Steven Fluharty Named Dean of Penn Arts & Sciences

Steven J. Fluharty, Senior Vice Provost for Research and Professor of Pharmacology, Psychology, and Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania, has been named Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Penn. He will assume the deanship on July 1, 2013, succeeding Rebecca Bushnell, Professor of English, who will return to full-time scholarship and teaching after serving as Dean since January 2005. 

“Steve Fluharty is an award-winning researcher and teacher and a proven leader and administrator with a strong commitment to integrating knowledge across disciplines. He is a proud Penn alumnus with a contagious enthusiasm for the liberal arts and sciences and a proven track record in bringing together faculty, students, alumni, friends, and policymakers to advance Penn’s highest teaching and research priorities,” said Penn President Amy Gutmann. “In conducting a national search for Penn’s next Dean of Arts and Sciences, it became abundantly clear that the candidate best prepared to lead SAS to global preeminence was already here serving with distinction at Penn: Steve Fluharty.”

As Dean of Arts and Sciences, Fluharty will lead a school comprised of nearly 500 standing faculty, organized into 27 academic departments and working in 35 centers and institutes. Through the College of Arts and Sciences, SAS offers some 70 undergraduate majors and teaches undergraduates in each of Penn’s four undergraduate schools. The SAS Graduate Division enrolls 1,400 doctoral candidates in more than 30 doctoral programs. The School also offers 12 professional master’s degree programs and wide-ranging opportunities for continuing liberal and professional studies.

“I am incredibly excited at the opportunity to help lead the School of Arts and Sciences to new heights, building on Rebecca Bushnell’s strong and collaborative leadership,” said Fluharty. “With President Gutmann and Provost Price, I look forward to further strengthening Penn’s already distinguished programs in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences and in deepening connections between SAS and Penn’s professional schools in ways that will help us attract the most talented faculty and students who address the most challenging questions confronting our society.”

Fluharty received all three of his academic degrees from Penn: a B.A. in psychology (summa cum laude) and master’s and doctoral degrees in psychobiology. After postdoctoral work, he joined the Penn Vet faculty in 1986. He served as director of the undergraduate Biological Basis of Behavior Program and as associate director of Penn’s Institute of Neurological Sciences. He was appointed Vice Provost for Research in 2006 and was named Senior Vice Provost in 2010.

“I have had the opportunity to work closely with Steve Fluharty and look forward to building on that strong working relationship as he leads the School of Arts and Sciences,” said Penn Provost Vincent Price. “Steve has been incredibly successful in stewarding Penn’s research program and in strengthening our commitment to interdisciplinary teaching and scholarship. He has also been a tireless advocate and enthusiastic spokesperson for the liberal arts and sciences within the University, with alumni and friends, and in the national and global higher education communities.”

As Senior Vice Provost for Research, Fluharty oversees Penn’s research practices and has responsibility for a number of interdisciplinary research centers and institutes. As a faculty member in Penn’s School of Arts and Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, and the Perelman School of Medicine, he received multiple teaching awards and served for 10 years as the director of a University-wide program project and institutional training grant in behavioral neuroscience. He also has been awarded multiple individual grants from the National Institutes of Health and is the recipient of a number of scientific honors, including the Louis Flexner Prize in Neuroscience and the Beecham Award for Research Excellence. In 1996, he was designated an Astra Merck Scholar by the American Heart Association.

A search for Fluharty’s successor as Vice Provost for Research will get underway this spring, under the direction of Provost Vincent Price.