Nomination as Penn's Next President
After the Press Conference, last Thursday morning, Dr. Amy
Gutmann, the Trustees' unanimous nominee to become Penn's eighth
president, Mr. James Riepe, chairman of the Trustees and the Consultative
Committee, and Penn President Judith Rodin enjoying the "rare
Thursday morning, in Houston Hall's Class of 1949 Auditorium,
President Judith Rodin and the Consultative Committee for
the Selection of a President welcomed and introduced Dr.
Amy Gutmann, the nominee to be Penn's next president. She
said that this "thrilling, wonderful oopportunity" is
of a lifelong devotion to teaching and education. "What
attracts her to Penn is the chance to "learn and lead
at the same time."
Judith Rodin's Remarks
wonderful years leading this extraordinary institution, I'm
delighted to welcome you to Penn for this exciting announcement.
We are here to mark another important milestone in Penn's history,
as our Trustees continue the tradition of selecting a President
for the University of Pennsylvania.
I would like to thank the Chairman of the Board, James Riepe,
for his hard work and leadership in this process and in the
last five years. Next, I want to salute you, the people of
Penn. For the last decade, with your energy and wisdom
and passion, we have moved Penn to the very top ranks of American
universities--and I am so proud of and so grateful to all of
you--including our excellent deans and senior officers, our
outstanding faculty, brilliant students and dedicated staff.
the past decade Penn has gone through a period of unprecedented
We've tripled our research dollars as well as tripling both
annual fundraising and the size of the endowment. We've
developed scores of groundbreaking programs and new types of
degrees, particularly those that cross schools and disciplines.
This is a flourishing, robust, entrepreneurial academic landscape,
and I hand it over with great pride to my successor.
have also created a dramatic physical transformation of the
There is light and life and energy, packed into every space
of this compact campus. We have also forged a blueprint for
growth and forged the ability to do so to the east and south.
We have also led a transformation of West Philadelphia that
is winning international awards and changing views about how
to reanimate the urban fabric of America. We are so proud
of our local community--you are our friends and our neighbors.
we have made Penn a real part of this City and this Commonwealth
in more than location. We are a great national and international
University, but we have also made a visible commitment to help
this region succeed and have worked to lead that effort. We
have joined the mayor and governor, Councilwoman Blackwell
and other elected officials as true partners and the results
have been fantastic.
I'd like to remind all of you that Benjamin Franklin, our founder,
believed strongly in being thrifty. I congratulate the Trustees,
as Ben would, for picking a President who will be able to wear
my academic robes. (laughter)
I look forward to working with you, during the transition,
and I wish
you great success in the years to come.
Chairman James S. Riepe's Remarks
you, Judy and thank you all for being here today. This is
a great day for Penn. These transitions don't come that often
and they're significant when they happen. Penn is the
nation's first university and one of the world's great research
universities--and our sole purpose is to keep it that way.
is a distinct honor to serve this institution as Board Chair
particularly to have been entrusted with leading the task of
identifying a new President for the University.
you know, Dr. Rodin announced her intention to step down
from the presidency
last June 20 after leading this institution through a decade
of unprecedented growth and accomplishment.
the last 10 years, the distinction of our faculty, the selectivity
our student body, the amount of research funding and generosity
of our private donors all have risen dramatically. We
have also greatly improved the built environment on our campus
and the surrounding community.
As one small
measure of our progress, we began the Rodin decade ranked 15th
among U.S. universities by U.S. News & World Report and
today we stand 5th.
does not leave small shoes to fill for sure, although the robe
will be filled (laughter). And with the foundation
she helped to build, we are poised for even greater achievements.
Consultative Committee for the Selection of a President,
composed of trustees,
faculty, and students--many of whom are here today--has worked
tirelessly for the last five months to identify the leader
who can continue to realize Penn's considerable potential.
I note the five months because a few of the things I've heard
is how rapidly we moved, that's the difference between academia
and the commercial world I guess; five months is a lifetime in
were seeking to identify someone who could whole-heartedly
the goals outlined in the strategic plan...Building on Excellence...but
make the plan their own and put their own stamp on its realization.
announcement represents the culmination of an exhaustive search
process--one that has endeavored to include input from all of
Penn's constituencies and identify the one best candidate to
lead this institution forward in the next decade.
like to offer my heartfelt thanks to the members of the Search
Committee who gave so much of their time, energy and intellect
to assure the successful outcome of this critical undertaking.
