Penn has formed a search committee to select a successor for Graduate School of Education Dean Pam Grossman, who "expects to step down" at the end of her current term.
President Liz Magill and Interim Provost Beth Winkelstein announced the formation of the committee on Sept. 21. The committee consists of 18 members: students, faculty members, administrators, and alumni primarily from GSE, as well as consultants from Heidrick & Struggles — a leadership consulting service. The committee is chaired by John L. Jackson Jr., the Walter H. Annenberg Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication.
“We are pleased to announce the formation of an ad hoc Consultative Committee to advise on the selection of the next Dean of the Graduate School of Education,” Magill and Winkelstein wrote in the announcement.
A spokesperson for GSE wrote to The Daily Pennsylvanian that Grossman did not wish to comment "at this time." Associate Provost for Communications Leo Charney wrote to the DP confirming that Grossman "expects to step down" at the end of her current term. Charney directed the DP to Jackson for comment, but he did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.
The announcement follows the upcoming end of Grossman’s term on June 30, 2023, after eight years in the position. Grossman, a former high school English teacher, also currently serves as the George and Diane Weiss Professor of Education in the school's Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Division.
Under Grossman’s leadership, GSE has ranked No. 1 in the U.S. New & World Report's ranking of graduate education programs for two years.
According to University policy, deans typically serve no more than 12 years in their position, with a first term of no more than seven years. In 2021, Penn extended Grossman’s term through June 2023, along with the term of Penn Law School Dean Ted Ruger.
Grossman’s tenure began in January 2015. She has appointed more than a third of the current standing faculty, including GSE’s first Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor; doubled research grants, and increased diversity. Grossman has also focused on cultivating the relationship between GSE and West Philadelphia’s schools, helping initiate partnerships with the Henry C. Lea School and Penn Alexander School, according to Penn Today.
In addition to the selection of Grossman's successor, the University recently formed search committees for the selection of the next vice provost for University Life and provost.
Last week, Magill visited GSE and spoke with Grossman, faculty, and students about their work and the challenges and opportunities facing the school.
The committee is welcoming nominations for the position and input from members of the University by Dec. 9.