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Wharton Undergraduate Vice Dean Marion Oliver, one of the top academic officials in the school, resigned this summer to pursue a career in the private sector with the Mobil Oil Company. Associate Legal Studies and Management Professor Janice Bellace replaced Oliver September 1. Oliver's resignation came just after Wharton Dean Russell Palmer's departure June 30. Several officials said the two resignations were unrelated. "It was truly coincidental," said Associate Dean for External Affairs Virginia Clark. Assistant to the President William Epstein said that Oliver's departure apparently was also unrelated to the arrival of new Wharton Dean Thomas Gerrity. "Oliver's departure was something he had intended to do for a while and when the opportunity presented itself, he took it," Epstein said. "I don't think it had anything to do with the new dean." Bellace declined to comment on her appointment last night. Gerrity was unavailable for comment yesterday. Despite Oliver and Palmer's recent resignations, Assistant Management Professor Diana Day said that she did not expect any gap in administrative leadership in the school, noting that Undergraduate Deputy Dean Edward Bowman will provide continuity. Associate Legal Studies Professor Arnold Rosoff said last night that he cannot speculate on what policies Bellace will implement, but added that the new vice dean has been associated with the University for many years and that he does not expect any "sharp corners to be turned." He also said that because Bellace is a University graduate, he expects her "to have a real feel for the students." "From what I've heard, one of her big plusses when they were looking for a new vice dean is that she would be sympathetic to student concerns," Rosoff said. Rosoff said that he was not surprised by Oliver's resignation because "it is not uncommon when a new dean is appointed for people close to the old dean to submit resignations which gives the new dean the opportunity to appoint his own people." Statistics Professor John De Cani said Oliver was a "super teacher and a bright guy," adding that "he deserves better than vice dean of the Wharton School."

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