Dr. Amy Gutmann became the eighth president of the University of Pennsylvania on July 1, 2004. In her inaugural address, Gutmann launched the Penn Compact, her vision for making Penn a global leader in teaching, research, and professional practice, as well as a dynamic agent of social, economic, and civic progress. The Compact focuses on increasing access for the most talented students regardless of socioeconomic background, recruiting and retaining eminent faculty who integrate knowledge across multiple disciplines, and making Penn a more powerful transformational force locally, nationally, and around the globe. In October 2007, Gutmann officially launched “Making History: The Campaign for Penn,” a five-year, $3.5 billion fundraising effort to support the University’s priorities of expanding undergraduate, graduate, and financial aid, strengthening faculty endowment, and creating the optimal environment for teaching, research, and student living. “Making History” is by far the largest fundraising effort in Penn’s history.
Gutmann serves on the Board of Directors of the Carnegie Corporation and the Vanguard Corporation, and on the Board of Trustees of the National Constitution Center. In 2005, she was appointed to the National Security Higher Education Advisory Board, a committee that advises the FBI on national security issues relating to academia. Gutmann is a member of the Global University Leaders Forum (GULF), which convenes at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and is a member of the Asia Society’s Task Force on U.S. policy toward India. She also is among the leaders of a select group of presidents of research universities throughout the world who advise the U.N. Secretary General on a range of global issues, including academic freedom, mass migration, international development, and the social responsibilities of universities.
Amy Gutmann :Well if it has a little impact on the world, I’ll be very pleased. I guess I’d have to start with Penn because my work is multiplied a thousand times because of the students who go out from Penn and do great work; and the faculty who are great scholars and teachers; and the faculty who are doctors who are saving people’s lives; the faculty who are nurses who are at the forefront of nursing. And as I think, you know, there is a great, great shortage of nurses in this world. So the biggest impact I’ve had is in three years as Penn’s president. And I hope that will just continue.
Prior to that, I think it was because of my scholarship and teaching on social justice, and in particular I helped to revive the tradition of showing how important education is to democracy when I wrote “Democratic Education”. And I was particularly delighted when it was reviewed as the best book perhaps since John Dewey’s “Democracy and Education”. And that’s a book that is taught in introductory courses in both democratic theory and education. And then I went on to write and to teach a lot about how important deliberation is in democracy. And I think I’ve had an impact there as an antidote to what we called “sound bite democracy”, an antidote to end civility in democratic societies. And what’s the antidote? The antidote is to have more opportunities, more institutions that bring diverse people together to deliberate about hard problems; and to be able to live with their disagreements in a civil way. So that’s another small . . .