University of Delaware President to Head Philly Fed

Had been under fire from campus critics in recent weeks.

Pat Harker | University of Delaware

Pat Harker | University of Delaware

Patrick D. Harker, president of the University of Delaware, is stepping down to become president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. He leaves his current post July 1.

“While I am excited about my new role with the Philadelphia Fed, I will miss working on this beautiful campus with the best students and the most dedicated faculty and staff in American higher education,” Harker said in a statement released to the university community.

Harker had been under fire on campus in recent weeks for a Feb. 5 op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer, in which he called for reforms to the traditional model of university education, to lower rising costs . “The system is teacher-centric,” he wrote then. “We need to become learner-centric.”

“I’ve worked with other presidents and their administrations,” Gerry Turkel, a 38-year veteran of the university and a union executive council member, told the News Journal. “And it’s inconceivable to me that a president of the University of Delaware would put forth an alternative to the education that we offer, and be so dismissive of what he considers to be his faculty.”

Harker made no mention of the controversy in his farewell note, saying instead: “Working with our motivated students, illustrious faculty and dedicated staff has been inspiring, invigorating and unforgettable.”