Each semester, reporters and editors from The Daily Pennsylvanian meet with Penn President Amy Gutmann to discuss major initiatives and hot topics. These are the top things we learned from our meeting with Gutmann last Wednesday:
1. Penn has raised $840 million of its goal to raise $1 billion by 2020 for financial aid as part of Penn Compact 2020.
2. This year, Penn saw a spike in early decision applications from the South and Southwest — traditionally underrepresented areas of applicants.
3. Gutmann believes society isn't doing enough to make mental health resources available and will use her "bully pulpit" to advocate for this.
4. While she did not comment specifically on Donald Trump's presidential campaign, she called political statements against Muslims in the United States "absolutely unacceptable" and "a disgrace," adding that she would not "stoop to the level ... to comment on what individual politicians ...say."
5. Penn Law professor Wendell Pritchet will hold a forum on the environment in classroom discussions as part of the Campaign for Community initiative for moderating sensitive topics in academic environments.
6. Gutmann refused to comment on her salary, saying only that it is something set by the Trustees of the University.
7. Winners of the second annual President's Engagement Prizes will be announced this semester after applications closed earlier this week.
8. Dean of the School of Social Policy and Practice John Jackson Jr., Dean of Nursing Antonia Villarruel and Dean of the School of Education Pam Grossman are launching a three school initiative aimed at educating West Philadelphia youth about education, wellness and social justice.
9. Student attendance at football games is up 65%.
10. Gutmann will speak with other Ivy League presidents about the possibility of an all-Ivy basketball tournament, which would be the first of its kind in Ivy League history.
11. Since 2014, Penn has appointed 22 endowed professorships focusing on diversity and multidisciplinary studies. Currently, Gutmann aims to increase that number to 50 over the next three years.
12. Gutmann is going on the road as part of a program called "Our Penn: Let the Conversations Begin," to initiate conversations with Penn students and alumni. The tour will start in Atlanta, Ga. in early March and will travel to other major cities around the world.
13. Sansom West will become a college house for the 2016-17 academic year to accommodate students while Hill College House is renovated.
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