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Final Report of the Consultative Committee on the Selection of a Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences

Former President Judith Rodin and former Provost Robert Barchi convened the committee on April 1, 2004 under the chairmanship of Eduardo D. Glandt, Robert D. Bent Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Other members of the committee were: Herman Beavers (professor of English, SAS); Jere Behrman (W.R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Economics, SAS); Christopher Browne (C ’69 and chair, SAS Board of Overseers); Michael Delli Carpini (professor of communication and Walter H. Annenberg Dean, ASC); Kevin Jude (graduate student, chemistry, SAS); Jeffrey Kallberg (professor and chair of music, SAS); Jason Levine (undergraduate, economics, CAS); Georgette Poindexter (David B. Ford Professor and Chair of Real Estate, WH); Liliane Weissberg (Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor in the Arts and Sciences and professor of German and comparative literature, SAS); and Sally Zigmond (professor of biology, SAS). Raymond Simon (Office of the Associate Provost) served as secretary to the committee.  

The search was national in scope. The committee sought candidates with impeccable scholarly and administrative credentials, demonstrated strong leadership, integrity, and the intellectual vision to build upon the school’s already existing academic excellence in education and research.

In order to better understand the issues and challenges facing the School of Arts and Sciences, the committee consulted widely with students, faculty, alumni and members of the administration, including the current Dean, Samuel Preston. It solicited nominations from SAS faculty, students, and alumni as well as from peer institutions across the country. Advertisements were placed in The Affirmative Action Register, Black Issues in Higher Education, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Hispanic Outlook, The New York Times and the Times Literary Supplement. In addition, the committee engaged the services of a search firm, A.T. Kearney, to assist in identifying candidates.

On the committee’s behalf, the search firm contacted roughly 400 individuals, either as sources for candidates or in hopes of recruiting them. The committee itself received roughly 60 curriculum vitas and many more nominations; 20 members of the faculty were either nominated or applied. 

The committee selected almost 30 dossiers for review and gave serious consideration to 12 candidates, seven of whom were eventually interviewed. Four of the individuals interviewed were inside candidates. 

After careful deliberation, the committee submitted a set of recommendations to President Amy Gutmann and Interim Provost Peter Conn, who subsequently announced the appointment of Rebecca Bushnell, the current dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and a distinguished scholar of English literature. Her appointment as the next dean of Penn’s School of Arts and Sciences will become effective January 1 and was announced to the Trustees of the University at their December 2 meeting and a resolution will be presented at the meeting of the Full Board in February.

—Eduardo D. Glandt, Chair



  Almanac, Vol. 51, No. 15, December 14, 2004


December 14, 2004
Volume 51 Number 15


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