Gutmann highlights 'Penn Compact 2020' in address
Push for more public policy work, center for startups among compact projects
October 30, 2013, 8:27 pm · Updated October 30, 2013, 8:58 pm·
As the University wraps up its celebration tour for the Making History fundraising campaign, President Amy Gutmann is turning her attention to the “Penn Compact 2020,” a renewal of her strategic priorities that was launched earlier this semester.
That was the theme of Gutmann’s annual “state of the university” address, delivered Wednesday at a University Council meeting. During her presentation, Gutmann highlighted some of the main projects of the Penn Compact 2020 — a new “Pennovation Center” to encourage startup companies and technological innovation, a greater emphasis on financial aid for international and graduate students and a renewed push to encourage public policy work across Penn’s 12 schools.
Down the road, the Pennovation Center — which will be located at Penn’s South Bank, the University’s new land east of the Schuylkill River — will be “a really important way of showing how innovation translates into impact,” Gutmann said during her address on Wednesday. One of the main goals of the center will be to incentivize students and professors to bring their research into the market, she said.
In addition to becoming a hub for technological innovation, Gutmann said, some of the center’s space may be used to host arts and cultural groups that do not currently have buildings of their own on campus. The University plans to roll out more details about the center next semester.
Gutmann also spoke on Wednesday about Penn’s World Scholars Program, an initiative that recruits and provides financial aid to international undergraduate students. A major goal of the Penn Compact 2020, she said, is to bolster aid offerings for international students, through programs like World Scholars. Unlike some of its peer institutions, the University’s need-blind aid policy does not apply to international students.
Addressing the current climate in Washington, D.C., Gutmann said the University also plans to ramp up its efforts to encourage more public policy work across Penn’s 12 schools. “We’re going to make a virtue out of the fact that we don’t have a separate school that does public policy by engaging all of the schools in public policy,” she said. She specifically pointed to the Wharton School’s new Public Policy Initiative — which, with offices in Washington, researches how policy issues impact the American economy — as a model for other schools.
Gutmann first announced the Penn Compact, which stresses interdisciplinary learning, financial aid and global expansion, during her inauguration in 2004. The Compact has been a central part of her presidency over the past decade.