Good News On The Job Front For JDs?


Wendell Pritchett Named Interim Dean of Penn Law

Talk about some big shoes to fill!
This week, Wendell Pritchett was named interim dean of the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He replaces Michael Fitts, who was named president of Tulane University.
Dr. Pritchett is crossing the Delaware River for this appointment. He currently serves as the chancellor for Rutgers University-Camden, where he oversees 6,800 students, 1,100 employees, and a $60 million dollar annual budget. Prior to joining Rutgers in 2009, Dr. Pritchett served as a faculty member and Associate Dean at Penn Law, where he also earned a Ph.D. in history.
In a press release, Vincent Price, Penn Provost, touted Dr. Pritchett’s leadership abilities and deep ties to the university. “Wendell’s extensive experience as an academic leader and administrator, his expertise in urban policy and education, and his familiarity with the realities and dynamics of government make him the ideal interim leader of Penn Law. His leadership will benefit both Penn Law and the entire University.”
Dr. Pritchett, who earned his J.D. at Yale, has been heavily involved in Philadelphia area civic initiatives. In 2008, he acted as Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Policy for Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter.  He currently serves as President of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU); the Commissioner of the Philadelphia School Reform Commission; and the Co-Chair of the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia/World Class Greater Philadelphia Initiative.
At Rutgers-Camden, Dr. Pritchett spearheaded the construction of a new 350-bed student dorm and a nursing and science building. He also launched an Office of Civic Engagement, to beef up community service learning in the school’s curriculum. In September, Dr. Pritchett had resigned his chancellor post effective this summer to return to teaching.
Aside from serving as interim dean at Penn Law, Dr. Pritchett will teach courses in property law and education policy. The school is expected to conduct a search for his replacement into the 2014-2015 school year. Dr. Pritchett is not a candidate to be the permanent dean.
Dr. Pritchett follows Michael Fitts as dean. During his 13 years at the helm, Fitts overhauled the school’s curriculum to better integrate interdisciplinary learning. His fund-raising raked in over $200 million dollars in gifts to the school, which helped support the completion of Golkin Hall and a renovation of other law buildings. In addition, Penn Law witnessed a 78 percent increase in applications during his tenure, along with rising to #7 overall in the U.S. News and World Report rankings.
Source: University of Pennsylvania,, Philadelphia Business Journal

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