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Summer 2001: Hither and Yon

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During the summer there were several departures, and appointmentsĦ. (see for more details about the following:

  • School of Social Work Dean Ira M. Schwartz was named provost at Temple University where he assumed his new responsibilities yesterday.
  • Peter C. Erichsen, who had been vice president and general counsel for Penn and UPHS has left to become vice president and general counsel for the J. Paul Getty Trust in Los Angeles.
  • Meanwhile, Wendy White has been named the new vice president and general counsel and Lee Dobkin has become the deputy general counsel for Penn and chief counsel for UPHS.
  • Thomas A. Rambo, a 15-year veteran of Penn Police, was named Chief of Police effective July 9.
  • Sheila Sydnor, a Penn alumna, has been named principal of the new University-assisted PreK-8 School.
Also, as reported in the July 17 issue, Trustee and Wharton alumnus William Mack gave a $10 million gift to create a Center for Technological Innovation at Wharton, support for an endowed professorship and a student-run conference.

Bioengineering received a $14 million grant from the Whitaker Foundation which will provide for new facilities and the recruitment of new faculty. And in other news, which was not in the summer issue:

Deborah McColloch, an adjunct member of the GSFA faculty who taught a graduate seminar on housing policy last year in City and Regional Planning, was appointed by Mayor John Street as the director of the Mayor's Office of Housing and Community Development. Since 1994, she had been the deputy director of OHCD.

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Fire Up on the VHUP Rooftop

After a minor fire broke out on the roof of the Veterinary Hospital in the afternoon of Tuesday, August 14, patients and personnel were safely evacuated with no injuries. The fire was quickly extinguished by the Philadelphia Fire Department, and within 90 minutes of the first alarm the first patients (dozens of cats, dogs and some exotic animals) and staff returned to the four-story building on Spruce Street and everyone was back to their quarters after two hours. Damage to the building was mostly on the fourth floor where offices and laboratories are located. Chief of Police Thomas Rambo said that the fire originated on the building's roof, where renovations are being made.

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Chief of Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety for UPHS

Dr. P.J. Brennan was named Chief of Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety for the Health System in July. He continues to serve as a professor of medicine and infectious diseases specialist. Dr. Brennan will lead the Health System's initiatives in patient safety and satisfaction, including coordinating the efforts of each of the system's entities. He will direct Quality Initiatives specific to Penn Medical Center.

Dr. Brennan came to Penn in 1986 on a fellowship in Infectious Diseases after earning his medical degree at Temple Med where had done his residency in Internal Medicine and served as chief resident. In 1988 he joined the Penn Med faculty and in 1990, he became the Hospital Epidemiologist at the Medical Center. He is chair of the Infection Control Committee and chair of the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee.

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And the Haus Came Tumbling Down

The Blauhaus, built nearly a decade ago as a temporary home for the undergraduate fine arts program and the graduate group in sculpture was demolished in July. GSFA faculty, staff and others gathered to pull down a piece of wall and then heavy equipment was used to clear the rest of the building off the 33rd and Chestnut Street corner. The site will become part of the "eastern gateway" to campus as described in the Campus Development Plan (Almanac February 27, 2001).

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InfoR: Area Maps and Data Online

City and Regional Planning in GSFA has launched an online overview of data about West and Southwest Philadelphia called InfoResources at

Modeled on leading community information networks (CIN) across the U.S., InfoR provides information with maps, socioeconomic data tables, and downloadable resource guides for grant writing, project development, and community empowerment purposes. Its web links enable users to better connect with community-based organizations and institutions.

InfoR was developed collaboratively with representatives of West Philadelphia community-based organizations, Penn's Department of City and Regional Planning, Center for Community Partnerships, HUD's Community Outreach Partnership Center, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Van Pelt Library, Penn's Cartographic Modeling Lab, Wharton GIS Lab, and the West Philadelphia Partnership.

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Almanac, Vol. 48, No. 2, September 4, 2001



September 4, 2001
Volume 48 Number 2

Dr. Arthur H. Rubenstein--an accomplished physician, diabetes researcher and academic leader--is the new EVP for UPHS and dean of the School of Medicine.
Dr. Anita A. Summers, professor emeritus, is the University's new Ombudsman.
Robin H. Beck is now vice president of ISC.
The French Institute has a new director: Dr. Jean H. Gallier, professor of CIS.
The annual Undergraduate Admissions seminars for Penn families with college-bound children take place today and Thursday.
It is time to plan ahead for BEN Financials, the new way to do business at Penn.
A report to the President and Provost Concerning Services to Students with Disabilities includes a dozen recommendations.
Responding to suspicious packages and bomb scares
Some Penn researchers are studying brain injury, cancer cells, firearm violence, and software development while others are finding a new dinosaur.