Penn extends terms of Education and Law deans

The terms of two deans at the University of Pennsylvania have been extended.

Pam Grossman, dean of the Graduate School of Education, and Ted Ruger, dean of the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, will now serve until June 30, 2023, at the request of President Amy Gutmann and Provost Wendell Pritchett.

“As we continue to chart our recovery from the global COVID-19 pandemic, we are especially pleased to recognize Pam’s and Ted’s many impressive achievements as deans of Penn’s education and law schools,” Gutmann and Pritchett said in making the announcement.

“Pam’s inspiring vision, inclusive style, and strategic approach over these past six-plus years have led Penn GSE to preeminence,” Gutmann and Pritchett said. “We particularly salute Pam’s compassionate, empathetic and warm leadership, which has been on particular display this past year, and her close collaborative work with all members of the GSE community.”

During Grossman’s tenure, she has appointed more than a third of the current standing faculty, which includes the appointment of GSE’s first Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor. Research at GSE has flourished, and grant revenues have more than doubled. The student body is the largest, most qualified, and most diverse in School history with total enrollment of nearly 1,500 students, and master’s student scholarships have increased by 40% during the last three years.

The School is a national leader in educational innovation, including the creation of Catalyst @ Penn GSE and the decision of the Harold W. McGraw Jr. Foundation to make Penn GSE the home of the prestigious McGraw Prize in Education. Grossman has also significantly strengthened GSE’s partnership with West Philadelphia schools, with school-specific collaborations with the neighboring Lea and Penn Alexander schools. She has led a networked partnership approach to local elementary schools through initiatives such as the Responsive Math Teaching project, now in its sixth year.

GSE has been an exemplar of inter-school partnerships to address pressing real-world concerns, including the Penn Futures project, in which GSE has joined forces with Penn’s School of Nursing and School of Social Policy & Practice to improve the lives of Philadelphia’s young people.

Philanthropy is stronger than ever before with the GSE endowment growing by more than 90% during Grossman’s term. The School has raised more than $93 million during the Extraordinary Impact campaign to support GSE priorities, including scholarships, the capital expansion project, faculty aid, research, and other priorities. The School’s rankings have consistently placed it among the best research-oriented education schools in the nation, with GSE achieving a No. 1 ranking in the U.S. News & World Report rankings last month.

“As dean of the Law School, Ted Ruger has prioritized access, opportunity, and investing in future leaders, creating new pathways to public service while recruiting and retaining transformative legal thinkers who drive new era discoveries,” Gutmann and Pritchett said.

Ruger was instrumental in securing the W.P. Carey Foundation’s transformational $125 million gift—the largest gift ever to a law school—and the Robert and Jane Toll Foundation’s visionary $50 million gift with its goal of doubling the number of graduates practicing in the public interest. These gifts, along with support provided by thousands of donors to the Law School’s Advocates for a New Era campaign, provide a strong foundation for the School’s ongoing ascent to preeminence.

Under Ruger’s leadership, the Law School has championed the Penn Compact strategic goals of advancing inclusion, innovation, and impact. The Law School’s entering classes have grown in racial, ethnic, and gender diversity alongside increases in academic eminence. At the same time, financial aid has grown by nearly 60% since FY16.

The Toll Loan Repayment Assistance Program has provided more than $3.6 million in post-graduate debt relief since 2015. Financial aid support for students headed into public interest careers will double by FY25. New initiatives like the Dr. Sadie T.M. Alexander Scholarships and the expansion of programs such as the Toll Public Interest Scholars and the Toll Public Interest Fellows support students whose education, experience, and professional commitments respond to some of society’s most pressing needs and challenges.

Since 2015, Ruger has spearheaded the hiring of 11 new faculty members, including three Penn Integrates Knowledge Professors and a presidential assistant professor, with significant growth in both women faculty and faculty from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in law. This hiring has helped the school grow in both traditional and cutting-edge areas of practice. Ruger has especially embraced the recruitment of scholars and practitioners who blend legal expertise with the methods and approaches of other disciplines and professions and has also supported the creation of a new Future of the Profession Initiative.

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