Celebrating the Legacy of Thomas S. Robertson

robertson_thomas-300dpi

Thomas S. Robertson became the 12th dean of the Wharton School on Aug. 1, 2007, embarking on a seven-year term that brought unparalleled success to campus and the wider Wharton community.

Beginning his tenure as a full-blown global financial crisis and recession ensued, Robertson provided steady leadership that ensured Wharton continued moving forward on a prosperous path. His legacy, as illustrated in our timeline below, is marked by sound financial policy, significant capital improvements, unprecedented fundraising, growth of academic and research programs, focus on innovation, expansion around the globe, enhancement of social impact interest and achievement, greater engagement with alumni and a stronger tie to the University as a whole.

Serving as dean and as Reliance Professor of Management and Private Enterprise represented a homecoming for Robertson. During his first tenure at the School from 1971 to 1994, he was Pomerantz Professor of Marketing and chair of the Marketing Department, as well as associate dean for Executive Education.

Between these two stays at Penn, Robertson held a series of posts at Emory University—most notably, dean of Emory’s Goizueta Business School from 1998 to 2004. From 1994 to 1998, he was Sainsbury Professor, chair of marketing and deputy dean of the London Business School.

A Scotland native raised in Detroit, Robertson will not be saying goodbye to Wharton. He will return to the Marketing Department.

Before he rejoins the faculty, we celebrate some of his accomplishments as dean with this timeline of key campus moments during his seven years.

 

2007-2008

• Appointment of Thomas S. Robertson as the 12th dean of the Wharton School.

Gibbons 2007-8

Appointment of Michael R. Gibbons as deputy dean.

• Launch of international faculty study trips. Initiation of faculty survey to be completed at five-year intervals.

• Institutionalization of the three pillars—Innovation, Globalization and Social Impact—to ensure Wharton remains at the forefront of business education.

• Launch of international faculty study trips. Initiation of faculty survey to be completed at five-year intervals.

 

 

 

2008-2009

 

Harbir Singh

• Teach-ins on the financial crisis.

• Reaffirmation of strong commitments to undergraduate joint degree programs, including Fisher M&T, Vagelos Life Sciences, Huntsman and Nursing.

• Ongoing commitment to globalization: INSEAD, Indian School of Business, Singapore Management University, Peking University and Tsinghua University relationships.

• Creation of Global Initiatives. Prof. Harbir Singh named vice dean (right).

 

 

 

2009-2010

 

Earned “green” distinction for campus renovations, including the Small Business Development Center in Vance Hall, the Leadership Suite in Jon M. Huntsman Hall and the LEED Gold-certified café in Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall.

Earned “green” distinction for campus renovations, including the Small Business Development Center in Vance Hall, the Leadership Suite in Jon M. Huntsman Hall and the LEED Gold-certified café in Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall.

 

• Appointment of the MBA Review Committee, led by Prof. G. Richard Shell.

• Administration of the first-ever staff satisfaction survey.

 

Creation of the Wharton Women Faculty Forum. (Pictured: Monica McGrath, vice dean for Aresty Institute of Executive Education and adjunct assistant professor of management.)

Creation of the Wharton Women Faculty Forum. (Pictured: Monica McGrath, vice dean for Aresty Institute of Executive Education and adjunct assistant professor of management.)

 

• Launch of the undergraduate subconcentration in Social Impact & Responsibility.

• Establishment of regular Staff Town Hall meetings.

 

 

 

2010-2011

 

• Recognition of leadership and innovation in the social sector through the Barry and Marie Lipman Family Prize.

• Merger of Business and Public Policy and Insurance and Risk Management departments to form Business Economics and Public Policy.

•  Establishment of a post-doc program under the aegis of the Wharton Doctoral Programs.

• Start of work on new location for Wharton | San Francisco.

• Creation of Social Impact Initiative. Prof. Len Lodish named first vice dean.

 

Ulrich 2010-11

Creation of Innovation Initiative. Prof. Karl Ulrich named vice dean.

 

• Launch of K@W High School.

Launch of Wharton Digital Press as the successor to Wharton School Publishing.

• Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative founded, thanks to Art Bilger, W’75.

• Wharton faculty approve a new MBA curriculum experience.

• Launch of Wharton Digital Press as the successor to Wharton School Publishing.

• The Jay H. Baker Retailing Center begins.

 

 

 

2011-2012

 

Opening of new San Francisco campus at Hills Brothers Plaza on the Embarcadero.

Opening of new San Francisco campus at Hills Brothers Plaza on the Embarcadero.

 

• Faculty approval of the new Semester in San Francisco program for 60 full-time MBAs interested in tech and startups.

• Establishment of Jacobs Levy Equity Management Center for Quantitative Financial Research.

• Instituted biweekly student satisfaction surveys.

• Launch of Global Modular Courses.

 

Capstone 2011-12

Test-pilot of the Undergraduate Program’s Wharton Senior Capstone simulation.

 

• Moved Wharton UG and MBA Commencement ceremonies from Franklin Field to the Palestra.

• Knowledge for Action branding initiative implemented.

• Premier of Accelerated Development Program in India from Executive Education.

 

LBW 2011-12

Expansion of the Leadership in the Business World summer program for high school students to Wharton | San Francisco.

 

 

 

2012-2013

 

Prof. Katherine Klein becomes vice dean, Social Impact Initiative.

• Prof. Katherine Klein becomes vice dean, Social Impact Initiative (right).

• Increase standing faculty by 9 percent to 230.

• Unveiling of the Lifelong Learning Initiative.

• Penn-Wharton Public Policy Initiative, established by Marc J. Rowan, W’84, WG’85; Marc A. Spilker, W’86; and Diane Isaacs Spilker, W’87.

• Creation of the Mack Institute for Innovation Management.

 

Unveiling of the Wharton-Cisco Connected Classroom.

Unveiling of the Wharton-Cisco Connected Classroom.

 

• Wharton Economic Summit in New York City.

• Tanoto Initiative launched.

• Close of The Campaign for Wharton. Wharton raised $606.8 million, exceeding its goal of $550 million, creating 250 new undergraduate scholarships and 65 graduate fellowships, among other key initiatives.

 

First-ever exclusively EMBA Commencement on the East Coast.

First-ever exclusively EMBA Commencement on the East Coast.

 

• Penn partners as one of four inaugural institutions to join Coursera. Wharton enrolls more than 1 million students.

• Creation of the Penn Wharton China Center.

• Start of Wharton’s new MBA curriculum with the Class of 2014.

 

First year of IDDEAS (Introduction to Diversity in Doctoral Education And Scholarship).

First year of IDDEAS (Introduction to Diversity in Doctoral Education And Scholarship).

 

 

 

2013-2014

 

• New MBA Student Life locations at 2401 Walnut and the Armory.

• Increase in number of female standing faculty from 19 to 21 percent.

 

Increase in percentage of incoming female MBA students from 36.3 percent in 2007-2008 to 42.2 percent in 2013-2014.

Increase in percentage of incoming female MBA students from 36.3 percent in 2007-2008 to 42.2 percent in 2013-2014.

 

• Graduation of largest class in San Francisco— 102 EMBA students.

Launch of SiriusXM partnership “Business Radio Powered by the Wharton School.”

• The 2013 faculty survey shows significant positive changes in satisfaction and culture versus 2008.

• Launch of SiriusXM partnership “Business Radio Powered by the Wharton School.”

• Rise of annual resources from $339 million in FY 2008 to $405 million in FY14.

 

 

 

Wharton Magazine - Background

Type to Search

See all results