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Graduate School of Education Dean Andy Porter will retire at the end of his current contract in June 2014, the University announced Thursday.

Porter, a prominent education researcher, began his deanship in 2007. During his time at the University, he has worked with faculty on a large-scale curricular review and strengthened GSE’s partnerships with West Philadelphia schools.

“These last six years at Penn have been among the most satisfying and exciting of my professional life,” Porter said in an email to GSE. “I have been privileged to serve our GSE community.”

Porter was not available for further comment on Thursday.

Although President Amy Gutmann and Provost Vincent Price both praised Porter in an email, his tenure at Penn has not come without controversy.

Porter came under fire in April 2012, after it came to light that former GSE Vice Dean of Education Doug Lynch had been falsifying his doctoral degree. Lynch resigned immediately after the discovery.

Some GSE faculty members expressed disappointment with how Porter handled the situation, claiming that he did not do enough to adequately address Lynch’s misrepresentation as soon as he was made aware of it.

Later this spring, Gutmann and Price plan to bring together a consultative committee to begin the search for Porter’s successor.

When the next head of GSE is announced, it will mark the first time since earlier this year that the University will have the opportunity to bring in a racial or ethnic minority as a dean. In January, Penn announced that Senior Vice Provost for Research Steven Fluharty will succeed Rebecca Bushnell as School of Arts and Sciences dean later this year.

Fluharty’s selection was the source of ire among some faculty members in the Department of Africana Studies, who wrote a guest column in The Daily Pennsylvanian criticizing Gutmann for never appointing a person of color to a deanship at Penn.

“I hope the administration uses this as an opportunity to increase the number of administrators of color,” said sociology professor Grace Kao, who holds a secondary appointment in GSE. “It’s an opportunity for them to seriously consider a wide variety of candidates.”

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