Dean of the College: Dennis DeTurck
Dr. Rebecca Bushnell, the new Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, has announced that Dr. Dennis DeTurck, the Evan C Thompson Professor for Excellence in Teaching, will succeed her as Dean of the College.
A member of the mathematics faculty since 1982, Dr. DeTurck has authored more then 50 papers on partial differential equations and differential geometry and is managing editor of the American Mathematical Society’s Contemporary Mathematics book series.
Noted among his colleagues for his commitment to undergraduate education, Dr. DeTurck has received Penn’s highest honors for teaching excellence, including the Lindback Award and the Ira Abrams Award. In addition, he has received two teaching awards from the Mathematical Association of America, including its prestigious Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award, which honors college or university teachers “whose teaching effectiveness has been shown to have had influence beyond their own institutions.”
Dr. DeTurck has long been an advocate for curricular innovation in a wide range of contexts. He has led major reforms in introductory calculus, initiated a residence-based mathematics advising program for undergraduates, and played an active role in several campus efforts to promote the use of technology to enhance instruction. He also established the NSF-funded program in which faculty, graduate students and undergraduates work with teachers and students to improve mathematics and science teaching in West Philadelphia schools.
He has served on dozens of University committees and advisory boards since he came to Penn. Over the past semester, as chair of the SAS Committee on Undergraduate Education, he has worked closely with Dean Bushnell in guiding the College’s Curricular Reform Initiative and has led large-scale discussions with student and faculty groups about the future structure of the College’s general education curriculum and degree requirements.
Dean Bushnell noted that “Dennis has long been a distinguished and dynamic presence in undergraduate education at Penn. He has already shown great leadership in the curriculum review process and commands the respect of the faculty and students. He is the perfect person to take the College forward right now, as we shape a new curriculum for the future.”
Dr. Deturck commented that “The College, its faculty and its students are the heart and soul of the University. I’m honored to have the privilege to continue and extend the work of Deans Bushnell and Beeman toward reshaping liberal arts education for the 21st century.”
Almanac, Vol. 51, No. 16, January 11, 2005