Dean Thomas S. Robertson of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School has announced his decision to step down when his seven-year term expires next year on June 30, 2014. Upon leaving the deanship, Robertson plans to return to the marketing faculty to teach, and to pursue his research interests.
In a letter to alumni and faculty Wednesday, Robertson called his time as dean fulfilling and shared some of the highlights of his accomplishments, which include strengthening academic departments, exceeding campaign fundraising goals, designing new initiatives in lifelong learning for alumni, and renovating and expanding facilities both on the main campus and San Francisco.
The dean also spoke of increasing the Wharton School’s scholarly impact, which he did by focusing on innovation, global initiatives, and social impact. “Our progress in these areas has been significant,” he wrote, adding, “Our goal is to be at the forefront of new educational technologies, internationalization, and to act as a force for good by our commitment to knowledge creation which enhances economic and social welfare.”
Robertson told Bloomberg Businessweek he plans to keep up momentum in these areas during his final year, and expects students to leave the school with a desire to do good in the world. “Wharton is a fantastic brand name. We can get in almost any door in the world,” said Robertson. “It is important going forward to be true to the school’s founding goals to create future leaders and be a force for good.”
The Wharton School will assemble a search committee of faculty, alumni, and students to find a new dean. Robertson tells Businessweek he expects his replacement to be chosen by early next year.