Michael Delli Carpini has been selected as interim dean of the Annenberg School for Communication starting June 1, according to an announcement from Penn President Liz Magill.
Delli Carpini, who is the Oscar H. Gandy Emeritus Professor of Communication and Democracy at Annenberg, will succeed current Annenberg Dean John L. Jackson Jr., who will become the University’s next provost on June 1. He previously served as the school’s dean from 2003 to 2018 and is currently concluding a term as inaugural faculty director of Penn’s Stavros Niarchos Foundation Paideia Program, an undergraduate program that focuses on civic engagement and leadership.
Delli Carpini's appointment was the result of an international search that started in late February, according to the announcement. His appointment will be short-term, with the permanent dean expected to start as early as fall 2023.
“As we continue to search for the next permanent dean of the Annenberg School, we are so fortunate that Michael Delli Carpini will take on this critical interim leadership post,” Magill wrote in the announcement. “Michael embodies what it means to be a good Penn citizen. Time and again, from his 15-year tenure as Annenberg dean to his inspired leadership of the SNF Paideia Program, Michael has answered the call of service.”
Delli Carpini began his academic career as an assistant professor of political science at Rutgers University. Prior to arriving at Penn to serve as Annenberg's dean in 2003, he was also director of the public policy program at The Pew Charitable Trusts and a faculty member at Barnard College and Columbia University.
As dean, Delli Carpini successfully steered Annenberg through the 2008 recession and helped implement new areas of study, including digital media, technology and society, and global communication studies.
“Michael was a transformative dean,” Jackson said in the announcement. “I am grateful, both personally and on behalf of Penn and Annenberg, to Michael for the stability and continuity that he will provide as interim dean. He could not be better prepared and positioned to lead with a steady hand during this transitional time.”
Delli Carpini graduated from Penn in 1975 with both a bachelor's degree in political science and English literature and a master's degree in political science. In the announcement, he emphasized his desire to continue contributing to the University.
“I owe Penn a tremendous debt, from my time as a first-generation undergraduate student to over 20 years as a faculty member and dean,” Delli Carpini said. “Stepping in as interim dean is a small way for me to repay that debt, and I look forward to working again with the school’s great faculty, staff, and students.”