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A handful of top Penn officials stepped down this summer, leaving several holes in Penn's administration. University Secretary Rose McManus, Director of University Communications Ken Wildes and Executive Assistant to the President Jennifer Baldino all submitted their resignations this summer. McManus and Baldino have already vacated their offices, while Wildes will officially leave his position today. Wildes called his reasons for leaving "many and varied," noting that he was exploring professional options both in and out of higher education. He also noted that a relocation to the Midwest or West is possible. Wildes' position made him the official Penn spokesman, a post that includes coordinating media relations. Wildes came to Penn in 1998 after 14 years as a senior public relations officer at Northwestern University. Phyllis Holtzman, a senior manager in the Office of University Communications, will serve as the interim director until a permanent replacement for Wildes is found. McManus, who joined the Penn administration in 1996, said in July that she left the University to "focus attention full time on family." Her successor has not yet been appointed, and McManus said she would be available for part-time consulting until someone is found to "make sure there is a smooth transition." She officially left her position on July 31. "It's been very important to me to have the infrastructure in place," McManus said. Baldino also vacated her position in late July to devote time to freelance writing and teaching part time at nearby Temple University. Steve Schutt chief of staff to University President Judith Rodin, said a search for Baldino's successor was currently underway and that he hoped someone would be hired within the next few weeks. As secretary of the University, McManus was responsible for organizing Penn's annual Commencement and working with the University Council and the University Trustees. Rodin praised the service of both Wildes and McManus during their time at Penn. "I am grateful for Ken's service over the past four years," Rodin said in an e-mail statement. "Ken has done a great job both communicating the good news and managing the bad, and we are all in his debt." As for McManus, Rodin said she has been a "valuable member of the administration." "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," Rodin said. Wildes will also stay on temporarily as a consultant for the University

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