October 13, 1998
Volume 45
Number 7

Two Deans Leaving Office in June:

Law's Colin Diver, Wharton's Tom Gerrity

In separate public announcements issued Tuesday, October 6, the University reported that the Deans of the Wharton School and of the Law School will step down from their posts at the end of this academic year, but that both will continue teaching and research as faculty members in their respective schools.

Dr. Rodin announced through the University Relations Office the resignation of Dean Colin Diver of the Law School, who at 54 is in his tenth year as dean.

A few hours later Wharton Public Affairs issued a news release on the resignation of Dr. Thomas Gerrity, 57, now in his ninth year as Dean of the Wharton School.

"Both Colin Diver and Tom Gerrity are approaching the end of a decade of outstanding service as deans of their schools, and they independently asked to step down next summer," President Judith Rodin said. "The University owes them an enormous debt of gratitude and we are very fortunate that they will continue to lead their schools through this academic year while the University searches for their successors." Search committees to advise on their successors will be named as soon as possible, she added.

Dean Diver: 'A New Cycle'

"I love this job and I love this school," Dean Diver said in a letter quoted by Dr. Rodin. "I still wake up every morning looking forward to a day of challenge and learning, and I go home every night feeling a sense of accomplishment.

"But, as I approach the tenth anniversary of my appointment, I also feel a sense of completion," he continued, "as if a natural cycle in my own career and in the life of the school were coming to an end. By the conclusion of the current academic year, I will have accomplished the goals I set for myself in 1989-to expand and strengthen the faculty, to rebuild the school's physical plant and to make Penn a national model for both interdisciplinary legal education and public service.

"In the year 2000, the school will celebrate its sesquicentennial and will begin its second century on the West Philadelphia campus. A new cycle will begin; new challenges will call forth new energy and new ideas."

Mr. Diver, an alumnus of Amherst and of the Harvard Law School, came to Penn in 1989 from Boston University, he had been professor and dean of law with a secondary appointment as professor of public management. Before joining B.U. in 1975 he had held posts with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and with the Mayor's office in Boston. Among his many professional and civic activities, he is a member of the executive committee of the American Law Deans Association and of the Harvard Law School Visiting Committee, a trustee of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and a trustee of Amherst, where he also received the honorary degree Doctor of Laws in 1990.

"Colin Diver has done an outstanding job," Dr. Rodin said, adding that the University of Pennsylvania Law School "is very much stronger in virtually every respect today than it was" a decade ago. Dr. Rodin said that Mr. Diver's "immense contributions" include increasing and strengthening the faculty, improving the physical plant and access to technology, fundraising, developing the academic program, nurturing the public service program and working to attract some of the "most able" students in America and around the world.

 Web Note: Appendices to the news releases issued October 6--too long for publication in this space--have been placed on the web. They give details of the two deans' terms in office and document the rises in strength of the two schools cited in the President's comments on this page. See releases for both Divers and Gerrity at Almanac Between Issues--Ed.

Dean Gerrity: 'Extraordinary Spirit'

"I have been looking forward in recent years to spending more time with my family as my children enter their middle school years," said Dean Gerrity in announcing his decision to leave the deanship. "I also look forward to having time to explore more deeply some of my thoughts on the field of management and to return to the faculty to teach.

"We have an extraordinarily healthy spirit and energy at Wharton," he went on. "I have been truly honored by the commitment of the entire Wharton community to the success and accomplishments of the School across all of our strategic priorities."

A well-known authority on strategic change management and an early pioneer in business re-engineering, Dr. Gerrity was founder and CEO of the Index Group, which he built into one of the world's leading consulting firms in information technology and management, before he became Wharton's dean in 1990.

An alumnus of MIT, where he took three degrees, Dr. Gerrity was also a Rhodes Scholar in economics at Oxford. He has been an overseer of WGBH, Boston's public broadcasting TV station; a trustee of the Boston Ballet; and a member of the visiting committee of the Sloan School.

"No one has had more impact on Wharton's rise to national, indeed international, prominence than Tom Gerrity," said University President Judith Rodin, adding that he has "truly brought a global focus" to Wharton's academic programming and reach. "Clearly, he has been the linchpin in Wharton's reputation as the finest business school in the world."

Of the dean on whose watch the School's endowment has tripled, she added, "His leadership has been magnificent, not only in advancing curricular innovation and stimulating exciting new academic collaborations around the world, but in his ability to attract unprecedented support for Wharton and its teaching and research mission." Said Dr. Gerrity in return: "One of the things that has made it such an honor to be a dean at Penn is to experience the wonderful, committed leadership of Judy Rodin. And I know that further greatness lies ahead for Penn with her tremendous leadership and vision. Wharton has a very firm foundation on which to build and our organization has never been stronger or more capable. It is an ideal time for a new dean to begin writing the next chapter of Wharton's continued worldwide academic leadership."

Wharton: Number One Again

At presstime, Business Week magazine released its 1998 report on The B Schools, and the Wharton School is rated first in the nation for the third time in a row. The magazine went on sale yesterday at the new Penn Bookstore. In other blitzes of the rankings, Wharton's academic departments have been rated by U.S. News & World Report best or in the top five more times than any other business school.

Almanac, Vol. 45, No. 7, October 13, 1998