Penn employs top academics and professors who are experts in a range of fields, including politics, literature, and business. Here are some of the most well-known Penn professors, whose reputations extend beyond the classroom.
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush joined former Vice President Joe Biden — who is now seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential bid — as Penn's second Presidential Professor of Practice last year. While Bush does not teach classes, he visits Penn's campus once or twice a month to participate in classes, lectures, and other major events. He is affiliated with the Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy, located in the Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics.
Bush was governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007, where he was known for implementing education reform. He was also a presidential candidate in 2016 and is the younger brother of former president George W. Bush.
Buzz Bissinger is an acclaimed author and Pulitzer-prize-winning journalist. A 1976 College graduate, Bissinger and his colleagues at The Philadelphia Inquirer won a Pulitzer Prize in 1987 for an investigative story on the city's court system.
Bissinger is most well-known for his New York Times number one bestseller, "Friday Night Lights," which chronicles the impact of a high school football team on a small town in Texas. A film version of the book was made and released in 2004, the success of which led to a five-season NBC television series as well.
At Penn, Bissinger teaches a fall course called "Advanced Nonfiction Writing," which requires application with a writing sample. Bissinger and his wife Lisa Smith also hold an annual writer’s residency at their home in Oregon every spring break. He was a 2014 Kelly Writers House Fellow.
Dorothy Roberts, a joint professor in Penn Law School and the departments of Africana Studies and Sociology, joined Penn faculty in 2012 after 14 years of teaching at Northwestern University. Her scholarship focuses on race, gender, and the law. More specifically, Roberts studies how bioethics, health, and social justice factors affect women, children, and African Americans.
Roberts has authored more than 100 articles and book chapters and was a co-editor of six books. Her books include "Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-first Century" and "Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare." In 2016, she was named a Woman Inspiring Change by Harvard Law for her work championing women’s reproductive rights.
Roberts is the founding director of the Penn Program on Race, Science & Society, which promotes an interdisciplinary approach to studying the role of race in science, research, and biotechnological innovations. Her courses include “Critical Race Theory” and “Current Controversies in Child Welfare Policy.”
Management and Psychology professor Adam Grant is Wharton’s youngest-tenured and highest-rated professor. Grant has been recognized as one of the world’s top ten most influential management thinkers, as well as as one of Fortune's '40 Under 40' in 2016.
Grant, an organizational psychologist, studies workplace culture and motivation. He is the author of three bestselling books and has delivered keynote speeches for companies such as Google, the NBA, and the World Economic Forum.
In 2016, Grant authored a New York Times op-ed arguing that forced curves create an unnecessarily hyper-competitive culture, which he said is especially prevalent at Penn.
But students vying to get into Grant's class, "MGMT 238: Organizational Behavior," have to face a competitive application process: 250 students applied for 70 spots in 2017. In an email sent to students not admitted to the course, Grant said the application process, which involves open-ended writing prompts, is designed "to create a class with diverse interests, experiences, and viewpoints."
Kathleen Hall Jamieson
Communications professor Kathleen Hall Jamieson researches political communication and presidential discourse. She is director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, the co-author of 16 books, and the winner of nine communication or political science book awards. Her most recent book, "Cyberwar: How Russian Hackers and Trolls Helped Elect a President," drew national attention and won the prestigious 2019 Reginald Robert Hawkins Award for its analysis of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Jamieson is also cofounder of an Annenberg-affiliated website, FactCheck.org, which verifies politicians' statements. She also teaches the popular course, "Introduction to Political Communication and Political Communication Research."