Penn Grad Students Race to Unionize

GET-UP members rally on Penn’s campus on May 9th. Photo courtesy of GET-UP

Graduate teaching and research assistants attempting to organize a labor union at the University of Pennsylvania filed a petition for a recognition election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on May 30th, hoping that the vote can be completed and certified before President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans can reverse a less-than-a-year-old ruling that granted them the right to do so. Read more »

Guess How Much Penn President Amy Gutmann Makes Now

University of Pennsylvania president Amy Gutmann made more than $3.5 million in 2015.

According to Internal Revenue Service records filed by Penn (and obtained by the student-run Daily Pennsylvanian), Gutmann received $3,537,020 in 2015 – reflecting a 6 percent salary increase compared to 2014, when The Chronicle of Higher Education found Gutmann to be the fourth highest-paid university president in the country.  Read more »

Penn Student Sustains Brain Injury After Falling From Campus Building


The Riepe College House via iStock/f11photo

A rising sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania suffered a traumatic brain injury after falling 25 to 30 feet from a campus building earlier this month.

According to the student-run Daily Pennsylvanian, Mason Mings, an engineering and Wharton student, fell from the second story of the Riepe College House, located at 310 S. 36th Street, on May 11th.  Read more »

Here’s Why Brookings Thinks Philly’s Innovation Scene Isn’t Competitive Enough

code orange | f11photo

A new report released on Thursday by the nonprofit Brookings Institution tries to tackle a major, eternally looming question for Philadelphia: With all of the city’s recent advancements in innovation, why isn’t Philadelphia more competitive on the national and global stage?

The answer: Philly leaders and institutions lack “a sense of collective urgency” to help the city intentionally connect the dots on how to best leverage its innovation capacity.

The report examined what it calls Philadelphia’s “innovation district” the area from 17th Street in Center City to 44th Street along Market in University City and South along the Schuylkill River to Grays Ferry and determined that this region, home to anchor firms and institutions like CHOP, FMC, the Science Center, Drexel, Penn, Comcast, IBX, and PECO, can be further developed and more interconnected to push Philly past its innovation tipping point.

Philadelphia’s Innovation District. Courtesy of Brookings.

But before the authors prescribed their recommendations on how to bridge the innovation district’s gaps, they took a deep dive into what continues to ail the district and also what keeps it alive. Here are the strengths and challenges identified in the report:  Read more »

White Supremacist Flyers Found on Temple’s Campus

Temple University Bell Tower. Photo | Rob DiRienzo

Flyers promoting white nationalism have been discovered on Temple University’s campus – for the second time in the last two months.

The flyers promoted the “skinhead” organization Keystone United, which the Southern Poverty Law Center characterizes as an “Active White Nationalist Hate Group.” The group is one of six hate groups operating in Philadelphia, according to the SPLC.  Read more »

Penn Unveils Plans for $1.5 Billion “Hospital of the Future” in University City

Penn Hospital's Pavilion. Rendering courtesy of Penn Hospital.

Penn Hospital’s Pavilion. Rendering courtesy of Penn Hospital.

In 2021, Philadelphia’s hospital landscape will look dramatically different with the introduction of a brand new hospital. The University of Pennsylvania announced on Wednesday plans to erect “The Pavilion,” a $1.5 billion hospital on Penn Medicine’s West Philadelphia campus.

Read more »

Penn Selects Wendell Pritchett As Provost


The University of Pennsylvania has selected law professor and urban policy and race relations scholar Wendell Pritchett as its 30th provost.

Pritchett, a longtime Penn faculty member, served as the interim dean of the law school between 2014-15, shortly after completing a chancellorship at Rutgers-Camden between 2009-14.  Read more »

Penn Is the Nation’s Sixth Best School for Tech Transfer, Report Finds

The Pennovation Center. | Photo: © Michael Moran via HWKN

The Pennovation Center. | Photo: © Michael Moran via HWKN

Last week, the Milken Institute, a California think tank, released a new report that ranks more than 200 universities across the country according to “technology transfer,” a school’s ability to turn its research into actual products or research-driven startups.

The report “Concept to Commercialization: The Best Universities for Technology Transfer” ranked the University of Pennsylvania as the sixth best university in the nation for technology transfer, up from 12th in 2006. In other words, Penn does a great job of turning its research into revenue, tangible products and actual jobs.

The research institutions were evaluated through an index of four key indicators: patents issued, licenses issued, licensing income, and startups formed. The report also looked at each institution’s total research funding.

Penn’s indexed score in the study was 95.39, and the school’s consistent performance across all indicators is what contributed to its high placement, the authors wrote. And a recent reorganization at the school streamlined its tech transfer efforts. In 2014, the Penn Center for Innovation consolidated Penn’s technology transfer office and other programs relating to commercialization and startups.  Read more »

Penn Condemns Neo-Nazi Flyers Posted on Campus

Penn campus

Officials at the University of Pennsylvania have denounced the messages of several neo-Nazi flyers seen littering the school’s campus.

Images of the posters, which read “How is a diploma going to help you in the race war?” and “Join your local Nazis,” spread on social media.

In an email sent to the Penn community yesterday, school officials said the flyers “appear to have been circulated by off-campus groups known to be bent on sowing fear and discord, and targeting campuses within our region and nationwide.”

According to the student-run Daily Pennsylvanian, a Twitter user who regularly posts alt-right and racist propaganda has claimed responsibility for the flyers.

Here’s the full statement from Penn officials:

“This past weekend, some neo-Nazi flyers were found posted at several locations in the vicinity of campus. These appear to have been circulated by off-campus groups known to be bent on sowing fear and discord, and targeting campuses within our region and nationwide.

Although the flyers in question are no longer posted, we think it important to take this opportunity to remind the community of our shared conviction that hatred and fear-mongering have no place at Penn.

Our University strives to be a place that is safe and welcoming for all students, faculty and staff. Expressing hate or animus for any group of individuals is vile and reprehensible. We underscore our commitment to a supportive, respectful, diverse and open campus, and we encourage the exercise of free expression rights to counter misguided hate with stronger words of truth and mutual respect. We also encourage anyone who is troubled or in need of support to reach out for help. Please know that Penn stands with you, and any of the offices below can provide you with assistance and guidance.”

In November, Penn officials responded similarly when, shortly after the election, three students at the University of Oklahoma sent disturbing online messages to black freshman at the university.

Follow @ClaireSasko on Twitter.

John Legend Teams With Penn on Criminal Justice Reform

Photo courtesy of


Ten-time Grammy award-winning artist and University of Pennsylvania alum John Legend is joining the advisory board of the Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice at Penn Law.

“I am thrilled to be working with my alma mater on critical issues facing our criminal justice system,” Legend said in a release. “The Quattrone Center brings together insights from different disciplines and focuses on the tangible results of reform. I look forward to joining them in these significant efforts.” Read more »

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