We are all extremely grateful for your efforts.
Savage, who is Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social
Thought, was a member of our Search Committee, and she will
now give us some additional insight into everything that went
into defining the search criteria and evaluating candidates.
Barbara Savage's Remarks
you, Jim. Before I say a few words about the process in which
committee engaged in over the last few months, I feel compelled
to say--and I know without having to ask--that all of the members
of the committee would also agree--that Jim did a masterful
job as Chair, in establishing a truly collaborative process
for us and one that was marked by his own integrity and patience
and efficiency--and by a great sense of humor, so that while
we all took the process and the gravity of our charge and our
deliberations quite seriously, we were able to work together
in an atmosphere of good will and shared commitment to Penn--and
it is a credit to Jim's style of leadership--and to the other
members of this committee--that that was achieved and maintained
throughout this process with such ease and grace.
One of the
reasons that our deliberations moved so smoothly from the first
time that we met as a group in September is that we spent a
good amount of time initially not talking about individual
candidates at all, but really trying to arrive at a common
understanding of Penn's many strengths and its achievements
over the last decade under President Rodin's excellent stewardship;
we spent time talking about its particular challenges as Penn
and as a university with commitments to excellence in teaching,
research and training; about Penn as a major proudly urban
university who sees itself partnered in broader missions here
at home in this neighborhood and in this city; and finally,
as an institution that aspires to continue to be a leader in
higher education, both in this country and abroad. Our benchmarks
always were to be true to our dual commitments to excellence
and to diversity, two ideals we saw not only as entirely compatible,
but as mutually interdependent.
those general frameworks, we had increasingly specific discussions
and quite detailed discussions about priorities and resources
as we tried to critically assess not only the Penn of today
but to envision the Penn of the 21st century. What was especially
gratifying in that process--or what we learned from it--was that
the diversity of our own group--as students, as faculty, as
trustees--and in whatever other ways we might otherwise self-identify
ourselves--that out of our own diversity, there emerged rather
remarkably a complex but congruent understanding of what Penn
is, what it needs to hold on to, and where it needs to improve--if
its own potentials are to be fully realized.
And it was
only after that process was concluded that we began to talk
with one another about the kind of person we believed could
best build on the progress of the last decade and lead the
University forward. We talked at length about the characteristics
we wanted to see in a new president, that we had in mind a
set of shared values, a constellation of abilities, and a portfolio
of proven experience that we hoped to find in the ideal candidate.
in life do we live to see the ideal realized, but this is
of those rare moments. Blessed with a field of rich possibilities,
we were able to move beyond the questions of "can this person
do the job" or "is this a good person for Penn"--but to ask
rather, at the end of the process we began in September, we
had the luxury of asking ourselves--"is this the absolutely
best person to lead Penn and to bring out what is best in Penn." And
when we were able to answer all of those questions "yes, yes,
yes"--then we knew that we had found that rare person, who is
in fact ideally suited to lead Penn.
found someone who is an extraordinary scholar, a person of
and integrity, someone with a wealth of experience, and someone
who understands all that Penn is and all that it can be--and
finally, and importantly, someone who shares our commitments
to both excellence and diversity. And so it is for all of those
reasons that the committee so enthusiastically reached its
you very much, Barbara. They were very astute comments.
Barbara describes, Penn's next President must lead a complex
with many and varied constituencies, certainly as I have come
to learn in my term of duty. In our 260-plus year history,
this University has made its mark on higher education and on
society in general. We have observed over that long history,
and especially the last ten years, that leadership does in
fact make a difference. For that reason, it was critical for
us to find the kind of leader who is capable of sustaining
the momentum Penn has today.
certain we have identified an able administrator and a compelling
leader in our first choice. In our reference checking we were,
frankly, stunned by the comments we received from her colleagues.
