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For next year’s freshmen, fun and games won’t end with New Student Orientation. The academic theme for the 2011-12 academic year is the Year of Games, the Office of the Provost announced Tuesday.

The new theme, “Games: Body and Mind,” was created in light of the fact that “Penn is an enormously complicated place,” Director of Academic Initiatives David Fox said. He added that this was also the reason why the University chose a theme that incorporates technology, cultural identity, athletics, modern medicine and mathematics

According to Director for Education Rob Nelson, the Council of Deans first reviews possible options supplied by members of the Penn community. These proposals are then shown to the academic committee that also chooses the Penn Reading Project before the Provost ultimately makes a decision after consulting with the President and other senior leaders. While the PRP has not yet to be decided upon, it will pertain to the concept of games for the mind and body.

The idea of having a theme each year is “still a new initiative,” Fox said.

While the process typically occurs in the spring, Fox explained that the ideal time to announce the choice is in the fall.

In choosing the theme, Fox said that it must be something that will interest Penn’s multiple schools and its diverse students and faculties.

“The theme initiative is a chance for people to come together,” Fox said.

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