An external investigation into a racist email, which appeared to originate from Penn Dental's chief financial officer, concluded the email was fraudulent and was sent from an account not affiliated with the University, Penn Dental Dean Mark Wolff announced Tuesday. Wolff added that Penn has launched an internal investigation to determine the identity of email's sender, who addressed the message to a Penn Dental staff emailing list.
The external investigation launched after staff at the Penn Dental Family Practice received an email on April 10 praising the closure of Penn Dental's off-campus clinic and writing "All the blacks are almost gone!" The construction of the email, which was addressed to Wolff, made it appear as though Penn Dental CFO Janemarie Schultz accidentally sent the email to the entire staff and intended for the praise to be kept private.
"Mark we did it! Berwyn is finally closing!" the email read, referring to the closure of the Penn Dental Main Line clinic location on June 30. "All the blacks are almost gone! But we have to keep a few show ones around. Don't you agree?? Joking."
In an email on April 16, Wolff wrote that the email sent to Penn Dental Family Practice staff was false and was sent by someone impersonating Schultz. The dean claimed that an external IT forensic investigation found that the email did not originate from a Penn account. Wolff added that Penn Police and senior University IT Security Officers have also launched an investigation into the sender of the message.
"Words cannot convey how distraught I am that our employees were targets of such a hateful and divisive communication designed specifically to hurt and divide our community," Wolff wrote.
Schultz joined Penn Dental in July 2017. Prior to Penn Dental, Schultz had 25 years of industry experience in health care finance. Schultz's position includes managerial and fiduciary responsibilities.
Wolff added that he will be meeting with members of Penn Dental to "listen to suggestions on how we might begin to heal."