Re: What is your outlook?
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: I am an optimist by nature. I would call myself a pragmatic optimist. And I am pessimistic today, right now, about the way the world is headed in the very near future. I see no good way forward in Iraq. I see a lot of opportunity that was open in this country being closed. I see a lot of the rule of law being violated. So I’m not optimistic about the near term; but I am optimistic about the future because we are a great constitutional democracy, and the world looks at us as a great constitutional democracy. And we have as much reason as the world to be disappointed in what’s happening today, but we’ll turn it around. I know we will.
The 20th century, Gutmann believes, will be remembered as the age of global awakening.
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