Frederick “Fritz” Steiner’s term as dean of the Stuart Weitzman School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania has been extended two years to June 30, 2025. The announcement was made on October 18, 2021 by Penn President Amy Gutmann and Interim Provost Beth A. Winkelstein.
“As we continue to chart our recovery from the global COVID-19 pandemic,” President Gutmann said, “we are especially pleased to recognize Dean Steiner’s many impressive achievements. Thanks to his strong, far-sighted leadership and collaborative approach, the Weitzman School of Design is perfectly aligned with our Penn Compact vision and is more inclusive, innovative, and impactful than at any point in its history.”
Under Dean Steiner’s leadership, the Weitzman School’s achievements have been significant. The school was renamed in honor of award-winning designer and Wharton School alumnus Stuart Weitzman, who was recognized for his ongoing philanthropic support of the University and the Weitzman School and his extensive and ongoing engagement in the Weitzman School. Also, significant and ongoing increases in financial support for students have been a hallmark of Dean Steiner’s first term, including support from Mr. Weitzman, the Moelis Scholars Program, the Witte-Sakamoto Family Medal and Prize in City and Regional Planning, the Kanter Tritsch Medal and Prize in Architecture, and the Julian Abele Fellowship in Architecture. These investments in financial aid have enabled the Weitzman School to attract more top students in all departments and have greatly increased its student body diversity.
The faculty has been strengthened with the appointment of Lynn Meskell, a Penn Integrates Knowledge University Professor who has an appointment in the Weitzman School, as well as with significant growth in faculty and postdoctoral fellows from backgrounds underrepresented in the design professions and the fine arts.
The Weitzman School’s facilities have also seen considerable progress under Dean Steiner’s leadership, with a new Advanced Research & Innovation (ARI) robotics laboratory and new homes for the Center for Architectural Conservation, the Integrated Product Design program, and new studio spaces for architecture and city and regional planning students. Research facilities have also been created and expanded, including ARI, the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, the Center for Safe Mobility, the Center for the Preservation of Civil Rights Sites, and the Ian L. McHarg Center for Urbanism and Ecology.
“We are confident that, with Dean Steiner’s continued leadership, the Weitzman School of Design will maintain its historic and abiding commitment to creating positive change in Philadelphia and around our nation and the world,” Interim Provost Winkelstein said. “The years to come will present both opportunities and challenges, and we are confident that Dean Steiner is the right person to lead the Weitzman School community in responding to them.”
Steven J. Fluharty, School of Arts and Sciences Dean and Thomas S. Gates, Jr. Professor of Psychology, Pharmacology, and Neuroscience, has announced that Brighid Dwyer will serve as the inaugural Vice Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the School of Arts and Sciences, effective December 6, 2021. She comes to Penn from Princeton University, where she has served as Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion in the Office of the Vice President for Campus Life since 2018.
“The depth of Brighid’s experience makes her an outstanding leader, partner, and guide for our community as we continue to work together to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in our school,” said Dean Fluharty. In this new role, Dr. Dwyer will provide leadership in pursuit of the school’s core commitments to achieving and maintaining excellence through diversity, including those articulated in the SAS Inclusion and Anti-Racism Initiatives published last year. She and the new Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion that she is charged with establishing will serve the entire school community, including faculty, students, postdoctoral fellows, and staff.
“I am thrilled to join the Penn community to support and strengthen the great work already underway. This is a really exciting time to join Penn, as the University and school deepen commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said Dr. Dwyer. “I look forward to learning from my colleagues and creating meaningful partnerships that will positively shape the experiences of students, faculty, staff, and postdoctoral fellows. I am so excited to become a part of this community.”
Dr. Dwyer brings to Penn twenty years of experience as a practitioner, scholar, and teacher addressing issues of equity in higher education. At Princeton, she has worked with a wide range of campus partners to develop and implement strategies and programs that promote an inclusive community. She developed a variety of special curricula and workshops primarily for students, to enhance their learning and capacity to engage in thoughtful dialogue on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as programming to deepen diversity competencies tailored for faculty, students, and staff. She also supervised Princeton’s Women’s Center and LGBT Center. Before coming to Princeton, Dr. Dwyer served at Villanova University, where she was director of the Program on Intergroup Relations and assistant director of the Center for Multicultural Affairs.
Since 2018, Dr. Dwyer has also served as a faculty affiliate and curriculum developer at the Race and Equity Center and Equity Institutes at the University of Southern California. At Villanova, she was an assistant professor in the departments of education and counseling and communication and an adjunct faculty member in those departments and the Center for Peace and Justice Education and College of Professional Studies. She has also taught at Delaware County Community College in the public service and social science divisions.
Dr. Dwyer is Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Difficult Dialogues National Resource Center. She received her undergraduate degree in sociology from UCLA and a Ph.D. from the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at the University of Michigan.
On October 19, 2021, the University of Pennsylvania announced a $2.6 million gift from the Moh Foundation that will be used to enhance academic support, disability services, and tutoring at the Weingarten Center.
The Moh Foundation Integrated Learning Care Initiative gift will directly impact Penn students by providing support for innovative, cross-campus collaborations; state-of-the-art space for accommodations and learning; and reimagined services that benefit every student on campus.
“This gift is reflective of the Moh Foundation’s deep awareness of the greatest needs of our students,” said Mamta Accapadi, Penn’s Vice Provost for University Life. “Peggy Moh’s mentorship and advocacy, along with the generosity of the Moh Foundation, are great acts of love in service of justice and tenderness for Penn students.”
This landmark gift from the Moh Foundation will provide new resources that will enable the Weingarten Center to better support the academic experience of every Penn scholar, especially those with unique learning needs.
“With a shared interest in promoting equity and inclusion, our foundation was committed to funding Penn’s most urgent priorities around accessibility and support services for students with disabilities,” said Peggy Moh, PAR’20 ‘22, president of…
Read More:Volume 68 Number 11