Transition at Vice Provost ISC:
Dr. Patton to Dr. O'Donnell

Dear Colleagues:

Effective March 1, 1996, Professor James J. O'Donnell of Classical Studies will assume the position of interim Vice Provost for Information Systems and Computing, reporting to the Provost and to the Executive Vice President. Professor O'Donnell is well known at Penn and around the nation for his innovative use of information technology in teaching and research, and has recently co-chaired the University-wide Task Force to Restructure Computing Services Across Penn.

Professor O'Donnell (below right) succeeds Dr. Peter C. Patton (above right), whose five-year commitment as Vice Provost for Information Systems and Computing ends this spring. Under Peter's leadership, the University consolidated academic and administrative mainframes; launched Project Cornerstone, a multi-year effort to re-engineer business processes, design a new information architecture, and deploy a new financial management system; developed ResNet, a five-year program to network all residence halls for data, voice and video; and rolled out numerous services. Most recently he has co-chaired with Dr. O'Donnell the restructuring Task Force.

A search committee for a permanent Vice Provost will be formed shortly. We are committed to maintaining the momentum of our major programs and investments, and to carrying out the recommendations of the Task Force. As Task Force co-chair, Jim O'Donnell is ideally qualified to carry us forward.

Dr. Patton, who will continue at Penn as Adjunct Professor of Computer Science and Lecturer in Mathematics, was recruited to Penn in 1991 from a consulting practice in which his clients included the National Technology Transfer Center and Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Previously he was founding director of the Minnesota Supercomputer Institute; director of computing at the University of Minnesota; and a manager and engineer in several companies in the U.S. and Europe. Peter has also consulted widely around the world. He is currently in discussion with several organizations focused on research and advanced technology.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Patton for his service to the University and for leading Penn to a position of leadership among research universities. We also thank Dr. O'Donnell for his willingness to work with us, with the ISC staff, and with the University community to ensure that Penn is well positioned for teaching, research, and administration in the 21st century.

Stanley Chodorow, Provost

John A. Fry, Executive Vice President


February 6, 1996

Volume 42 Number 19

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