Skip to main content

Penn Today speaks with Penn’s Interim President Wendell Pritchett

February 23, 2022

Pritchett will serve as Penn’s Interim President until Liz Magill takes the helm July 1.

Wendell Pritchett is Penn’s Interim President and the James S. Riepe Presidential Professor of Law and Education at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School. He previously served as provost at Penn from July 1, 2017, through July 1, 2021. He first joined the Law School faculty in 2002 and served as Interim Dean and Presidential Professor from 2014-15 and as associate dean for academic affairs from 2006-07.

The following is an excerpt from Pritchett’s recent conversation with Penn Today:

For Wendell Pritchett, Penn is close to synonymous with home. He not only has served admirably as a professor, dean, and provost on campus, he is also a proud Penn alumnus and grew up nearby.

“I’ve been connected to Penn my whole life,” Pritchett says. “I learned how to ice skate at the Penn Ice Rink, I learned how to play tennis at the Levy tennis courts, I learned how to play basketball at Gimbel gym—that’s what it used to be called. I took my SATs and GREs at David Rittenhouse Labs. The list goes on.”

Now, Pritchett has been named the University’s interim president, a job he assumed after Amy Gutmann departed for her new responsibility as U.S. ambassador to Germany. He will serve in Penn’s top position until Liz Magill takes the helm July 1.

“All of us who care about Penn are pleased and grateful that Wendell Pritchett has agreed to fill this important role for our University,” says Trustees Chair Scott Bok. “He knows the issues, he knows the people, and he has a deep understanding of Penn’s values and priorities.”

Pritchett, always open and willing to connect, carved out time recently to chat with Penn Today. We discussed a bit about his background, his goals as interim president, what he is looking forward to most this spring semester, and more.

Read more at Penn Today.