I am honored that the Board of Trustees has asked me to serve as Penn’s Interim President. I accept this responsibility clear-eyed about the challenges facing our University.
Like you, I love Penn.
I have dedicated many years of my life to this amazing institution. I have been honored to serve as Executive Vice President of our health system and dean of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine for more than 12 years.
I know many of you but certainly not all. In the coming weeks and months, I look forward, with curiosity and an open mind, to learning from you and to sharing my own views with you. I am trained as a physician—healing is in my nature and skill set. I also trained as a scientist—hard-wired to ask challenging questions, pursue rigorous inquiry and debate, and ready to be proven wrong. I am a Penn parent, and I have had the pleasure of watching incredible students grow, explore their passions, and chart a path to make an impact on the world. My leadership role at Penn has exposed me to its unparalleled breadth of expertise and diversity of thought. It is humbling but invigorating to consider how I, and other leaders at Penn, can support each of you.
The last few weeks have been a profoundly painful chapter for our institution, for higher education, and for the world. I know these recent leadership transitions have been distressing and destabilizing. I feel it myself. There is pain, fear, and uncertainty in our community. I want to reiterate that every person at Penn should feel safe and be secure in the knowledge that hate has no home here. This is fundamental, but it is not enough. Together, we create and share values that make the University of Pennsylvania an institution where creativity flourishes, innovation creates new tools and medicines, civil debate poses and addresses challenging societal questions, and learning prepares us all to make the world a better place.
All of us—faculty, students, staff, alumni, caregivers, and the many friends of this University—can contribute to a new chapter in Penn’s nearly 300-year history. I have experienced the strength and solidarity that defines this remarkable place. With respect for one another, support for one another, and adaption to our changing world, Penn can truly lead in this moment, and emerge better and stronger than before. I hope you will join me in this important work and come together to support one another and the University we love.
J. Larry Jameson
University of Pennsylvania
To read more University-wide messages, please visit the Penn Today Announcements page.