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Michael Wachter and the Inerim Provostship

[Ed. Note: In a brief bulletin last week, President Judith Rodin announced the appointment of Deputy Provost Michael Wachter as Interim Provost. Here is more on Dr. Wachter and the position he takes January 1.]

Since he was appointed Deputy Provost in 1995, Dr. Wachter has been integrally involved with many aspects of the Agenda for Excellence. He has taken a leading role in a number of programs and initiatives including:

  • working closely with the twelve Deans on academic planning and budgeting for the schools as well as the development of their strategic plans;
  • conducting external reviews of the schools, a multi-year program which is systematically reviewing all twelve schools of the University;
  • working in conjunction with President Judith Rodin and Provost Stanley Chodorow to develop the Six Academic Priorities of the Agenda for Excellence;
  • developing programs to improve the graduation rates of undergraduates through changes in advising and financial assistance (see Almanac October 28);
  • co-chairing the benefits redesign working group, which completed its first phase of work last year; and
  • leading the efforts to review the Annenberg Center and Fels Center of Government.

As Interim Provost, Dr. Wachter will continue to work closely with President Rodin and the deans in the implementation of Agenda for Excellence priorities. He will also remain integrally involved with many of the projects he has led as Deputy Provost.

In addition to his administrative leadership positions, Dr. Wachter is currently the William B. Johnson Professor of Law and Economics and director of the Institute for Law and Economics, based in the Law School. He joined Penn in 1969 as assistant professor of economics. Named to a Julian and Janice Bers chair in 1972, he was promoted to associate professor of economics in 1973 and to full professor in that field in 1976. He also served as Faculty Assistant to President Martin Meyerson in 1975-79. During this period the University converted to responsibility center budgeting, following the University Development Commission's One University report.

Throughout this period Dr. Wachter was also building a national and international reputation as a multidisciplinary scholar in law and economics and labor law which led to full professorships in three of Penn's schools: SAS, where he has been professor of economics since 1976; the Wharton School, where he was professor of management from 1980-92, and the Law School, where he became professor of law and economics in 1984. He also served as a research associate in the Population Studies Center, 1975-1982, and was consultant to Wharton Econometric Forecasting Associates, 1976-1981.

He has published one hundred articles, papers and commentaries, in addition to co-editing a number of books. He is currently a consultant to the U.S. Postal Service, and in the past has been senior advisor to the Brookings Panel on Economic Activity in addition to consulting for the Office of Naval Research, Federal Reserve's Board of Governors, the Congressional Budget Office and many others.

Dr. Wachter is an alumnus of Cornell. He completed his M.A. and Ph.D. in economics at Harvard.


Return to:Almanac, University of Pennsylvania, December 16, 1997, Volume 44, Number 16