Message to the Penn Community from David L. Cohen

A Message to the Penn Community
David L. Cohen, Chair
University of Pennsylvania Board of Trustees

I write today to share with you the exciting news that President Gutmann has accepted a three-year extension to her contract, which means that her tenure as President of the University of Pennsylvania will run to June 30, 2022. This will make Amy the longest serving president in Penn’s history.

Since assuming the Presidency in 2004, Amy has done a superb job leading our University forward, and her outstanding leadership of Penn has been nothing short of transformational. Her Penn Compact 2020 plan has provided a blueprint for success, and because of it the University of Pennsylvania has set new heights of inclusion, innovation, and momentum-driving impact on our city, country, and world. Penn’s eminent faculty has grown ever stronger and more diverse. The quality and diversity of our fantastic students and eminent faculty have never been higher. Penn’s campus has been dramatically transformed with spectacular new living and learning spaces and award-winning green spaces, medical and translational research facilities, and a new innovation ecosystem for our city and region.

It would be impossible to list all of the ways that she has strengthened our University, but just consider a quick summary of the remarkable progress that has been made during her Presidency:

  • Penn has awarded nearly $1 billion in grants since implementing All-Grant in 2009, and the average net cost for aided students to attend Penn today is almost $2,700 less than it was in 2005.
  • The undergraduate financial aid budget has grown by 155% since FY2005 – from $84 million to $214 million. The average grant for undergraduate students receiving aid in FY2017 is $45,368.
  • Undergraduate applications have grown from 18,282 to nearly 39,000 for the Class of 2020.
  • The creation of 200 new endowed professorships, and the recruiting of 17 Penn Integrates Knowledge Professors and 10 Presidential Professors.
  • Philanthropy of more than $5 billion for Penn, including $4.3 billion through the Making History Campaign, the University’s largest-ever capital campaign.
  • Penn’s endowment has grown from $4 billion to $10.7 billion.
  • Creation of a $100 million Action Plan for Faculty Diversity and Excellence, resulting in an 18% increase in female faculty and 43% increase in minority faculty.
  • Creation of the President’s Engagement Prizes and President’s Innovation Prize, the largest student innovation prizes in the country.
  • Penn Connects campus plan resulting in a $2.7 billion investment creating 5 million square feet of new or renovated space, with plans for $2 billion additional investment in 1.8 million square feet of space.
  • Creation of Penn Park, a 24-acre urban oasis linking Penn to Center City Philadelphia.
  • Signature architectural buildings, such as the Singh Center for Nanotechnology, the New College House, Perry World House, Golkin Hall, Weiss Pavilion and the Stephen A. Levin Building for Neural and Behavioral Sciences.
  • Opening of the Penn Wharton China Center in 2015.
  • The development of a unique innovation hub at the Pennovation Works, home to our flagship business incubator and laboratory, the Pennovation Center.
  • A 29% increase in sponsored research to nearly $1 billion annually, despite flat federal support.
  • Penn Medicine has grown to include major new facilities (Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, Roberts Proton Center, Smilow Translational Research Center), Chester County Hospital and Lancaster General Hospital, and new physician offices and outpatient facilities across Philadelphia, southwestern Pennsylvania, and southern New Jersey.

The list could go on for pages. The important point is that, under Amy’s leadership, this University has phenomenal momentum. We are moving forward on every front. We believe that extending Amy Gutmann’s tenure will allow us to continue to build on this great success. Her passion for Penn is boundless, and she is already keenly focused on new strategic priorities for the coming years, all aimed at making a Penn education the finest in the world. Being able to keep Amy at the helm into 2022 is a huge win for our University. Speaking for the Trustees, our Board could not be more pleased, and we are confident that this University is positioned for a bright and exciting future.