Eye on the Future: Penn Compact 2020

Penn Compact 2020

THE VISION FOR PENN: In her inaugural address nearly a decade ago, Penn President Amy Gutmann outlined a vision for the University. This vision was the Penn Compact, which Gutmann said at the time to the University community, “expresses our boldest aspirations for higher education—a compact based on our shared understanding that ‘Divided we fail. United we flourish.’”

LOOKING FORWARD: This fall, on the heels of the conclusion of the Making History campaign, Gutmann renewed the priorities of the University with Penn Compact 2020. The core values are the same, but the intent is to recommit the University to the principals that Gutmann outlined in 2004: Increase Access, Integrate Knowledge, and Engage Locally, Nationally, and Globally.

THREE CORE VALUES: The Penn Compact 2020 principles can be summed up in three values that Gutmann says make Penn unique—inclusion, innovation, and impact.

INCLUSION: In 2007, Penn introduced an all-grant, no-loan aid package that eliminated loans for financially eligible students. The University will continue this commitment to students. In addition, the University plans to expand the Penn World Scholars program, which brings outstanding international undergraduate students to campus. The Action Plan for Faculty Diversity and Excellence outlines Penn’s plan to recruit, retain, and mentor diverse faculty members. And Open Learning at Penn will continue to expand with online education initiatives that highlight some of the University’s most compelling courses.

INNOVATION: One of Gutmann’s signature initiatives has been the Penn Integrates Knowledge (PIK) program, which recruits faculty whose research and teaching exemplify interdisciplinary work. In the Penn Compact 2020, the PIK program will continue, as will Penn’s long legacy of interdisciplinary classes and programs. The campus will also have a new Pennovation Center, where University discoveries will by applied to social needs.

IMPACT: In one of the more visible aspects of engagement, the University is implementing its Penn Connects 2.0 master plan, which reinforces the planning and design vision for the campus, and includes the development of the 23-acre former industrial parcel of land along the Schuylkill River and Grays Ferry Avenue. By the fall of 2016, Penn will open a new College House on Hill Field, and begin renovating Hill College House. In addition, Penn will focus attention on interschool programs, including the Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative. The University will also open the Perry World House, an international hub centrally located on Locust Walk and 38th Street, expand student internships, and promote the Penn Wharton China Center that partners with the Center for the Study of Contemporary China.

PENN COMPACT 2020 IN ACTION: Throughout the 2013-14 school year, look to this Current feature for stories about some of the people helping to put the Penn Compact 2020 in action and some programs that have resulted from this campus vision. For more information, visit the Office of the President website.

Originally published on September 12, 2013