|Final Report of the Ad Hoc Consultative Committee for the Selection of a Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences
February 12, 2013,
Volume 59, No. 21
The Ad Hoc Consultative Committee for the Selection of a Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences was convened by President Amy Gutmann and Provost Vincent Price on August 29, 2012 (Almanac September 4, 2012). During its three months of work, the full Committee met on 13 occasions and reported its recommendations to the President and the Provost on November 29, 2012. The Committee members were:
- Anita Allen (Henry R. Silverman Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy, Penn Law)
- Michael X. Delli Carpini (Professor of Communication and Walter H. Annenberg Dean, Annenberg School for Communication)—Chair
- Thadious Davis (Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought, Department of English)
- Randall Kamien (Vicki and William Abrams Professor in the Natural Sciences, Department of Physics and Astronomy)
- Kathy Peiss (Roy F. and Jeannette P. Nichols Professor of History, Department of History)
- Arthur H. Rubenstein (Professor of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine)
- Sharon Thompson-Schill (Class of 1965 Term Professor, Department of Psychology)
- Kenneth Wolpin (Walter H. and Leonore C. Annenberg Professor in the Social Sciences, Department of Economics)
- Kyle Henson (Class of 2013, Biological Basis of Behavior, College of Arts & Sciences)
- Scott J. Ordway (President Emeritus, SASgov, and Benjamin Franklin Doctoral Fellow in Composition, Department of Music)
- David M. Silfen (C’66, Chair, SAS Board of Overseers, and Vice-Chair, University Board of Trustees)
Staff to the Committee
- Adam P. Michaels (Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the President)
- Stephen P. Steinberg (Advisor to the President, Office of the President)
Consultants to the Committee
- Ilene H. Nagel (Leader, Higher Education Practice, Russell Reynolds Associates)
- Mirah A. Horowitz (Member, Higher Education Sector, Russell Reynolds Associates)
The Committee and the consultants each conducted informational interviews and consultative meetings with individuals and groups throughout SAS and broader Penn communities, as well as many informal contacts, in order to better understand the scope, expectations, and challenges of the Dean’s position and the opportunities and challenges facing the School of Arts & Sciences in the years ahead. These consultative activities included full Committee meetings with Dean Rebecca Bushnell, former Dean Sam Preston, the School’s Vice, Associate and Assistant Deans, the Senior Vice Provost for Research and the Vice Provosts for Faculty, Global Initiatives, and Education; open meetings for faculty, staff and students of the School of Arts & Sciences; meetings of the Consultative Committee Chair with the School’s Board of Overseers, department chairs, standing and non-standing faculty, administrators and staff, and continuing education students; and extensive networking by members of the Committee with the School’s faculty and students, as well as with colleagues at other institutions. The Committee also solicited advice and nominations from all faculty, staff, students and alumni of the School via email and reviewed a variety of data and documents about the School.
The vacancy was announced (and input invited from the entire Penn community) in Almanac and the position was advertised in print and online editions of the Chronicle of Higher Education, Hispanic Outlook, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, Women in Higher Education, InsideHigherEd.com, The Economist and Science. The members of the Committee were also very energetic in soliciting and recommending the names of potential candidates.
During the course of its work, the Committee and consultants contacted and considered some 320 individuals regarding this position. These included 21 internal nominees. From these, the Committee selected 15 individuals for semi-finalist interviews with the entire Committee. This group included nine men and six women, one Black/African-American and one Asian, seven humanists, three social scientists and five natural scientists.
The Committee ultimately recommended eight individuals to President Gutmann and Provost Price for their consideration. This group included six men and two women, one Asian, two humanists, two social scientists, and four natural scientists. Following additional interviews with the President and the Provost, on Thursday, January 17, 2013 (Almanac January 22, 2013) President Gutmann and Provost Price announced their selection of Dr. Steven J. Fluharty, senior vice provost for research and professor of pharmacology, psychology and neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania, as the next Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences, effective July 1, 2013, following approval by the Trustees of the University at their June meeting.
An award-winning researcher and teacher and a proven leader and administrator with a strong commitment to integrating knowledge across disciplines, Dr. Fluharty received all three of his academic degrees from Penn: a BA in psychology (summa cum laude) and master’s and doctoral degrees in psychobiology. After postdoctoral work, he joined the Penn Vet faculty in 1986. He served as director of the undergraduate Biological Basis of Behavior Program and as associate director of Penn’s Institute of Neurological Sciences. He was appointed Vice Provost for Research in 2006 and was named Senior Vice Provost in 2010, in which capacity he oversees Penn’s research practices and has responsibility for a number of interdisciplinary research centers and institutes. As a faculty member in Penn’s School of Arts & Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine and the Perelman School of Medicine, he received multiple teaching awards and served for ten years as the director of a University-wide program project and institutional training grant in behavioral neuroscience. He also has been awarded multiple individual grants from the NIH and is the recipient of a number of scientific honors, including the Louis Flexner Prize in Neuroscience and the Beecham Award for Research Excellence. In 1996, he was designated an Astra Merck Scholar by the American Heart Association.
—Michael X. Delli Carpini
Professor of Communication and Walter H. Annenberg Dean
Annenberg School for Communication
Chair, Consultative Committee on the Selection of the
Dean of the School of Arts & Sciences