Earlier this year, we received the recommendations of the Task Force on Global Engagement led by Deans Fuhrman and Harker. The Task Force was asked to propose initiatives that would advance the University’s international activities in a timely and affordable manner.
We are pleased to announce that we will be implementing the following initiatives in response to the recommendations of the Task Force:
• Penn World Scholars. The Task Force proposed the establishment of a scholarship program designed to assist 25 students from the developing world. We have committed to make this program a priority for endowed funding in the forthcoming capital campaign. We anticipate that the first group of Penn World Scholars will be admitted in fall 2007.
• Penn Global Initiatives Fund. The Task Force proposed the development of a global initiatives fund that will support international teaching, research and engagement of an interdisciplinary nature. We will allocate funding for one or two significant and innovative projects that will span geographic and disciplinary boundaries and will advance the University’s international profile. The first awards are expected to be announced in early summer.
• Global Leader Series. The Task Force recommended the creation of a Global Leader Series that will each year bring to the campus two to three renowned global leaders who have made extraordinary contributions to human progress. The Provost has created an informal advisory committee to assist in identifying leading individuals who will be invited to participate in the series this coming academic year.
• Distinguished International Scholars Program. In addition to the Global Leader Series, we are establishing a Distinguished International Scholars Program. The program will support the participation of distinguished international scholars from leading universities throughout the world in our undergraduate and graduate program. Visiting scholars will be expected to spend at least two weeks in residence at the University. These visits are intended to provide intensive opportunities for our students, faculty and staff to interact with leading international academics.
• Penn Students Engaging the World. The Task Force recommended that, subject to funding and in the medium term, targeted assistance be provided to students whose financial circumstances prevent them from participating in various international study and scholarly opportunities offered by the University. The Provost will undertake a review of the financial and non-financial barriers to participation in these programs and will advise the President on the character and magnitude of these barriers and appropriate near and medium term responses.
We wish to thank the members of the Task Force for the extraordinary commitment and vision they brought to their deliberations. The initiatives that resulted from this report will play a key role in advancing Penn’s commitment to global engagement.
Amy Gutmann, President
Ronald Daniels, Provost