|January Council Coverage
February 5, 2013,
Volume 59, No. 20
At the January 30 University Council meeting, there was a presentation by Dr. Larry Jameson, dean of Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine and EVP of the University for the Health System, on how the school and UPHS is integrated with Penn and the community. Dr. Jameson focused his talk, The University and Penn Medicine: An Essential Partnership, on the interconnected aspects of their approach to medicine. He noted that much has changed since the nation’s first medical school opened here in 1765; they are now gearing up for their 250th anniversary in 2015.
From its early home in the John Morgan Building to the new state-of-the-art facilities like the Perelman Center and the Smilow Center, now the goal is to integrate knowledge from the clinical research to the bedside diagnosis. At Penn Medicine there are 1,975 full-time faculty and more than 2,000 physicians. Dr. Jameson stressed the multidisciplinary training and inter-professional education which spans several schools at Penn including Nursing, Dental Medicine and Wharton.
Penn has the oldest program in the US for MD-PhD dual degrees with 150 students currently enrolled. There are also other dual degrees at Penn such as the MD-MBA. He noted that there are 700 PhD candidates in the biomedical graduate studies and another 800 post doctoral students, as well as 300 masters students.
Dr. Jameson said that Penn Medicine has more than 20 centers and institutes such as the Leonard Davis Institute, the Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the Center for Public Health Initiatives, the Mahoney Institute for Neurological Sciences and the Botswana Partnership. Penn has also established partnerships with students through CURF and with other schools at Penn through the PIK professors.
Many of these initiatives have been possible, he said, due to the high-impact gifts that Penn Medicine has received in the past few years. The school has a Five Year Strategic Plan that focuses on innovation, integration and impact.
Under ‘New Business,’ President Amy Gutmann spoke about her commitment to increasing diversity, in response to an op-ed letter by several faculty members that had appeared in The DP the day before the meeting. Their letter expressed their concerns that there is not more diversity among the highest levels of the University administration and among the faculty.
Dr. Gutmann said, “Increasing diversity at every level of our university has always been and remains one of my highest priorities.” She mentioned the increases in the diversity of the undergraduate student body, which in the past eight years has gone from 12% under-represented minorities to 20%. She also noted the Action Plan for Faculty Diversity and Excellence (Almanac September 6, 2011) which includes Penn’s commitment of $100 million over five years. She said that new Presidential Professorships will increase the pipeline—Presidential Term Professorships, supported in part by a $2 million grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts (Almanac December 6, 2011), are awarded to exceptional scholars, of any rank, who contribute to faculty eminence through diversity across the University. The Board of Trustees and Overseers have become more diverse as well, Dr. Gutmann said.
She did acknowledge that progress “has been slow” in some areas, such as academic administration, but Penn is committed to keeping diversity as a “cornerstone of our strategic efforts.”