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Penn President Liz Magill during a University Council meeting on Nov. 29.

Credit: Abhiram Juvvadi

Penn administration saw unprecedented change in 2023, including new leadership positions and initiatives throughout the year. However, the most significant event was the dual resignation of Penn President Liz Magill and University Board of Trustees Chair Scott Bok — marking the culmination of a leadership crisis at the University and continuing uncertainty.

As the year comes to an end, here's a look back at a historic year of changes in Penn administration.

Feb 10 – Elisa Foster was named the Penn Women Center's permanent director. She previously served as interim director since December 2021.

March 2Jordan Pascucci became Penn’s next vice dean and director of admissions. He was selected following a national search that began the previous November when former Vice Dean and Director of Admissions John McLaughlin departed Penn.

April 19Carolyn Ureña was appointed director of academic advising in the College of Arts of Sciences.

May 12Michael Delli Carpini, the Oscar H. Gandy Emeritus Professor of Communication and Democracy, was selected as interim dean of the Annenberg School for Communication. 

May 1 Karu Kozuma, who served as the executive director of College Houses and Academic Services since 2021, was appointed vice provost for University Life.

May 31Anna Cowenhoven was selected as vice president for University Communications, replacing Stephen MacCarthy who had led University Communications for nearly 12 years.

June 22Malik Muhammad, who was the LGBT Center's associate director, transitioned into an inaugural role as the University Life's division director of inclusion initiatives and social justice education.

June 1John Jackson Jr. began his tenure as the University’s provost. He had previously served as the dean of the School of Social Policy & Practice and the Annenberg School for Communication.

July 1Sophia Lee started her tenure as the first female dean of the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School following Ted Ruger. Lee has been a part of the law school since 2009 and held various previous leadership positions.

July 1Katharine Strunk succeeded Pam Grossman as dean of the Graduate School of Education. Strunk joined Penn from Michigan State University, where she served as an educational policy and economics professor.

July 6Mei Long was named the new director of the Pan-Asian American Community House, concluding a search that had begun in 2022. 

Aug. 3Rand Quinn, a former associate professor in the Graduate School of Education, became the faculty director of the Civic House and Civic Scholars Program.

Aug. 14Sarah Banet-Weiser assumed her position as dean of the Annenberg School for Communication following Jackson’s exit to become the University provost.

Nov. 1Magill announced a University-wide plan to combat antisemitism, later testifying before Congress about addressing antisemitism on campus.

Nov. 30Magill announced a new strategic framework that will shape the University's vision. Titled "In Principle and Practice: Penn’s Focus on Tomorrow," the plan outlines five practices: accelerating interdisciplinary pursuits, leading on contemporary challenges, growing opportunities and strengthening communities, deepening connection with neighbors and the world, and fostering leadership and service.

Dec. 9 – Magill announced her plans to voluntarily resign from the Penn presidency. She will remain a tenured faculty member at Penn Carey Law and will continue to serve as president until an interim candidate is selected. Magill's resignation comes amid national scrutiny over her remarks at a congressional hearing of the United States House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Bok also stepped down, effective immediately.

Check out the rest of the DP’s Year in Review content here.