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Report of the Consultative Committee for the Selection of a Dean of the Wharton School
September 4, 2007, Volume 54, No. 2

The Consultative Committee for the Selection of a Dean of the Wharton School was convened by President Amy Gutmann and Provost Ron Daniels on February 1, 2007.  During its three and a half months of work, the full Committee met on seven occasions and formally reported its recommendations to the President and Provost on May 10, 2007.  The Committee members were:

David Asch (Medicine, Health Care Management, and Economics) 
Jay Dearborn (W ’01, WG ’08)
Michael Gibbons (Finance)
Eduardo Glandt (Engineering)–Chair
John Hershey (Operations and Information Management)
Richard Hillen (W ’08) Beth Kaplan (W ’80, WG ’81)
Daniel Levinthal (Management)
William Mack (W ’61)
Olivia Mitchell (Insurance and Risk Management)
Diana Mutz (Political Science and Communications)
G. Richard Shell (Legal Studies and Business Ethics)

The search was supported by Dr. Stephen P. Steinberg of the Office of the President and Kenneth Kring of the executive search firm of Heidrick and Struggles.  Jon M. Huntsman, Vice Chair of the University’s Board of Trustees and Chair of the Wharton School Board of Overseers, served of counsel to the President during this search.

The Committee and its consultants conducted more than 20 informational interviews and consultative meetings with individuals and groups in the Wharton community, as well as many informal contacts, in order to better understand the scope, expectations, and challenges of the Dean’s position and the challenges facing the Wharton School in the years ahead.  These consultative activities included full Committee meetings with Dean Patrick Harker, former Dean Thomas Gerrity, and Deputy Dean David Schmittlein; individual conversations with each of the Vice Deans and department chairs; informal discussions with graduate students; and two open meetings for undergraduate students.  The Committee also solicited advice and nominations via email from all faculty, staff, students, and alumni of the School and reviewed documents produced by the School’s current strategic planning process. 

Based on these conversations and materials, the Committee’s charge from the President and Provost, and its own discussions, a comprehensive document was prepared outlining the scope of the position and the challenges a new Dean will face, as well as the qualities the Committee sought among the candidates.  The vacancy was announced (and input invited from the entire Penn community) in Almanac and advertised in the Chronicle of Higher Education, New York Times, Hispanic Outlook, and Diverse Issues in Higher Education.

The Committee sought a strategic leader with an uncompromising commitment to academic excellence, an experienced administrator, an able and energetic fundraiser, and a collaborator with a global and interdisciplinary outlook, a demonstrated strong commitment to diversity in all its forms, and a special passion for the Wharton School and the preeminent role that it plays in international business education. 

The Committee identified and considered some 143 active candidates, prospects, contacts, applicants, and nominees.  The Committee selected 43 individuals for closer examination, and then seven finalists for interviews with the entire Committee.  Based on voluntary self-identifications and other sources, we believe the initial pool contained 23 women, 120 men, and at least 14 persons of color (4 African-Americans and 10 Asians).  There were 16 candidates from abroad and 21 internal nominees. 

On June 21, 2007 (see Almanac Between Issues, June 21, 2007, www.upenn.edu/almanac/between/2007/0621-dean.html), President Gutmann announced her selection of one of the candidates recommended by the Consultative Committee—Thomas S. Robertson, the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Marketing in the Goizueta School of Business at Emory University and Executive Faculty Director of Emory’s Institute for Developing Nations—to be the next Dean of the Wharton School.  An accomplished academic leader, a seasoned administrator, and a highly successful fundraiser, Dr. Robertson brings a distinctive interdisciplinary and international vision of business education in the 21st century and an enthusiastic commitment to academic excellence and diversity.  He also brings significant decanal experience, having served as Dean of the Goizueta School of Business at Emory University from 1998 to 2004, and a deep knowledge of the Wharton School, where he was formerly a faculty member (1971-94), department chair, and associate dean.  He took office as Dean on August 1, 2007, and will be presented to the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania at their October meeting.

—Eduardo Glandt, Chair
Consultative Committee for the Selection of a
 Dean of the Wharton School

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