January 23, 2001
Volume 47
Number 19

University Communications Director: Lori Doyle

President Judith Rodin announced the appointment of Lori N. Doyle as director of University Communications, effective February 1. Ms. Doyle had been chief public affairs officer for the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Ms. Doyle's appointment concludes a nationwide search in which a number of outstanding applicants were interviewed. "She is an exceptionally talented communications professional who has extensive knowledge of the University and broad experience in all aspects of external and internal communications," said President Rodin. She will replace Ken Wildes, who left the University last fall to become the Vice President for Communications of Children's Hospital in Los Angeles.

For the past six months, Ms. Doyle has served as vice president for external affairs of the American Water Works Company, Inc. in Voorhees, New Jersey. With annual revenues exceeding $1.2 billion, American Water Works is the largest investor-owned company in the nations's water utility industry. She was responsible for developing a long-term strategic communications plan, increasing the company's visibility and enhancing its public image.

For eight years before joining American Water Works, Ms. Doyle served as chief public affairs officer for the Health System. "In this critical position she did a superb job of publicizing the achievements of UPHS in education, research, and patient care. Over the past couple of years, in addition, Lori played a key role in managing media interest in the Health System's financial difficulties and its recovery from them," added President Rodin.

Before joining the Health System in 1992, Ms. Doyle worked for a number of years in increasingly responsible management positions with several public relations firms in Philadelphia, culminating in her service as general manager of the Philadelphia office of Golin/Harris Communications, Inc. She received her undergraduate degree from Temple University and a master's degree in communications from Ohio University. She is a member of the Association of American Medical Colleges and the Public Relations Society of America.

"Ms. Doyle is skilled in strategic communications planning, in crisis management and in providing effective, energetic leadership to a professional communications staff. She will be a valuable new member of our senior management team," said President Rodin.

"Ms. Doyle will be ably assisted in the development and implementation of a new communications agenda for the University by Phyllis Holtzman, who will serve as deputy director of University Communications. Phyllis has done an admirable job over the past four months as Interim director of University Communications, and we are very grateful for this important service. A former reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and a Temple graduate, she has worked at Penn for 13 years in increasingly responsible communications positions. Her talent and broad knowledge of the University will continue to serve Penn well," President Rodin concluded.

Symposium on Future of UPHS and School of Medicine

From the Medical Faculty Senate:

The University of Pennsylvania Health System and School of Medicine face a decision that could alter our character for a generation or more. Financial pressures, uniformly felt by academic medical centers across the country, are particularly intense at Penn. Despite phenomenal growth of extramural grant support and a recent financial turnaround by the Health System, these pressures have forced University leadership to consider changes in the administrative structure and financial relationship between the Health System and the University. The possibility of sale or merger of the Health System has been raised. Such decisions would have far-reaching consequences for both health care providers and University faculty at the School of Medicine and throughout the University.

The Medical Faculty Senate Steering Committee would like to bring the Penn community up to speed on these issues. To this end we are organizing at least one and possibly several symposia to be conducted over the next few weeks. The first symposium is scheduled for January 29 from 4-7 p.m. in Dunlop Auditorium in Stemmler Hall. It will begin with an overview of the financial crisis of the Health System and of the Medical School. Then, academic leaders from around the country who have been through merger or sale of their institutions or who have expertise in these issues will present their experience. We have particular interest in the impact of these changes on faculty organization and productivity and on the tripartite mission of academic medical centers. This symposium is open to all members of the Penn community, including faculty, administration and alumni, and will offer opportunity for general discussion. A formal announcement will follow. In the meantime, please clear your calendar for this important event.

In order to tap the knowledge and experience within our own walls we also extend an invitation to members of the Penn community, including faculty, administration, students, and alumni. We are soliciting opinion from Penn people with expertise or interest in the issues of the academic medical center in the marketplace. These opinions could take the form of a letter or a more formal exposition (White Paper). Cogent viewpoints of general interest may be posted on the web. Contributions should be sent via e-mail to Vicki Mulhern at vmulhern@mail.med.upenn.edu. As a decision on the future of our institution may be imminent these opinions should be submitted as soon as possible, preferably no later than February 1.

We appreciate your participation in this process.

--Alan G. Wasserstein, M.D., Chair, Medical Faculty Senate

Penn/City Connections

Mayor John Street appointed the following Penn faculty and staff to City boards and commissions:

  • GSFA Dean Gary Hack: Chair of the Philadelphia Planning Commission;
  • Tom Lussenhop, Managing Director Institutional Real Estate: Member of the Redevelopment Authority;
  • Rev. William Gipson, Chaplain: Member of the Human Relations Commission;
  • Thomas Sugrue, Bicentennial Class of 1940 Professor of History & Sociology: Member of the Historical Commission.

City Council approved a measure that would enable Penn and the School District of Philadelphia to begin construction of the new pre-Kindergarten-8th grade, University-assisted public school at 42nd and Locust Streets. A series of Open Houses will take place in the coming weeks for prospective parents. (CLICK HERE for more).

No Council Meeting

Dear Council Members,

Since there are no items ready for discussion, the Steering Committee has canceled the Wednesday, January 24, Council meeting. The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 21, 4-6 p.m. in Bodek Lounge, Houston Hall.

--Leslie Laird Kruhly, Secretary of University Council

Almanac, Vol. 47, No. 19, January 23, 2001