Step With Penn's President-Elect
After the meeting concluded
last Friday afternoon, President Judith Rodin and
Trustee Chairman James Riepe joined President-elect
Dr. Amy Gutmann and her husband, Dr. Michael Doyle,
and their daughter Abigail (not shown), as the
procession--led by the Penn Band (below)--made
its way from the Inn at Penn to Houston Hall's
Hall of Flags for a gala luncheon.
Trustee Chairman James Riepe called Friday's Stated
Meeting to order, he said he was "delighted to see
such great attendance" at the much anticipated meeting
which had a "special agenda item" that only comes
up every ten years. That item was last on what was
a full agenda, at a meeting in the very full Woodlands
Ballroom at the Inn at Penn.
unusually large attendance was due to the fact that
many members of the Penn community wanted to be part
of the excitement as the Executive Committee presented
the resolution to the Board of Trustees to consider
the nomination of Dr. Amy Gutmann, currently provost
at Princeton, for President of the University of
Riepe explained the process that began soon after Dr.
Judith Rodin announced last June that she would be
stepping down at the end of this June, as Penn's
President after a decade of service. Search committee
member and former trustee chair Al Shoemaker placed
Dr. Gutmann's name in nomination after acknowledging
the efforts of Mr. Riepe who led the Consultative
Committee in an effective search. Such a feat Mr.
Shoemaker could especially relate to he said,
since he had led the committee which selected Dr.
Rodin ten years ago.
invited guests--including Penn President Emeritus
Sheldon Hackney and his wife, Lucy--were there to
witness this new chapter in Penn's history unfold.
four rousing speeches to second the nomination, Dr.
Gutmann was unanimously elected by a hand vote and
the "ayes" had it. Then, after a standing ovation,
Dr. Gutmann delivered a short acceptance speech before
leading the procession through campus to the gala
luncheon at the Hall of Flags. Along the route, the
Penn Band played as GET-UP protesters yelled, "Count
the Votes" while other bystanders eagerly caught
a glimpse of Penn's new President-elect, whom they
the luncheon, City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell
said she looked forward to working with Dr. Gutmann,
continuing the kind of partnership that she has developed
with President Rodin. Dr. Lance Donaldson-Evans,
chair of the Faculty Senate said the faculty is "absolutely
delighted" and "we the faculty pledge you our full
support." Governor Ed Rendell came and added his
words of welcome noting the "symbiotic relationship" that
exists between Penn and the City. Counterparts, one
of Penn's award-winning acapella groups, performed
harmoniously giving the President-elect a chance,
as Mr. Riepe put it, to hear students who can sing
as well as those who can yell.
was referring to the more than 100 graduate students
and their supporters who had been at the open meeting
wearing GET-UP T-shirts in an effort to bring attention
to their ongoing efforts to unionize. As one of the
group's co-chairs, David Faris, suddenly stood up
and began shouting at the trustees, many of the other
graduate students stood with him as he insisted on
interrupting the meeting, although Mr. Riepe pointed
out that it wasn't an open forum. When it was evident
that the trustees were not about to engage in a discussion
on this topic, Mr. Faris yelled, "we'll do what we
have to do--see you in the streets."
here for Mr. Riepe's report, Mr. Shoemaker's
nomination, and the four seconding speeches of
search committee members, along with Dr. Gutmann's