Dean’s Message

The Next Chapter

Transitions are a natural part of any vibrant enterprise, and Wharton is no exception. We have, in fact, made it a primary strategic objective to embrace change — not only in responding to changes in the world around us, but also in creating change through innovation and the advancement of knowledge.

This commitment — and the leadership, spirit, heart and passion that every member of our community contributes to it — is what I have been in love with every day and every year that I have spent at Wharton. And as I prepare to step down as dean this summer, I remain in awe of the continually growing capacity of this community to achieve higher levels of excellence in the years ahead.

Over many years — and the terms of many deans — Wharton has emerged as a powerhouse as the result of a conscious effort to build and nurture a unique community and institutional culture. We have an unusual ability to put ideas into action quickly with a swiftness of decision-making and implementation rarely associated with academic enterprises. This is a place that promotes a strong, vibrant dialogue that defines issues, explores options and executes strategies. Students, faculty and alumni all have key voices and all contribute to the inventiveness that transforms Wharton and keeps us the world’s leading business school.

These are easy words to say, but at Wharton they ring decidedly true. We see myriad examples of what we can accomplish every day as a result. We see it in the major curricular reengineering at the early part of the decade and the ongoing enhancements brought about by newly developed courses and teaching technologies; in the steady increase in teaching quality ratings and in student-sponsored teaching awards; in the growth of our international alumni boards, alumni conferences and alumni leadership in fund raising; and in the design of the new academic building.

Above all, Wharton is a worldwide community of leaders. This is the real core of our success: our goal as a community is to make each year better than the one before; for each class to leave Wharton stronger than they found it; to never be content to reach the “top” — but to raise the bar still higher at each pinnacle of achievement. Others have come before us and we have stood on their shoulders, on the strength of their work, to achieve new measures of excellence. It is now my turn to pass along this community to others who will build and sustain Wharton’s leadership in the years ahead.

It has been an honor and privilege to serve as dean of this great institution and to work with so many wonderful people along the way. I thank you all for your continued commitment to Wharton.

With warm regards,

Tom

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