Report of the Ad Hoc Consultative Committee for the Selection of a Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine

The Ad Hoc Consultative Committee for the Selection of a Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine was convened by President Amy Gutmann on September 7, 2017.  During its three months of work, the full Committee met on nine occasions and reported its recommendations to the President on December 5, 2017.  The Committee members were:

Chair: Steven J. Fluharty, Dean and Thomas S. Gates, Jr. Professor of Psychology, Pharmacology, and Neuroscience, SAS

Faculty: Marisa Bartolomei, Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, PSOM

De’Broski Herbert, Associate Professor of Pathobiology, Vet

Olena Jacenko, Professor of Biochemistry and Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs and Diversity, Vet

Christopher Lengner, Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Vet

Phillip Scott, Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and Vice Dean for Research and Academic Resources, Vet

Deborah Silverstein, Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Studies Philadelphia, Vet

Louise Southwood, Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Studies New Bolton Center, Vet

Students: Stefan Gallini (V’20)

Emma Price (V’19)

Alumni: Mindy Heyer, Chair of Penn Vet Board of Overseers

Juan Luis Ferrer Perez, Penn Vet Overseer

Ex Officio: Joann Mitchell, Senior Vice President for Institutional Affairs and Chief Diversity Officer 

The search was supported by Adam P. Michaels, Deputy Chief of Staff in the President’s Office and Philip Jaeger, Gregory Esposito and Sherlene Parsons of the executive search firm Isaacson, Miller.

The Committee and its consultants conducted informational interviews and consultative meetings with individuals and groups throughout the Penn and Penn Vet communities, as well as many informal contacts, in order to better understand the scope, expectations and challenges of the Dean’s position and the opportunities facing the University in the years ahead. These consultative activities included full Committee meetings with Dean Joan C. Hendricks and members of the Penn Vet leadership team, including the vice and associate deans and department chairs.  In addition, the Chair and the Committee members held open meetings for faculty, staff and students on both campuses. The consultants interviewed administrators from the central administration and from Penn Vet and sought nominations from academics and practitioners across the nation and the world as well as from leaders in government, foundations, academic societies and other organizations. Finally, members of the Committee engaged in extensive networking with Penn faculty and students, as well as colleagues at other institutions. The Committee also solicited advice and nominations from all Penn Vet faculty, Deans and senior administrators via email and reviewed a variety of documents about the school.

Based upon these conversations and materials, the Committee’s charge from the President 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 vacancy was announced (and input invited from the entire Penn community) in Almanac (Almanac September 19, 2017).

Over the course of its three-month search process, the Committee and its consultants contacted and considered more than 140 individuals for the position. From this group, the committee evaluated an initial pool of 25 nominees and applicants and ultimately selected eight individuals for semi-finalist interviews with the entire Committee. Based on voluntary self-identifications and other sources, we believe the initial pool of 25 contained eight women and 17 men, and one person of color. The five individuals recommended for consideration to the President included one woman and were selected from this group of eight semi-finalists.

On February 28, 2018, President Gutmann and Provost Pritchett announced the selection of Dr. Andrew Hoffman as Dean of Penn Vet. Dr. Hoffman is an acclaimed researcher, clinician, teacher and mentor who previously served as director of the Regenerative Medicine Laboratory and professor of large animal internal medicine at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. He assumed his office on August 1, 2018 after ratification by the Trustees at their June meeting.

—Steven J. Fluharty, Dean and Thomas S. Gates, Jr. Professor of Psychology, Pharmacology and Neurosciences, School of Arts and Sciences Chair, Consultative Committee on the Selection of a Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine