|From the President and Provost
May 7, 2013,
Volume 59, No. 32
SP2 Dean Transition
We are writing to let you know that Richard Gelles will complete his tenure as Dean of the School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) when his second term ends on June 30, 2014. Later in the spring, we will name a consultative committee to advise us on the selection of his successor.
A Penn faculty member since 1998, Rich was appointed Interim Dean of the then School of Social Work in 2001 and was named Dean in 2003. During his tenure, Rich has helped bring about a reinvigoration of the School with the creation of new degree programs in nonprofit leadership and social policy, the reestablishment of a Doctorate of Clinical Social Work, and the recruitment and development of a distinguished faculty who are ranked among the top five publishing schools of social work. The School’s physical facilities were transformed with the Caster Building’s entrance reoriented to Locust Walk and 3815 Walnut Street renovated to house the School’s major research and service centers. A tireless champion of the Penn Compact, Rich has forged new partnerships locally and globally, including increasing community service opportunities for students, faculty and staff through SP2 Community TeamWorks, supporting the Goldring Reentry Initiative to reduce criminal recidivism in Philadelphia and advancing partnerships and collaborations in China with the Ministry of Civil Affairs, the Ministry of Health, and Beijing Normal University. To more accurately encompass the breadth and depth of the school’s educational and research expertise, he championed the school’s 2004 name change to the School of Social Policy & Practice.
With support from a committed Board of Overseers and alumni and friends around the world, Rich led SP2’s $33 million Campaign for Social Change Leadership, which exceeded its fundraising goal ahead of schedule. SP2’s campaign fundraising was more than double the total funds raised in the School’s previous 97 years of existence. With this record-breaking level of support, SP2 is on a strong trajectory to continue providing the most rigorous and interdisciplinary education for future social work, social policy and nonprofit leaders.
Over the next 15 months, Rich will continue to advance important SP2 initiatives, while helping us to plan for a smooth transition in the School’s leadership. During this period, we will have ample opportunities to thank him for his exemplary service to SP2 and to Penn. We look forward to celebrating his Deanship with you, and to working with Rich and with you to ensure a bright future for SP2.
–Amy Gutmann, President
–Vincent Price, Provost