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At Penn, Over the Summer

President Judith Rodin announced that she intends to step down from the presidency when she completes her 10-year term in June 2004. That was the big story of the summer; it broke on June 20 while the Trustees were in town for their full Board Meeting. Mr. James Riepe, chairman of the Trustees, said that the Executive Committee of the Trustees would appoint a presidential search committee to be comprised of trustees, faculty and students, which he will chair. (Almanac July 15, 2003).


Three of Penn's twelve schools have new deans as of July 1: the Trustees approved the appointments of Dr. Richard Gelles as dean of Social Work; Dr. Marjorie Jeffcoat as dean of Dental Medicine, and Dr. Michael Delli Carpini as dean of the Annenberg School for Communication.

Another one of the dozen has a new name which was also given Trustee approval--the Graduate School of Fine Arts has become the School of Design--to better reflect the diverse programs which include architecture, city planning, landscape architecture, historic preservation,  fine arts,  digital  media design and visual studies. "As we thought about a new name, the faculty wanted it to signal not only the present but the future of our school," said Dr. Gary Hack, dean and Paley Professor. "We are imagining new programs in coming yeas that involve design in other fields. The term "graduate" has been dropped from our name, since one-third of our teaching is currently for undergraduates," he added.


Hill Field has been undergoing an extensive renovation during the summer, and when it is complete later in the fall, it will have granite benches, new lighting, playing fields, and an informal amphitheatre from which to view the action on the field; it will then be known as Hill Square. It will also have a new sculpture commemorating 125 years of women at Penn.

Hillel has moved into its new building, the Steinhardt Hall, on 39th Street, between Locust and Walnut (Almanac October 2, 2001).

With the Williams Hall renovations well underway, the occupants of floors four through eight of the building have been relocated elsewhere on campus for the 2003-2004 academic year. Some of the programs and departments will be relocated on Market Street, while others will be in Bennett Hall and some will be in the old Hillel building on 36th Street. (See Williams Hall Temporary Addresses for the exact addresses).

Since the Palladium and Gold Standard have left the building now known as the ARCH, formerly the Christian Association, the University intends to use the vacated spaces for academic programs. Decisions were made about the use of these spaces several years ago by the Locust Walk Advisory Committee, comprised of students, faculty and staff and led by Provost Robert Barchi. The plans are consistent with the University's master plan. The cultural groups and other offices that have been using the ARCH (Arts, Research and Culture House) for the past few years will remain in place. Performing arts rehearsal space on the ground floor, where the Gold Standard had been, is expected to be ready soon. The first floor, where the Palladium had been, will be a multi-use space for special events initially and will then be converted into academic classroom space later in the academic year. The outdoor plaza will be outfitted with tables and chairs, and a food cart will offer beverages, snacks and pre-made sandwiches.


In June, after having managed campus dining since last year, Aramark signed a deal to manage residential and retail dining locations and the kosher eatery on campus for two years, with options for four additional two-year terms. Under the agreement, the Center City-based company will oversee the student dining halls, as well as Houston Market, a convenience store in 1920 Commons,  and a kosher eatery at the new Steinhardt Hall, home to Penn's Hillel. This year, under the extended agreement, Aramark will implement five new retail dining options and renovate existing campus dining facilities. There will be a  new Coffee  Caf╝ at Accencure Cyber Lounge in the Towne Building, scheduled to open this week. The new Noodle Bar, featuring Asian cuisine will replace Global Fusion in Houston Market. The Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center will be home to Mark's Caf╝, which will be located on the ground floor and is slated to open later this month.


  Almanac, Vol. 50, No. 2, September 2, 2003