Wharton Dean to Leave for USC

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The University announced in June that Wharton Dean Geoffrey Garrett will leave Penn at the end of the 2019–20 academic year to become dean of the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business.

Garrett, who assumes his new post at USC on July 1, 2020, has spent the last five years at Penn, helping to “firmly establish Wharton as the world’s leading business school,” Penn President Amy Gutmann said, noting he expanded the school’s standing faculty to more than 240 members while increasing “its breadth, depth, diversity, and eminence.”

Under Garrett’s watch, Wharton’s offerings increased, including Executive Education programming, the Wharton Global Forum, and the launch of the Penn Wharton China Center in Beijing [“Gazetteer,” May|Jun 2015]. Online education also grew exponentially, and innovative programs such as the Penn Wharton Budget Model, Behavior Change for Good, the Stevens Center for Innovation in Finance, the Harris Alternative Investments Program, and the Analytics Initiative have helped Wharton pursue deeper, cutting-edge work.

Several Wharton buildings are currently being renovated or are under construction, including a new Wharton Academic Research Building and Tangen Hall, an entrepreneurship facility [“Gazetteer,” Jul|Aug 2019].

“Under Geoff’s leadership, the student body is now more accomplished, diverse, and better supported than at any point in Wharton’s storied history,” Penn Provost Wendell Pritchett Gr’97 said, pointing to a “revamped undergraduate curriculum” and more “dual-degree programs and cross-school partnerships.”

A world-renowned political economist, Garrett served on the Wharton faculty in the mid-1990s, before becoming dean of the UCLA International Institute and then the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales in his native Australia. He also taught at Stanford, Yale, and USC, and served as president of the Los Angeles-based Pacific Council on International Policy.

“We are adopted Angelenos—and in a personal sense, it’s a homecoming for me,” Garrett said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, adding that part of the decision to leave the country’s top business school came down to his family’s connection to Southern California, where they lived for nearly a decade. He also said that the Marshall School of Business has “been on an incredible upward ascent for a couple of decades, and I want to be a part of that.”

A committee of Penn faculty, students, and alumni, chaired by Perelman School of Medicine Dean J. Larry Jameson, will advise on the selection of the next Wharton dean.

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