Penn’s Amy Gutmann and Kathleen Hall Jamieson Named to Commission on Humanities and Social Sciences

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Media Contact:Jeanne Leong | jleong@upenn.edu | 215-573-8151 February 17, 2011

PHILADELPHIA -– University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann and Kathleen Hall Jamieson, professor of communications and director of Penn’s Annenberg Public Policy Center, have been named to a new national commission to bolster teaching and research in the humanities and social sciences.

The announcement was made today in Washington, D.C., by Leslie Berlowitz, president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The new Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences will be chaired by Richard H. Brodhead, president of Duke University, and John W. Rowe, chairman and chief executive officer of Exelon Corporation.

“The humanities and social sciences provide the intellectual framework for the nation’s economic, political and governing institutions,” Brodhead said.  “They enrich our lives and our understanding.  Americans already appreciate the importance of math and science to our future; this Commission will remind Americans of the long-term importance of the liberal arts as well.”

“The American Academy, with its long record of stewardship and support for the humanities and social sciences, is well-suited to lead this effort,” Berlowitz said.  “Scholarship and education in these disciplines enable our citizens and our government to adapt to evolving circumstances at home and abroad.  They are critical to our ability to compete in a global economy.”

Gutmann is a political philosopher and scholar of democratic deliberation, public policy and ethics. As president of Penn, she has dramatically increased financial aid, replacing loans with grants for undergraduates and helping raise nearly $250 million to date for undergraduate financial aid.  

She has expanded Penn’s global partnerships, further beautified the campus, adding 20 percent more green space, and raised $3 billion for the University, more than all previous fundraising campaigns at Penn combined.

Jamieson is the Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor of Communication at Penn’s Annenberg School for Communication.   She is an expert on political communication and has written or co-written 15 books on political science and communication, most recently “The Obama Victory: How Media, Money and Messages Shaped the 2008 Election,” in 2010.

The findings of the Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences will serve as a companion to a forthcoming report of the National Academies on the future of the research university and ways to strengthen the American scientific enterprise.

The Commission expects to complete its work in 18 to 24 months.

Additional information is available at www.amacad.org.

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