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University of

Amy Gutmann


Princeton University Provost Named University of Pennsylvania President

Matthew Hersh

Princeton University Provost Amy Gutmann has been selected to serve as the next president of the University of Pennsylvania. According to an announcement made last week, Penn's board of trustees is scheduled to approve the appointment at its February 20 meeting. She will officially succeed current Penn President Judith Rodin on July 1. President Rodin announced last June that she would step down after her 10-year tenure leading the Ivy League institution.

Prof. Gutmann, 54, is a Laurance S. Rockefeller University Professor of Politics and Director of the University Center for Human Values at Princeton. A faculty member since 1976, she has taught political philosophy, democratic theory, the history of political thought, and practical ethics.

In addition to Provost, Prof. Gutmann currently serves as the University's chief academic and budgetary officer, reporting to University President Shirley Tilghman. She is responsible for long-range planning and for the coordination of the University's administrative and support functions with its academic purposes.

She served as the University's Dean of the Faculty from 1995-1997 and as Academic Advisor to the President from 1997-1998. She was also the director of the University Center for Human Values, a multi-disciplinary center that supports undergraduate and graduate teaching, a visiting fellows program, several publication series, and public discussions centered around issues of ethics and human values.

She is also a founding member of the Executive Committee of the American Association of Practical and Professional Ethics. She has lectured widely on the subject in South Africa, Europe, Asia, and North America. In 1994-1995, she presented the Tanner Lectures in Human Values at Stanford University.

In 2003, the future Penn president was awarded the Centennial Medal from Harvard University for the "graduate alumna who [has] made exceptional contributions to society." She received her doctorate from Harvard, her bachelor's from Radcliffe College, and her master's from the London School of Economics.

James S. Riepe, chair of Penn's Board of Trustees said that Prof. Gutmann was the right choice for the job because of her impressive resume and because she is a "proven and skilled administrator."

"[She] understands the challenges of running a major research university and is an articulate spokesperson about the essential role of higher education in the future of our society," said Mr. Riepe, who chaired the search committee.

Prof. Gutmann said that she simply plans to build on the academic tradition that Penn has already established by factoring her agenda into the equation.

After 28 years at Princeton University, faculty, staff, and students will inevitably feel the effects of the legacy that the professor leaves behind.

"Amy has been an exceptional teacher and scholar at Princeton and she served [her posts] with great distinction," President Tilghman said. "We will greatly miss her strong leadership and wise counsel [and] I look forward to continuing to work with her as president of our closest Ivy neighbor."

Prof. Gutmann expressed similar sentiments.

"It will be hard to leave so many wonderful Princeton friends and colleagues, but I take consolation in the fact that [my husband] and I are moving only a few miles down the road," she said.

President Tilghman said she plans to assign a successor as provost early in the spring semester.

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