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the Summer Pennsylvanian

University Secretary Rose McManus and Director of University Communications Ken Wildes will both leave Penn at the end of July, University President Judith Rodin announced this week.

McManus said she is stepping down to "focus attention full time on family." Wildes said his motivations for leaving were "many and varied" but that he would like to explore other professional options.

"I am grateful for Ken's service over the past four years," Rodin said in an email statement. "Ken has done a great job both communicating the good news and managing the bad, and we are all in his debt."

Rodin also praised McManus' years at Penn.

"Rose has been a valuable member of the administration, and we will miss her advice in counsel," she said.

"She has markedly increased the professionalism of the Office of the Secretary in her time here, and the staff in the office are well-positioned to continue to carry out the work of the office in support of the Trustees, Boards of Overseers, University Council, dean search and review and the ceremonial functions of the University," she continued.

While McManus vacates her post effective July 31, she said that she will remain as a consultant for the University through November to "make sure there's a smooth transition," noting she has been preparing the Secretary's office for her departure.

"It's been very important to me to have the infrastructure in place," she said. "Now's a good time."

The President's office will soon start a search for McManus' replacement. A nationwide search to replace Wildes -- who will also leave the University around July 31 -- is already underway.

Wildes said he was considering jobs in both higher education and in the corporate world for the future. He also indicated a relocation to the West or the Midwest might be possible.

Both McManus and Wildes have been at Penn for several years, with McManus arriving in 1998 and Wildes in 1996.

As Secretary of the University, McManus has been responsible for organizing Penn's annual commencement and working with the University Council and the University Trustees.

Wildes' position places him as the official University spokesman, a post that includes coordinating media relations. Wildes came to Penn after 14 years as a senior public relations officer at Northwestern University.

Wildes' background, however, is not entirely in higher education, having spent several years doing editorial promotion work and working at Parade magazine.

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