We quickly learned that our favorable impressions through the
interviews were supported and confirmed many times over by
those who knew and have worked with her.
with these overwhelming endorsements and based on many hours
of interviews by the Search Committee, the Executive Committee
yesterday evening unanimously nominated Dr. Amy Gutmann, Princeton
University Provost and Laurence S. Rockefeller University Professor
of Politics, to be Penn's next President.
is a distinguished scholar, an excellent administrator, a
social and political thinker, and a passionate advocate for
ethnic and cultural pluralism.
intellectual capacity with high energy, long experience, and
a warm personality, all of which positions her to be a great
leader for Penn. She also likes red and blue better than orange
and black (laughter), at least today.
is, therefore, ladies and gentlemen of the press, and friends
of the University,
my great honor and pleasure to introduce you to our nominee
to be the 8th President of the University of Pennsylvania--Dr.
Amy Gutmann's Remarks
you so much. I do have to change my attire when I go back to
Princeton this evening. I could not be more honored than to
accept the nomination as the eighth president of the University
of Pennsylvania, and I understand, that unlike some other presidential
nominations, I'm all but assured of winning the final election
without a recount (laughter).
to being honored, I am exhilarated by the prospect of becoming
Penn's President and I'm enormously thankful to the Chairman
of Penn's Board of Trustees, Jim Riepe, and to the Search Committee
who recommended me to the Board. How could anyone not want
to be President of a university that has undergraduate student
leaders as great as Jason Levy and Ophelia Roman and graduate
student leaders like Robert Alvarez and Dierdra Reber and such
a superb faculty, and such excellent administrators and staff?
also want to thank the two past-presidents of Penn whom I know
and admire--Sheldon Hackney and Judith Rodin, for all they have
done to make Penn so excellent and exciting an institution.
And I can say with certainty--with absolute certainty--that were
it not for the groundwork laid over the past decade by Judy
Rodin, I would not be here today.
is a powerful force in the Ivy League of higher education.
And higher education is a powerful force for the betterment
of American democracy and the world. Democracy cannot thrive
without, not just educated, but highly educated, men and women.
The place called Penn also has a great spirit that attracts
me. A spirit that I associate with its founder, Benjamin Franklin
and all that is wonderful about American democracy. Penn's
excellence is electric. It is pragmatic and principled, it
is urban and international, it is multicultural and multidisciplinary,
it's demanding and diverse, it's collaborative and collegial,
and it's energetic and entrepreneurial.
I am looking
forward, come July, to beginning a new chapter of my education
in this electric and excellent place called Penn, in the great
city of Philadelphia. I will move from Princeton, my home of
28 years, to my new home, in Philly, for which I already have
enormous admiration and attachment. I look forward to working
in this dynamic city with Mayor Street, with Councilwoman Jannie
Blackwell and other city officials, to continue the progress
made on strategic plans for the Post Office and the Civic Center
sites. And I look forward, as well, to working with Governor
Rendell and state officials in this great state of Pennsylvania.
excellence across an extraordinarily broad spectrum of teaching
is paramount to what attracts me here, and what it can offer
the city, the state, the nation and the world.
A Penn education
brings arts and sciences and engineering, medicine and business,
law and education, communication and fine arts, nursing and
dental medicine, social work and veterinary medicine, all together
in one beautiful campus, in one great city. My education is
now five decades in the making, and it's clearly just about
to begin. I'm greatly looking forward to living on this beautiful
campus, which my husband and I will, come July, call home.
maybe more than someone, will no doubt want to know what my
own particular priorities are for Penn in the years ahead--in
addition to my intent to partner with the city and to build
on Penn's broad excellence in teaching, research and public
service across its 12 schools, furthering Franklin's polymathic
tradition of putting knowledge of the highest order to the
service of society and the world. And I'm happy to tell you
all of my particular priorities--about a year from now, (laughter) after
I actually have been Penn's President for some time and had
the opportunity to educate myself at and by Penn.
avid teacher--which I pride myself on being--must first and foremost
be an avid learner. At my stage of life, I can think of no
better way to continue my education than at Penn, and no more
demanding and exciting way than to do this at Penn, than as
its president. I am thrilled to be moving to Philadelphia--the
cradle of liberty, learning and civic service.
all so very much for giving me this welcome and wonderful opportunity.
I only wish, I have to say in conclusion, that my mother and
father could be here to know that this has happened, this wonderful
opportunity in my life. Thank you so very much.