Judith Rodin to Step Down as President of Penn in June 2004

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Media Contact:Lori Doyle | | (215) 898-8721June 20, 2003

PHILADELPHIA -- Judith Rodin, president of the University of Pennsylvania since 1994, announced today that she intends to step down from the office when she completes her 10-year term in June 2004. The announcement came following a regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees on Penns campus.

During nearly a decade of service, Rodin has guided the University through a period of unprecedented growth and development that has transformed Penns academic core and dramatically enhanced the quality of life on campus and in the surrounding community. Under her leadership, Penn has invigorated its resources,  doubling its research funding and tripling both its annual fundraising and the size of its endowment; created Penn Medicine; launched a comprehensive and widely acclaimed neighborhood revitalization program; attracted record numbers of undergraduate applicants, creating Penns most selective classes ever; risen in the U.S News & World Report rankings of top national research universities from 16th in 1994 to 4th in 2002; established new interdisciplinary institutes and created over a dozen groundbreaking interdisciplinary, multi-school, undergraduate and graduate degree programs throughout the University; planned or completed new buildings and major renovations in every school and center; and expanded its international programs and collaborations. Faculty excellence has risen dramatically and there has been significant investment in leading-edge graduate and professional degree programs.

Serving Penn these past years has been an extraordinary privilege and an exhilarating experience, Rodin said. This is a remarkable community of amazing depth and breadth, and I am grateful to the Trustees for their support and for giving me the opportunity to work with so many talented and creative individuals. I am very proud of all that our faculty, staff, students, alumni and community partners have together enabled Penn to accomplish.

The decision to step down has been an extremely difficult one for me to make, but I believe it is the right time for Penn. We have successfully fulfilled our first strategic plan and with the next plan conceived and ready to launch, it is time for the next era of leadership. I love this institution and will always remain a part of it.

Rodin, 58, became Penns president on July 1, 1994, coming to Penn from Yale, where she had been Provost. She was the first woman to be named to the presidency of an Ivy League institution, and the first Penn alumna to serve as president.

Judith Rodin simply has it all, said James Riepe, chairman of Penns Board of Trustees. Through her vision, creativity, and boundless energy, Judy has provided extraordinary leadership to Penn over these past nine years  strengthening undergraduate, graduate and professional education, revitalizing the campus and community, increasing fundraising and dramatically enhancing the Universitys national reputation.

Penn today is a stronger and more vibrant institution than at any time in our history, Riepe said. More than ever Penn is the university of choice for the nations best and brightest students and scholars. Our physical resources have never been better, we are on firm financial footing, and our relations with our city and community are the best they have been in decades. Penns future is brighter than ever.

Riepe said that pursuant to the University statutes, the executive committee of the Board of Trustees would appoint in the months ahead a Presidential search committee, to be comprised of trustees, faculty, and students, which he will chair.

Riepe expressed his appreciation to Rodin for providing a full years notice, making it unnecessary to appoint an interim president.

Rodin received a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Penn in 1966 and a Ph.D from Columbia University in 1970 , before beginning a career as an assistant professor of psychology at New York University. She moved to Yale in 1972, serving 22 years on the faculty, and two years as its provost before moving to Penn.

She holds faculty appointments at Penn as a professor of psychology in the School of Arts and Sciences and as a professor of medicine and psychiatry in the School of Medicine.

Commenting on her future plans, Rodin said, I am thrilled by Penns extraordinary success in our neighborhood transformation efforts. Americas cities need to rebuild economic infrastructures, and provide avenues for individuals to lift themselves from poverty by creating jobs and the opportunity for growth. While all city budgets are facing staggering deficits, public-private partnerships for these kinds of efforts are more important than ever. Over the years, Ive been asked by mayors and foundations to help them to replicate Penns strategies and Ive never had the time. This, coupled with my teaching and writing on leadership and civic engagement, and my service on corporate and community boards, is an overflowing agenda.

HIGHLIGHTS OF PENN'S ACCOMPLISHMENTS UNDER JUDITH RODIN:

  • Federally sponsored research has more than doubled to $570 million, placing Penn among the top five universities in federal research. Total research has risen to nearly $700 million, from $280 million nearly a decade ago.
  • Since 1994, Penn faculty have won 284 top awards and honors, including two Nobel prize winners (in the last three years), three Lasker Award winners, two National Medals of Science; 28 Guggenheim fellows, 18 members elected to IOM, and 11 elected to National Academy of Science. Penn now ranks among the top 10 universities with regard to faculty awards and honors.
  • Established new interdisciplinary, cross-University institutes and centers in Genomics, nanotechnology, cancer research, national safety and security, and urbanism.
  • Annual fundraising has more than tripled, from $135 million in 1995 to a projected figure for this year of over $400 million.
  • Penns endowment has more than tripled as well , up from $1.1 billion in 1993, to a projected $3.5 billion for for 2003.
  • Transformed the undergraduate experience, creating the College House System, and academic hubs such as Kelly Writers House; launched a new pilot curriculum; and overhauled undergraduate advising.
  • Numbers of undergraduate applicants to Penn has risen 37 percent, while the admissions yield is up to 63 percent, meaning Penn is more and more the first choice of admitted applicants. Only one in five applicants is selected, up from nearly half in 1993.
  • Created numerous groundbreaking, interdisciplinary, multischool undergraduate and graduate and degree programs.
  • Penns physical environment has been transformed. New buildings and renovations that serve the academic mission, including Huntsman Hall, Levine Hall, Addams Hall, BRBII, and Silverman Hall, among others, have been completed. Renovations or completion of facilities that enhance the student life experience include Pottruck Health and Fitness Center, Perelman Quad, and the College House renovations. A campus master plan was created to guide future campus development for the next decades.
  • Launched a broadbased neighborhood revitalization effort in partnership with the community, resulting in a decrease in crime in University City, cleaner streets, new retail venues, more families moving into the neighborhood and an increase in home renovations, increased minority and women owned business participation and a new prek-8 neighborhood public school.
  • New facilities that serve both the University and the neighborhood include Sansom Common, the bookstore, hotel, dining and retail complex; Freshgrocer supermarket; a new six-screen cinema; and the new Penn Alexander neighborhood public school.
  • Stabilized the Health System and created Penn Medicine to more fully integrate the Medical School and the Health System.
  • Created the Penn National Commission on Society, Culture and Community which sought to understand the problems of contemporary public discussion and behavior and to foster more engaged and thoughtful conversations about contemporary social issues. The work of the Commission will be published this fall in a book co-edited by Rodin.

As a national and local leader, Rodin served on President Clintons Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology and co-chaired the transition team of Philadelphia Mayor John F. Street. She also served from 1994-95 on a Presidential panel to review security at the White House.

She chaired the Council of Presidents of the Universities Research Association and served on the Executive Committee of the American Association of Universities. She serves on the board of the Brookings Institution, chairs the board of Innovation Philadelphia and the Knowledge Industry Partnership, serves on the steering committee of college presidents for America Reads and the executive committee of the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. Rodin is also a member of the Council on Competitiveness.

Rodin has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

Renowned for her work on the relationship between psychological and biological processes in human health and behavior, Rodin has published more than 200 articles and chapters in academic publications and authored or co-authored ten books.