February 15, 2000
Volume 46
Number 21

New Dean at Wharton: Dr. Harker

Patrick T. Harker, a distinguished member of the faculty of the Wharton School for more than 15 years, has been named dean of the school, according to University President Judith Rodin. The appointment will become effective upon confirmation by the Trustees of the University on February 18, 2000.

Dr. Harker, who is the UPS Transportation Professor of the Private Sector and professor of operations and information management at Wharton, has served as interim dean of the Wharton School since July 1, 1999. He has a secondary appointment in the department of systems engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Penn and is a senior fellow of the Wharton Financial Institutions Center.

"Pat Harker is recognized as one of the brightest young minds in America," Dr. Rodin said. "His is an extraordinary record of accomplishment and leadership, as a teacher, researcher, consultant to government and industry and as a university citizen.

"We are pleased that our search, which has been one of the most exhaustive and thorough ever conducted at Penn, has led us back to a distinguished member of the Penn family, and we believe America's premier business school will have the benefit of his superb leadership for many years to come."

Dr. Harker has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors for his teaching, including the 1998 David W. Hauck Award for Outstanding Teaching in the Undergraduate Division at Wharton. He also was the recipient of the 1992 Miller-Sherrerd MBA Core Teaching Award at Wharton. He was the Laurent Picard Distinguished Lecturer (1998) at McGill University, Montreal. He also was the CORE Lecturer (1993) at the Center for Operations Research and Econometrics at the Universite Catholique de Louvain, Belgium. Dr. Harker was the recipient of a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award in 1986-91.

His research interests have focused on service operations management and economics; information systems, with particular emphasis on business-to-business electronic commerce; financial service operations and technology; and operations research methodology, with emphasis on mathematical programming. His research has been funded by the federal government, foundations and the corporate sector, including the NSF, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Burlington Northern Railroad, Union Pacific Railroad, the AT&T Program in Telecommunications Technology and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Dr. Harker holds U.S. Copyright No. 441-941 (with Dejan Jovanovic) for Scheduler Analyzer II: SCAN II, which was issued on Oct. 15, 1990; and U.S. Patent No. 5,177.684 (with Dejan Jovanovic) for A Method for Analyzing and Generating Optimal Transportation Schedules for Vehicles such as Trains and Controlling the Movement of Vehicles in Response Thereto, which was issued Jan. 5, 1993; Australian Patent No. 644664, which was issued April 22, 1994; and Canadian Patent Application 2,046,984-6, which was filed July 12, 1991.

He has been a consultant to numerous corporations, including Furash, Inc., Union Pacific Railroad, Software A&E, Inc., Zeta-Tech, Associates, Chena Software laboratory, Maxima, Inc., as well as to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Army and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Dr. Harker is the author of nine books, monographs and edited volumes, including Performance of Financial Institutions, with S.A. Zenios, which is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press, as well as book chapters, cases, book and software reviews, refereed and other publications.

He is editor-in-chief of the journal Operations Research (1996-present), and he is a member of the editorial boards of Computational Optimization and Applications, the Journal of Service Research, Transportation Research and International Studies in the Service Economy.

Dr. Harker is a member of the American Economic Association, the International Federation of Operations Research/Management Science, the Mathematical Programming Society and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

Dr. Harker joined the Wharton faculty as the Stephen M. Peck Term Assistant Professor of Decision Sciences in 1984, was appointed associate professor of decision sciences in 1987 and UPS Transportation Professor of the Private Sector in 1991. He was a visiting scholar in the department of operations research at Stanford University (1989) and a member of the faculty at the University of California, Santa Barbara (1983-84).

Dr. Harker was one of 16 men and women throughout the country named as a White House Fellow by President George W. Bush in 1991-92, serving as a special assistant to the director of the FBI, responsible for the director's technology issues. He served as coordinator of both Wharton's Decision Sciences Ph.D. Program (1986-88) and its Operations and Information Management Ph.D. Program (1993-94). Dr. Harker was director of the Fishman-Davidson Center for the Study of the Service Sector at Wharton (1989-94). He was chair of the department of operations and information management at Wharton (1997-99) prior to his appointment as interim dean.

