The following is a Provost's Memorandum sent July 21, 1999, to all Deans and Undergraduate Deans; Members of Senior Planning and Provost's Executive Staff; and Directors of Resource Centers. It will appear in Almanac in print September 7, 1999

(See also Dr. Conn's letter to the Senate Executive Committee. Posted 7/22/99)

Appointment of Peter Conn as Deputy Provost

It is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of Dr. Peter Conn, the Andrea Mitchell Professor of English, as Deputy Provost. Peter will formally begin as Deputy Provost before the Fall semester. A member of Penn's faculty since 1967, Peter is widely known as a superb teacher, a renowned author and scholar, and an invaluable and loyal Penn citizen.

As Deputy Provost, Peter will be my chief advisor with duties covering much of the range of responsibilities of the Provost. Working closely with the undergraduate deans and myself, he will play a particularly important role in undergraduate education. Peter will also have major responsibility for programmatic oversight of the resource centers reporting to the Provost.

Peter has been the recipient of fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and has also directed NEH seminars for college and high school teachers. An exceptional educator, he has received the Lindback, Ira Abrams, and Mortarboard awards for distinguished teaching. Peter designed English 800, a graduate course that combines literary study with teacher-training. His current teaching projects include English 401, which places undergraduates as teaching assistants in University City High School. Since 1993, Peter has also served as visiting professor at the University of Nanjing, in the People's Republic of China.

Peter's publications include The Divided Mind: Ideology and Imagination in America, 1898-1917, (Cambridge, 1996) which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and Literature in America (Cambridge University Press, 1989), which was a main selection of Associated Book Clubs (UK).

His most recent book, Pearl S. Buck: A Cultural Biography (Cambridge, 1996; paperback 1998), was chosen as a New York Times Notable Book for that year, was included among the five finalists for the National Book Critics Circle award in biography, and received the Athenaeum Award. He has lectured on a number of American artists, including Edward Hopper, William Christenberry, Thomas Wilmer Dewing, and The Eight.

Peter also brings a deep administrative background to the Deputy Provost position, having served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1981-84, as chair of the graduate groups in American Civilization (1992-94) and English (1987-89, 1995-96) , and as Faculty Master of Hill College House (1973-76) and Community House (1987-94) . He is currently the Faculty Director of Civic House, one of Penn's undergraduate hubs.

Currently chair of the Faculty Senate, Peter will step down from that role shortly. Past-chair John Keene will resume the Chair until January when Chair-elect Larry Gross will begin his term.

I know that Peter will shine in his new role. I look forward to his significant and ongoing leadership, insight and commitment to Penn and its academic mission.

--Robert Barchi, Provost

(See also Dr. Conn's letter to the Senate Executive Committee. Posted 7/21/99)

Posted 7/21/99