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From the President and the Provost
September 4, 2007, Volume 54, No. 2

This story has been updated since publication. Read the new article.

Dean of Admissions Lee Stetson: Stepping Down in 2008

Lee Stetson has decided to step down from his position as Dean of Admissions, effective June 30, 2008. Lee has had a brilliant 40-year career—including the past 29 at Penn—and is planning to embark upon a well-deserved retirement, which will include consulting in higher education admissions.

Lee is one of the country’s leading deans of admissions, with a keen awareness of the challenges involved in selective admissions. As Dean of Admissions at Penn since 1978, he has led a recruitment program that resulted in a more than three-fold increase in applications—7,000 per year when his tenure began, to nearly 23,000 today.

A witness to the ever-changing landscape of college admissions, Lee has been tireless in his commitment to sustain and enhance Penn’s reputation for excellence. During his tenure, Penn has grown in stature to become a truly eminent international university. Lee’s commitment to accessibility in higher education has enabled us to reach out broadly to exceptional students from a wide range of backgrounds and interests.

Lee’s many notable achievements during his years at Penn are demonstrated by the growing quality and quantity of our recent admitted classes. This year, only 16.1 percent of applicants were accepted into the class of 2011, the lowest acceptance rate in Penn’s history.

Much has also changed in the diversity of Penn’s student body. The Class of 1983—Lee’s first full admitted class—had 267 students of color and 29 international students. Our class entering this September has 898 students of color (37.2% of all freshmen) and 318 international students (13% of all freshmen).

The Class of 1983 entered with an average SAT I Verbal score of 604, Math score of 657 and classroom performance in the 94th percentile. Today, our incoming class has an average SAT I Verbal of 700, Math of 719 and a classroom performance in the 98th percentile. While test scores are just one indicator of quality, they are nonetheless a significant one.

Over the course of the coming months we will work closely with Lee to ensure a smooth transition. The President will lead the search in close collaboration with the Provost and will appoint an advisory committee comprised of the following 12 individuals: Chairman of the Board of Trustees; Deans of Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Nursing, and Wharton; Tri-Chairs of the Faculty Senate; President of Penn Alumni; Chair of Trustee Diversity Committee; President of the Undergraduate Assembly; President of the Senior Class.

—Amy Gutmann, President
—Ronald Daniels, Provost



Almanac - September 4, 2007, Volume 54, No. 2