Final Report of the Consultative Committee for the Selection of a Dean of the School of Design
March 15, 2016, Volume 62, No. 26
The Consultative Committee for the Selection of a Dean of the School of Design was convened by Penn President Amy Gutmann and Provost Vincent Price on September 17, 2015. During its three months of work, the full Committee met on 10 occasions and reported its recommendations to the President and the Provost on December 17, 2015.
The Committee members were:
Michael Delli Carpini, Walter H. Annenberg Dean and professor of communication (ASC)
Eugenie L. Birch, Lawrence C. Nussdorf Professor of Urban Research and Education
William W. Braham, professor of
Jeffrey Kallberg, William R. Kenan, Jr.
Professor of Music History and associate dean for arts & letters (SAS)
Ken Lum, professor and director of fine arts undergraduate program
Randall F. Mason, associate professor in city & regional planning and chair of historic preservation
Karen M’Closkey, associate professor of landscape architecture
Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw, associate
professor of history of art (SAS)
Douglas Breuer (MArch’17)
William Fleming (city planning PhD)
Joann Mitchell, vice president for
Barbara van Beuren (MArch’88)
Kevin Penn (School of Design Overseers chair)
Adam P. Michaels, deputy chief of staff,
Office of the President
Sheryl Ash, Isaacson, Miller
Benjamin Tobin, Isaacson, Miller
Courtney Tunis, Isaacson, Miller
The Committee was greatly aided in its efforts by Sheryl Ash, Benjamin Tobin and Courtney Tunis of the Isaacson, Miller search firm. The Committee and the consultants each conducted extensive outreach, informational interviews and meetings with individuals and groups throughout the PennDesign community and at other institutions, along with many informal contacts. The consultative activities included full Committee meetings with Dean Marilyn Taylor, the School’s associate deans, senior leadership and department chairs; meetings of the Consultative Committee chair with the School’s Board of Overseers, faculty, staff and students; and extensive networking by members of the Committee with the School’s faculty and students, as well as with colleagues at other institutions. The Committee also solicited advice and nominations from all faculty, staff, students and alumni of the School via email and reviewed a variety of documents about the School. The members of the Committee were especially energetic in soliciting and recommending the names of potential candidates.
Based upon these conversations and materials, the Committee’s initial meeting with the President and the Provost, and the Committee’s 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 sought in a new Dean. The Committee utilized this document in its discussions and deliberations and also shared it with candidates for the Dean position.
The Committee and the consultants contacted 143 individuals to assess their interest in participating in the search and/or for nominations. The Committee interviewed a group of 10 semi-finalists that included two women, two African Americans and one Asian. The six individuals recommended for consideration to the President and the Provost included one African American, one Asian and one woman and were selected from this group of 10 semi-finalists.
On February 25, 2016, President Gutmann announced the selection of Frederick “Fritz” Steiner, GRP’77, G’86, Gr’86, dean of the School of Architecture and Henry M. Rockwell Chair in Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin, who will assume the deanship on July 1, 2016. Dr. Steiner is an acclaimed scholar and teacher and a proven leader who has a longstanding commitment to and appreciation for interdisciplinary scholarship, teaching and practice in the design professions and the fine arts.
—Michael X. Delli Carpini
Walter H. Annenberg Dean and Professor of Communication,
Annenberg School for Communication