Dr. Harker received four degrees from Penn: a bachelor's and master's degrees in civil and urban engineering in 1981 and a master's degree in economics and a Ph.D. degree in civil engineering in 1983.

On the USAS Protest

At University Council's December 8 Open Forum, United Students Against Sweatshops presented their concerns about the working conditions at the factories where Penn clothing is manufactured. They urged Council to convince Penn to leave the Fair Labor Association and join the Worker Rights Consortium, a newly formed group. The University Council Steering Committee suggested that President Rodin form an ad-hoc committee to develop a code of conduct for licensees of Penn apparel and to discuss which organization(s) Penn should belong to or join. President Rodin then met with the students on December 13 to discuss the issues.

Monday, February 7

  • Task Force is named; composition had been announced on the previous Friday, [click here].
  • United Students Against Sweatshops begins sit-in at President Rodin's College Hall office.

Tuesday, February 8

  • President Rodin meets with USAS to discuss the their demands.
  • A rally is held on College Green at noon in support of the protesters.
  • Dr. Rodin asks the committee to accelearte its work and to report by February 29; her response is expected by March 3.

Wednesday, February 9

  • President Rodin issues the following statement, "The students involved in United Students Against Sweatshops and I agree fully that fair labor practices are critical. We share the same goal. The only issue is which of two organizations can help Penn and universities nationwide best achieve that goal."
  • President Rodin also said, "I have asked the Ad-Hoc Committee on Sweatshop Labor to dramatically accelerate its work so that I can make an informed and prompt decision on which organization, or organizations, Penn should join in order to assure that our licensees meet fair labor standards."
  • A candlelight vigil is held on College Green in support of the protest.

Thursday, February 10

  • Howard Kunreuther, chair of the Ad-Hoc Committee on Sweatshop Labor, issues the following statement after the first meeting of the Committee on February 10, "After extensive and well-informed discussion, the Ad-Hoc Committee on Sweatshop Labor has decided that its principal mandate will be to develop codes of conduct for those who manufacture clothing bearing the Penn logo. It remains an open question whether the Committee will address the relative merits of membership in the Fair Labor Association and/or Workers' Rights Consortium."

Friday, February 11

  • President Rodin meets with protesters.

University President Judith Rodin met on Friday morning with members of United Students Against Sweatshops. At the meeting, President Rodin gave USAS representative Miriam Joffe-Block a list of the factory locations of Penn's apparel licensees who currently have a signed contract with the University. USAS had requested the list; disclosure is required by Penn.

President Rodin told the students that she has studied materials they supplied about the Worker Rights Consortium (WRC), reviewed additional materials available on WRC's web site, and that she spoke at length with the presidents of Bard College, Brown University, Haverford College and LoyolaUniversity, the four institutions that, to date, have joined the WRC. Brown and Loyola belong to both the Fair Labor Association and the WRC.

President Rodin encouraged the students to engage fully in the Ad-Hoc Committee on Sweatshop Labor, which she formed in January at the recommendation of the University Council Steering Committee. Steering recommended the committee after USAS members presented their concerns to University Council in December. "USAS came to University Council seeking the advice of the University community," President Rodin said, "and Steering recommended this committee as one that will offer me thoughtful counsel."

President Rodin suggested that USAS make a presentation to the committee; she also offered to add additional members of USAS to the committee's membership. "I look forward to the response of USAS to these suggestions," President Rodin said.

  • At the second meeting of the Ad-Hoc Committee on Sweatshop Labor, the Committee decided to review existing codes of conduct from different universities and make appropriate comparisons. The committee has scheduled a series of meetings in the next couple of weeks given its deadline for submitting a report to the President.

Monday, Feburary 14

President Rodin will meet with the USAS students again at 8:30 a.m. She said she looks forward to continuing their dialogue.

Almanac, Vol. 46, No. 21, February 15, 2000