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Patrick Harker elected UD’s 26th president

University President David P. Roselle (right), welcomes Patrick T. Harker to the University of Delaware at the news conference announcing Harker’s selection as UD’s 26th president.
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Editor's note: This article was updated at 6 p.m., Dec. 1.

2:39 p.m., Dec. 1, 2006--The Executive Committee of the University of Delaware Board of Trustees has voted to elect Patrick T. Harker, dean of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, to serve as the 26th president of the University of Delaware. The report of the actions of the Executive Committee will be received by the full Board at its meeting on Dec. 11.

Howard E. Cosgrove, chairman of the University's Board of Trustees, made the announcement at a news conference today, and it was greeted with applause. Harker will take office on July 1, 2007.

Harker, 48, will succeed David P. Roselle, who has served as president of the University since 1990. Roselle announced his intention to step down as president at the spring meeting of the Board of Trustees last May.

"Patrick T. Harker has an excellent combination of experience and skills to lead the University of Delaware forward," Cosgrove said. "Dr. Harker has served splendidly as dean of one of the world's most admired business schools, which in turn is a vital part of one of America's premier universities. He has managed with foresight, creativity and innovation, expanding the reach of the Wharton School across the country and around the world, and those traits will serve him well as he leads this University into the future.

Howard E. Cosgrove (left), chairman of the Board of Trustees, Roselle and Harker field questions from the media.
"The University of Delaware is greatly indebted to David and Louise Roselle, whose service to the institution and the state has been nothing short of spectacular," Cosgrove said. "Dr. Roselle has transformed the University in its entirety, from the student body to the faculty to the facilities, which today are without peer.

"We believe Dr. Harker is the best person to carry forward and expand on this legacy of achievement. He is a man of vision, enthusiasm and commitment, and we very much look forward to his arrival on campus next summer."

"I am thrilled and honored to be chosen as the next president of the University of Delaware," Harker said. "I am deeply impressed by the entrepreneurial energy and commitment to excellence that is found throughout the UD community. Under President Roselle's leadership, UD has built a legacy of innovation, and I intend to carry that mission forward, expanding on the University's impact on the state, and on the nation. My family and I are looking forward to becoming a part of this vibrant community."

"I am delighted by the selection of Dr. Harker as the University's next president," Roselle said. "Given the leadership of Pat and Emily Harker, I am confident that greater achievements and bigger successes lie in the institution's future. Their credentials, energy and commitment will help our students, staff, faculty and those they serve to reach their goals and realize their full potential.”

At the news conference, Harker said, “I actually look forward to meeting the people at the University of Delaware as we start to talk about what the next phase at the University will be as we begin to develop the next agenda at UD.

“I actually don't know what that is at this phase, but I do know one thing, that the new agenda and the new approach that the University of Delaware will take will be built on an incredibly solid foundation.

“The theme of that new purpose will continue to emphasize students--the impact that we have on the young men and women who come here to study every day; the impact we have on our alumni community; and the impact we have on our top leadership, in dealing with the difficult problems we face as a society and the opportunity we have to advance not only the state but the nation as a whole.”

Asked about his interest in athletics, Harker said, “I was recruited many years ago by Tubby Raymond, and I ended up playing football for Harry Gamble at Penn, so athletics are really involved in my life. My children are involved in athletics. The medium of athletics is a wonderful way to develop leadership. Athletics is not the only way, but it is one of the key ways to develop leadership. Learning about life and yourself does not just happen in the classroom.”

The nationwide search for a new president was led by a 15-member search committee, chaired by trustees Robert A. Fischer Jr., vice chairman of the board and a 1970 UD graduate, and A. Gilchrist Sparks III. The committee included trustees, alumni, faculty and professional and salaried staff. To assist in the search, the Board of Trustees also retained a leading higher education search consultant, R. William Funk of R. William Funk & Associates.

Harker has served as dean and Reliance Professor and professor of operations and information management at the Wharton School since 2000. The Wharton School, one of the world's leading schools of business, has more than 300 faculty members, 4,600 undergraduate and graduate students, 9,000 executive education participants and more than 82,000 alumni in 137 countries around the world. Wharton's budget exceeds $270 million annually, and its endowment is more than $600 million.

At Wharton, Harker led one of the largest fundraising campaigns of any business school in the world, raising more than $450 million over five years. In addition, he created Wharton West, a San Francisco-based campus, and the Wharton/INSEAD Alliance with the leading non-U.S. based business school. A proponent of the use of technology in education, Harker led the development of two innovative initiatives--Knowledge @ Wharton, a biweekly electronic newsletter with more than half a million subscribers, and Wharton School Publishing, a premier book publishing company in partnership with Pearson Education Ltd.

Harker also holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Management and the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Science and is a senior fellow at the Wharton Financial Institutions Center.

His research interests include service operations management and economics, financial services operations and technology, nonprofit management and operations research methodology.

A member of the Wharton faculty since 1984, he has served in several positions, including UPS Transportation Professor for the Private Sector, director of the Fishman-Davidson Center for the Study of the Service Sector and coordinator of the Decision Sciences Ph.D. Program. He is the youngest faculty member in the history of the Wharton School to be awarded an endowed professorship.

Before joining the Wharton School, he taught at the University of California at Santa Barbara and was an engineer at Louis T. Klauder & Associates in Philadelphia.

Patrick and Emily Harker accept congratulations from Kenneth Lewis (left), Chaplin Tyler Professor of Economics, and Donald L. Sparks, S. Hallock du Pont Chair of Plant and Soil Sciences and chairperson of the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences.

Harker holds four degrees from the University of Pennsylvania: bachelor's and master's degrees in civil and urban engineering, a master's degree in economics and a Ph.D. in civil engineering.

Among his many honors, Harker was named an ISI Highly Cited Researcher in 2004, was named one of 16 White House Fellows in 1991 where he served as a special assistant to the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and was selected a Presidential Young Investigator by the National Science Foundation in 1986.

He has published five books and more than 80 professional articles, and served as editor-in-chief of Operations Research, the leading journal in the field, from 1996-99.

A trustee of Goldman Sachs Trust and Goldman Sachs Variable Insurance Trust, he is a member of the Board of Managers of Goldman Sachs Hedge Fund Partners Registered Fund LLC, a member of the advisory board of Juniper Bank, chair of the Advisory Board of Traffic.com Inc. and a member of the Board of Advisers of Decision Lens Inc.

In the area of community service, he is a member of the Diocesan Finance Council of the Diocese of Camden, N.J., and is a founding member of the Board of Directors of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management.

He is married to the former Emily Grace Saaty, and they have three children: Thomas Patrick, Michael Francis and Meghan Emma.

Photos by Kathy F. Atkinson

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