Three months into his term, Wharton Dean Thomas Gerrity has decided to develop a "new strategic plan" to determine the school's long-term direction, officials said yesterday. Deputy Dean for Academic Affairs Edward Bowman said that Gerrity will solicit advice from Wharton standing committees and may form a special task force to gather recommendations and help write the plan. Gerrity was unavailable for comment yesterday. Bowman said the report, in which Gerrity will take "a fresh look at the direction the school is going," is slated for completion by early next semester. The committees advising Gerrity for the report will examine many aspects of the school, including the school's international focus and graduate programs, and will give advice to the dean, Bowman said. The two "natural groups" which Gerrity will first look to are the school's 10 department chairpeople and the Dean's Advisory Council, a group of twelve senior faculty members, according to Bowman. He added that "I would think almost certainly that there will be students involved." The deputy dean predicted that there will be substantive changes in the MBA program but would not say which aspects will be altered. He did not specify other programs which stand to be changed significantly. The school is currently revamping its undergraduate curriculum for implementation next fall, but the process was started under former Dean Russell Palmer. Vice Dean for Doctoral Programs Franklin Allen said a large-scale evaluation of this type "usually happens when deans change," because it gives the new leaders "a chance to take stock of where they want to go." Allen said he believes that Palmer did the same thing. Most officials said they were not surprised by Gerrity's intentions to reevaluate the school's direction. "One would be surprised if that were not done," Bowman said. And Associate Dean for External Affairs Virginia Clark said "it's very collegial for a new dean to make a new plan." Bowman also said that while the specific issues to be examined have yet to be finalized, Gerrity is "spending a lot of time with the faculty, looking at the Wharton School and how the world is changing." He said that the report will probably address how the school might respond to problems and opportunities resulting from recent global changes. Bowman said the school has been and will continue to be "very interested in international issues," adding that it is unlikely that these issues will lose importance in the future. The University will release a five-year plan for the whole institution next Tuesday and the Wharton plan will try to incorporate similar time frames as the general plan, Bowman said. "I realize that the University likes five-year plans and we will try to work within specific time frames," Bowman said, but he added that the school may not be able to determine exact time frames for implementing the changes.Comments powered by Disqus
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