University of Pennsylvania Trustees Extend President Amy Gutmann’s Contract to 2022

PHILADELPHIA – David L. Cohen, Chair of the University of Pennsylvania Board of Trustees, today announced that the University has agreed to extend the contract of President Amy Gutmann for an additional three years to June 30, 2022.  The extension will make Gutmann the longest-serving President in Penn’s history.

“Amy Gutmann’s outstanding leadership of Penn has been nothing short of transformational,” said Cohen. “The Trustees strongly support her inspiring vision for Penn and our broader community.  Under Amy’s Penn Compact 2020 plan, the University of Pennsylvania has set new records of inclusion, innovation, and momentum-driving impact on our city, country, and world.  Penn's eminent faculty has grown ever stronger and more diverse.  The quality and diversity of our fantastic students have never been higher.  Penn's campus has been dramatically transformed with spectacular new living and learning spaces and award-winning green spaces, medical and translational research facilities, and a new innovation ecosystem for our city and region.

“When she was chosen in 2004 to lead our University, Amy was the Provost at Princeton and already a stellar interdisciplinary scholar, teacher, and leader in academe,” added Cohen.  “The selection of Amy as Penn’s 8th President has proven to be one of the best decisions ever made in American higher education.  We believe Amy is the best university president in the country.  As a Board, we have an obligation to sustain Penn’s success, and we can imagine no better way to do that than to keep Amy Gutmann at the helm.  We are simply delighted that she has agreed to continue to bring her energy, passion, and strategic vision to Penn as our President.”

In her inaugural address over a decade ago, Gutmann outlined a bold and ambitious vision for the University: the Penn Compact.  Penn’s commitment to the three core values of the Penn Compact — Inclusion, Innovation, and Impact — has propelled the University forward during an era of dramatic change.

The cornerstone of the Penn Compact’s commitment to Inclusion is the University’s All-Grant undergraduate financial aid initiative.  Penn has awarded nearly $1 billion in grants since implementing All-Grant in 2009, and the average net cost for aided students to attend Penn today is almost $2,700 less than it was in 2005.  Foremost among the Penn Compact’s commitment to Innovation is creating a campus conducive to generating ideas: a campus with facilities such as the Penn Center for Innovation, which fast-tracks Penn technologies to meet social needs; the Pennovation Works, a 23-acre former heavy industrial site that the University transformed into an innovation campus; and the Pennovation Center, Pennovation Works’ flagship business incubator and laboratory.  Finally, building on the University’s long history of civic-mindedness, the Penn Compact underscores Penn’s commitment to Impact by bringing Penn knowledge and practice to bear on key local, national, and global issues.  Top priorities for Penn’s close-to-home engagement include direct support of Philadelphia public schools such as the model, University-assisted Penn Alexander School.  On the global front, the fall 2016 opening of the Perry World House on campus and the spring 2015 opening of the Penn Wharton China Center in Beijing underscore the University’s commitment to bringing the world to Penn and Penn to the world. 

“It has been an absolute honor to serve as Penn’s president for the past 12 years, and I am excited about all that we can accomplish together in the next six,” said Gutmann. “I am constantly grateful for the strong support that our Trustees provide and deeply appreciate their confidence in my efforts to make a Penn education the very best in the world.  Together, the multidisciplinary expertise, civic commitment, and collaborative spirit of Penn's faculty, students, Trustees, alumni, and staff are unsurpassed by any university in the world.  Over the past two years, we have brought on board eight new deans, enriching an already exceptional leadership team.  Together, we are energized and equipped to carry forward the Penn Compact 2020 vision and to cultivate wonderful new possibilities for fundraising. 

“The coming years are going to be exceptional ones for Penn as we build out the campus under the third phase of our Penn Connects plan.  We also are going to continue to attract the most vibrant and diverse faculty and student body, which will assure Penn’s standing at the pinnacle of the world’s universities,” continued Gutmann.  “We can confidently affirm that in the 276-year history of our University, this is the best and most exciting time to be part of "Our Penn."  But we will never be complacent as we drive our great University forward to new and as yet unanticipated frontiers of inclusion, innovation and impact.”

In addition to those noted above, selected highlights of President Gutmann’s tenure at Penn include:


  • Undergraduate applications have grown from 18,282 to nearly 39,000 for the Class of 2020.
  • The undergraduate financial aid budget has grown by 155% since FY2005, from $84 million to $214 million.  The average grant for undergraduate students receiving aid in FY2017 is $45,368.
  • The creation of 200 new endowed professorships, and the recruiting of 17 Penn Integrates Knowledge Professors and 10 Presidential Professors.
  • Philanthropy of more than $5 billion for Penn, including $4.3 billion through the Making History Campaign, the University’s largest-ever capital campaign.
  • Penn’s endowment has grown from $4 billion to $10.7 billion.
  • Creation of a $100 million Action Plan for Faculty Diversity and Excellence, resulting in an 18% increase in female faculty and 43% increase in minority faculty.
  • Creation of the President’s Engagement Prizes and President’s Innovation Prize, the largest student innovation prizes in the country.
  • Penn Connects campus plan resulting in a $2.7 billion investment creating 5 million square feet of new or renovated space, with plans for $2 billion additional investment in 1.8 million square feet of space.
  • Creation of Penn Park, a 24-acre urban oasis linking Penn to Center City Philadelphia.
  • Signature architectural buildings, such as the Singh Center for Nanotechnology, the New College House, Perry World House, Golkin Hall, Weiss Pavilion, and the Stephen A. Levin Building for Neural and Behavioral Sciences.
  • A 29% increase in sponsored research to nearly $1 billion annually, despite flat federal support.
  • Penn Medicine has grown to include major new facilities (Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, Roberts Proton Center, Smilow Translational Research Center), Chester County Hospital and Lancaster General Hospital, and new physician offices and outpatient facilities across Philadelphia, southwestern Pennsylvania, and southern New Jersey.

A full biography of Dr. Gutmann can be found here.

The Penn Compact 2020 can be seen here.

Penn Connects 2.0 can be seen here.

Amy Gutmann