President Amy Gutmann and Provost Wendell Pritchett announced in an email to the Penn community on Thursday afternoon that Dean of Admissions Eric Furda will leave his role at Penn on December 31 after leading the University's admissions office for 12 years.
Furda will join the college counseling team at William Penn Charter School, where his two children will be enrolled in the fall. His decision to leave Penn is a "very personal one," Gutmann and Pritchett wrote.
"It just makes a lot of sense for my family," Furda wrote in an emailed statement to The Daily Pennsylvanian. "To be able to advise students at William Penn Charter will be a new and rewarding challenge."
Under Furda's leadership, Gutmann and Pritchett wrote "the diversity and academic excellence of [Penn's] classes have grown each year," particularly highlighting the Dean's work in prioritizing the admission of more low-income, first-generation students to the University.
In Furda's 12 years at Penn, he led Penn through the 2018 Jerome Allen admissions bribery scandal, and committed to revisiting the admissions process in light of the admissions scandals across the county.
He received the A. Phillip Randolph Award for Diversity and Inclusion from student leaders at Penn in 2017.
Furda has also served on or led committees for the Ivy League and the Consortium on Financing Higher Education and has served on the Board of Directors for the Common Application, including as the chair of its board. He currently provides college advice on his blog and hosts a show on college selection called "The Process" on SiriusXM Radio.
Furda is a 1987 College graduate and was captain of Penn's varsity lightweight football team.
"The University of Pennsylvania changed the course of my life three times," Furda wrote to the DP, outlining his undergraduate admission to the University, his time working in the admissions office from 1987 to 1991, and returning as Dean of Admissions in 2008.
"I truly bleed Red and Blue," Furda wrote.
In September 2019, a video of Furda screaming passionately at a nationally televised Eagles game went viral — shortly after, the clip appeared on Stephen Colbert's late-night show.
Gutmann and Pritchett wrote the University will announce plans to form an advisory committee in the search for Furda's successor and continue to update the Penn community on the search process.
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