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University of Pennsylvania Provost: Vincent Price
July 14, 2009, Volume 56, No. 01


Price, Vincent

Dr. Vincent Edward Price has been named the 29th provost of the University of Pennsylvania. The announcement was made May 28 by Penn President Amy Gutmann.

Dr. Price, who served as interim provost since March 1, is the Steven H. Chaffee Term Professor of Communication in Penn’s Annenberg School for Communication, with a secondary appointment as professor of political science in the School of Arts and Sciences.

“Vince is an eminent scholar, a seasoned academic administrator and an exceptionally judicious and effective academic leader,” Dr. Gutmann said. “He has a passion for academic excellence, access and diversity, interdisciplinary scholarship and teaching, effective collaboration, deliberative problem solving and inclusive team building.

“He will be a superb partner with Penn’s deans, faculty, staff, students and me in leading the University in the years ahead and advancing the Penn Compact,” she said.

Dr. Price formally assumed his office on July 1 after having been ratified by the University’s trustees at their June 19 meeting.

He is a leading global expert on public opinion, social influence and political communication. His book, Public Opinion (Sage, 1992), has been published in six languages and is taught in courses around the world. His work has been widely cited and funded by grants from the Pew Charitable Trusts, National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Price is former editor in chief of Public Opinion Quarterly, former guest editor of both Communication Research and Political Communication and an active board member of several academic journals.

He earned a PhD in 1987 and an MA in 1985, both in communication, from Stanford University and a 1979 BA, magna cum laude, in English from the University Honors Program at Santa Clara University.

He came to Penn in 1998 from the University of Michigan, where he was chair, 1995-98, and associate professor of communication studies, 1993-98, and a faculty associate, 1987-98, of the Center for Political Studies.

In his 11 years at Penn, Dr. Price has served as associate provost for faculty affairs, 2007-09, chair of the Faculty Senate, 2006-07, and associate dean of the Annenberg School, 2005-07.

As interim provost, he has overseen all aspects of the University pertaining to faculty appointments, research, education, student life, athletics, libraries and arts and culture, and working with the deans of Penn’s 12 schools throughout this year’s especially challenging budget cycle.

As interim provost, he has also worked closely with the president, executive vice president and other members of the senior-leadership team in areas such as the University’s operating and capital budgets and long-range financial plans. He also led the team that coordinated Penn’s response to this past winter’s meningitis outbreak.

As associate provost for faculty affairs, he introduced new family-friendly policies and worked to increase faculty diversity, and he undertook new initiatives to address long-standing records-management and data-analysis issues, to identify and cultivate new faculty leadership and to orient and train department chairs.

Dr. Price’s selection as provost follows an international search in which more than 180 people were considered for the position.

Dr. Gutmann added, “Everyone who knows Vince or has had the opportunity to work with him in his various leadership roles, describes him as a highly intelligent, perceptive, and unflappable leader, with exceptionally good judgment. He is frequently described as thorough, thoughtful, and a person of the greatest integrity who genuinely listens, gathers information, and considers all sides of an argument before persuasively articulating a decision and the reasons for it. As Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs, he demonstrated the ability to understand and appreciate the many different forms of scholarship and professional practice engaged in by Penn’s diverse faculty. He is conversant with both quantitative and qualitative modes of research. He is deeply knowledgeable and respectful of the faculty’s essential role in University affairs and the norms and practices of shared governance. He is deeply committed to the Penn Compact and is instinctively interdisciplinary, committed to working across silos to implement and institutionalize our shared vision of Penn’s future. He loves Penn and understands its unique heritage and ethos.”

Related: Report of the Ad Hoc Consultative Committee for the Selection of a Provost

Almanac - July 14, 2009, Volume 56, No. 01