Fuhrman Steps Down as Penn GSE Dean

On May 10, Susan H. Fuhrman was approved as the new president of Teachers College, Columbia University, where she will take office on August 1.

Taking the helm from Arthur E. Levine, she will be the 10th person to hold the position and TC's first female president.

In her 11 years as dean and George and Diane Weiss Professor of Education at Penn GSE, Dr. Fuhrman has had a profound influence on the direction and shape of the School. Almost half of the School's current tenure-line faculty was hired during her tenure, the range of alternative degree and certification programs has grown considerably under her leadership, and she has been a driving force in the School's increased engagement in local urban schools and in international education.

Dr. Fuhrman has led GSE in its efforts to engage with West Philadelphia schools, including the creation of the Penn Alexander School, the collaboration with the Penn Partnership Schools, and the current planning for an international studies high school.

Her expertise in education policy has also played a substantial role in her guidance of the School, most notably through her leadership of the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE). In her time at Penn GSE, CPRE has expanded its considerable research portfolio, which examines the effects of educational policies nationwide, as well as the connections between policy and classroom instruction. CPRE also recently celebrated its 20th anniversary.

Dr. Fuhrman's dedication to rigorous research and practical reform is reflected in the quadrupling of externally funded research at GSE during her tenure and the significant rise in the reputation and visibility of the School. She will now have the opportunity to draw on her experience at Penn GSE as she moves on to lead her graduate alma mater.

University President Amy Gutmann and Provost Ron Daniels have described Dr. Furhman's departure as "a great loss for Penn," but note that she "leaves GSE more vital and relevant than ever before," thanks to a "vigorous pragmatism" and "remarkable ethos of engagement" that has "translated theory into practice in ways rarely seen in education schools."