An Update to the Penn Community
on Tomorrow, Together 

President M. Elizabeth Magill 
June 28, 2023


What does the world need from Penn? 
How do we cultivate a community that will rise to that challenge?

Last October, I asked our community to explore these questions and envision Penn’s future.  I charged the Red and Blue Advisory Committee of faculty, staff, and student leaders to hear from all corners of our Penn community; to be forward-looking and bold; and to consider where we, together, might take Penn. 

The Committee sought input from across the University and our global alumni, families, and friends.  Committee members held more than forty focused meetings with the University community; facilitated three open forums for students, faculty, and staff; closely read hundreds of comments submitted online; and engaged deeply with all twelve Schools. 

And you responded.  So many of you shared your insights through conversations, emails, and meetings with the Red and Blue Advisory Committee.  At their core, your thoughts centered on how to advance Penn’s excellence across the board: from the transformative Penn student experience to our world-class teaching, research, and clinical care, from our cross-disciplinary strengths to our partnerships both local and global.  I have been inspired by the breadth and depth of the ideas we have heard and by the keen interest in shaping a shared path forward worthy of Penn’s past achievements and future promise. 

The Red and Blue Advisory Committee members, led by Provost John L. Jackson, Jr., collated and condensed all they heard from our Penn community and recently reported their findings to me.  Major themes that emerged included furthering Penn’s interdisciplinary teaching and research; building on Penn’s signature strengths to address pressing challenges such as climate change and global health; and continuing to ensure that we undertake Penn’s academic missions with a clear eye toward improving lives and communities in our great city and across the globe.

With one voice, the Committee has conveyed your thinking.  I’m now considering their work as well as reflecting on my own observations and taking into account the many sources of input I have received in the past twelve months.  Early in the academic year, I will share next steps for shaping a vision for this remarkable institution.

For now, some thanks are in order.  I want to express my great appreciation for the work and dedication of the faculty, staff, and students of the Red and Blue Advisory Committee.  These University citizens took on a considerable task, and they have been unfailingly wise, collaborative, and singularly focused on fulfilling their charge. 

What does the world need from Penn, and how do we cultivate a community that will meet that challenge?  I am grateful that each of you, in all that you do, pursue your own answer to these critical questions every day.  Together, we will create a new vision for Penn’s extraordinary future.  

Thank you all. My best wishes for a restful summer.