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Senior Leadership Appointments at Wharton School
October 16, 2007, Volume 54, No. 8


Dr. Thomas Robertson, Wharton dean, has announced several senior leadership appointments since becoming dean this summer.

Dr. Michael R. Gibbons, I.W. Burnham II Professor of Investment Banking and Professor of Finance, has been named deputy dean; he will serve as the School’s chief academic and program officer. Dr. Gibbons has been a Wharton faculty member since 1989, and has served as chairperson of the Finance Department from 1994-2006. He has also played a key role in many other School initiatives, including serving as a member of two strategic planning committees. Dr. Gibbons, who earned his PhD at the University of Chicago, has also taught at Stanford University and the University of Chicago.

Georgette Chapman Phillips, David B. Ford Professor of Real Estate; professor of legal studies and law; chairperson of  the Real Estate Department, has been named vice dean and director of the Wharton Undergraduate Division. She has chaired the Real Estate Department since 2003 (Almanac February 3, 2004), and has served as a faculty member since 1992. She earned a JD from Harvard University.

“I am very excited to be joined by these distinguished colleagues,” Dean Robertson said. “Mike and Georgette bring a wealth of experience to their positions and command a deep respect within the School. They have been instrumental in helping to advance numerous School initiatives during their tenure, and I look forward to working closely with them, as well as the entire Wharton community, moving forward.”

Dean Robertson has also appointed Thomas J. Colligan as vice dean of Executive Education, and Peter J. Degnan as senior associate dean for Finance and Administration.

“I am delighted to have Tom and Peter on board as part of our senior leadership team,” Dean Robertson said. “They bring a wealth of experience and a track record of success into two critical areas for our institution.”

In his role as vice dean, Mr. Colligan will oversee Wharton’s offering of non-degree executive education programs, including open enrollment and custom programs. Each year, Wharton Executive Education works with more than 8,000 business leaders on campus in Philadelphia, at Wharton West in San Francisco, and at sites around the world.

Since 2004, Mr. Colligan has been a managing director of Duke Corporate Education for the Global Learning Resource Network, a for-profit corporation delivering custom executive education, and affiliated with Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Mr. Colligan has more than 35 years of experience working with Fortune 500 firms across a wide range of industries, as well as a strong commitment to professional development and training. Prior to that, he had been with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). While with the firm, Mr. Colligan led large, complex and high-profile transactions, served on the governing board and management committee, and developed the firm’s marketing strategy after the merger of Price Waterhouse with Coopers & Lybrand. As vice chairman of PwC, he developed firm-wide strategies for deepening relationships with PwC’s top 100 clients, representing $1.5 billion in revenue. He also spearheaded the firm’s global audit practice in the technology, telecommunications and entertainment areas, overseeing operations in 100 countries. In addition, Mr. Colligan had extensive responsibilities advising pharmaceutical and consumer products firms.

Mr. Colligan holds a BS (cum laude) in accounting from Fairleigh Dickinson University and has attended a number of advanced management programs, at Harvard and the University of Virginia.

In his role as senior associate dean, Mr. Degnan will oversee Wharton’s operating and capital budget, human resources, computing, and facilities. He has extensive experience managing financial and administrative functions, such as finance, operations, information technology, and general administration. He worked as managing director for UBS Warburg Japan and was responsible for the complete integration of the merger between UBS and SBC Warburg operations in Japan. Prior to his work with UBS, Mr. Degnan spent 14 years with Lehman Brothers, Inc., where he held several senior executive positions, including chief credit officer and chief financial officer for Lehman operations in New York, Hong Kong, and Tokyo.

He joined Wharton in 2002 as director of MBA Career Management, where he reengineered the MBA recruiting process. In 2004, he was appointed executive director of Executive Education, helping to lead the expansion of the School’s international client base and custom program offerings.

Mr. Degnan holds an MBA from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business and a BS degree from Georgetown University.

Almanac - October 16, 2007, Volume 54, No. 8