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Students write answers to questions posed by the Red and Blue Advisory Committee at their open forum on Jan. 13.

Credit: Abhiram Juvvadi

If we haven’t heard from you yet, there’s still time. 

Both on campus and around the world, students, alumni, families, and friends are sharing their aspirations for Penn’s future. 

Let me provide you with a small sample of the themes we’ve been hearing so far. Members of our community are interested in making interdisciplinary research as efficient as possible. They want to reimagine how Penn connects with individuals and institutions close to home and around the world. They have thoughts about how to redesign classrooms and curricula for students’ current needs, especially as we all ponder the pedagogical implications of, say, recent advances in artificial intelligence. And they’re curious about how Penn can ask old questions in new ways while identifying emergent issues that are also worth rigorously pursuing. 

But what do you think?

As you may know, I chair the Red and Blue Advisory Committee, a group of students, faculty, and staff that President Magill has charged with leading a University-wide strategic planning effort called Tomorrow, Together. We are responsible for hearing from – and thinking about the interests of – our entire community. 

We have been using this academic year to learn more about how diverse members of Penn can work together to understand our current strengths, challenges, and opportunities. So far, we’ve conducted more than 35 consultative meetings with over 400 members of the Penn community. We’ve collected written responses to some of our key questions from all 12 schools and from more than 30 other centers and units across campus. We’ve met with undergraduate and graduate student leaders, staff members, and faculty via Zoom and in-person. We’ve hosted three open forums, including one specifically for students, and reviewed hundreds of responses submitted through the Tomorrow, Together website. Our efforts, we hope, have also catalyzed discussions throughout campus about our shared future. 

Your perspective and passions are unique to you. Now is the time to share them and play a direct role in helping chart our University’s path forward. Getting involved is as easy as dropping us a comment online. I have read every single comment submitted so far, and I will continue to do so. Your participation will help inform our collective planning for where Penn goes from here. So, if you haven’t already, please submit your suggestions and ideas quickly and conveniently via our website. 

The Committee will continue reading your online comments through the end of April. These important contributions will inform our recommendations to President Magill at the end of the academic year and will prove valuable as we begin the next phase of this strategic work over the summer.

Our Committee members are also eager to have a meeting with your group or team, which you can request by emailing We will schedule as many more of these as we can. 

I encourage you to get involved. Ten, twenty, or fifty years from now, when you look back at this pivotal moment in Penn’s history, you should be able to say that you made your thoughts known and helped chart Penn’s future. Take this opportunity, be heard, and join your Penn community in planning for tomorrow, together.  

John L. Jackson, Jr. is the Walter H. Annenberg Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication and Richard Perry University Professor. He will begin serving as Provost on June 1, 2023. His email is