leaders in the art of technology management.


Wharton has continued to build on its pioneering leadership in globalization through numerous initiatives in virtually every area of the School. The School developed the Huntsman Program for International Studies & Business, an undergraduate joint-degree program with Penn's School of Arts & Sciences. At the MBA level, a new Global Immersion Program was developed as part of the new curriculum. The School established a new Latin America Executive Board to complement the existing Asian and European boards. The School increased its activities for both faculty and alumni through conferences, exchange programs and seminars around the world. The School's MBA Admissions Office now travels to 24 different countries on five continents to recruit MBA students. Recently, Wharton launched a schoolwide initiative to integrate a global focus across the curriculum and to provide opportunities for faculty to teach and conduct research around the world. As part of this initiative, the School is helping to create new business schools in Singapore, Israel and India.

Community Building

One of the most widely acknowledged accomplishments of Gerrity's tenure has been the transformation of the School's culture. Joint efforts among faculty, students, alumni and administrators have led to numerous positive initiatives such as the design and implementation of an award-winning intranet site for students, the creation of more than a dozen student conferences, interdisciplinary research projects and community service.

(Posted 10/07/98)

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