GIFTS | An anonymous donor has given $10 million to the University to help recruit faculty members whose teaching and research exemplify the integration of knowledge across academic disciplines. It will be used to create four endowed professorships representing joint appointments among Penn’s schools, and award them to distinguished faculty who have demonstrated exceptional intellectual achievement across disciplines. The gift represents the first significant gift for the University-wide initiative known as Penn Integrates Knowledge.
Penn President Amy Gutmann called it a “spectacular gift,” one that recognizes “that Penn must build on its significant interdisciplinary strength in order to move to the next level and also that no resource is more vital to the life of a world-class university than its faculty.
“Through their research, teaching, and University service,” she added, those new faculty members “will prominently add to the University’s ability to address the most challenging intellectual and practical issues of our times.”
The recruitment process, led by a nomination committee made up of the provost and the deans of Penn’s 12 schools, will begin immediately, and will supplement ongoing searches.
In a statement, the donor described the gift as a “catalyst for transforming the University,” and said he was “delighted to give Dr. Gutmann the tools she needs to accomplish her ambitious plans for Penn.”
Integrating knowledge across disciplines is one element of the Penn Compact, Gutmann’s three-point plan to take the University “from excellence to eminence.” The other two components are increasing access to a Penn education and building the University’s engagement with local and global communities.