Edward Rock Appointed Senior Advisor for Open Course Initiatives at University of Pennsylvania

 PHILADELPHIA -- Edward B. Rock has been named senior advisor to the president and provost of the University of Pennsylvania and director of open course initiatives at Penn.  The announcement was made by Penn President Amy Gutmann and Provost Vincent Price.   

In this new position, Rock will oversee the implementation of Penn’s partnership with Coursera, the online platform for open-access, non-credit classes.  He will work closely with the president, provost, deans, department chairs and other University leaders to build administrative frameworks and advance the integration of online learning initiatives – and the new methods of teaching and learning related to them – into curricular and instructional support programs on campus. 

“Having someone with Ed Rock’s experience and vision to help guide our online learning initiatives gives Penn a tremendous advantage in this important new area,” Gutmann said.  “Ed is a superb scholar and academic leader. Under his stewardship, I am certain we will see our online capabilities flourish and the University’s international leadership in this vital area continue to grow.” 

Rock is the Saul A. Fox Distinguished Professor of Business Law in the Law School, with a secondary appointment as professor of business economics and public policy in Penn’s Wharton School.  He has taught at Penn since 1989, after five years as a partner and associate at Fine, Kaplan & Black in Philadelphia.  He served from 1998 to 2010 as co-director of the Institute of Law and Economics, a joint research center of the Law School, Wharton and the Department of Economics in the School of Arts and Sciences. From 2006 to 2008 he was associate dean for academic affairs at the Law School.

Rock is a leading expert on corporate law and corporate governance and has written widely on a variety of topics, including the balance of power between shareholders and managers, government ownership, hedge funds, shareholder voting and mergers and acquisitions.  He has been a visiting professor at New York University, Columbia University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Goethe-Universität Frankfurt.

“Ed Rock brings to our online initiatives a profound understanding of governance and strategic frameworks,” Price said, “as well as great skills at solving challenges and bringing people together.  He will help us all define the future of online and open education at Penn, while building the sound administrative structures to support our efforts for years to come.” 

Rock earned a J.D. magna cum laude in 1983 from Penn Law School, where he was an editor of the Law Review; a B.A. in philosophy and politics with first-class honors in 1980 from the University of Oxford; and a B.S. cum laude in physics and mathematics in 1977 from Yale University.