Two Women Presidents of Philadelphia Educational Institutions Get Contract Extensions

The board of trustees of the University of Pennsylvania has added three years to the contract of President Amy Gutmann. Dr. Gutmann will now serve as president of the university through June 30, 2022. If she serves until that date, Dr. Gutmann will be the longest-serving president in the history of the University of Pennsylvania.

In announcing the contract extension, David L. Cohen, chair of the board of trustees, said “the selection of Amy Gutmann as Penn’s president has proven to be one of the best decisions ever made in American higher education. We believe Amy is the best university president in the country.”

Dr. Gutmann became president of the University of Pennsylvania in 2004. She also serves as the Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Penn. Prior to coming to Penn, Dr. Gutmann was provost at Princeton University.

Dr. Gutmann holds a bachelor’s degree and a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University. She earned a master’s degree from the London School of Economics.

Carol Jean Vale, president of Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia for the last quarter century, had her contract extended for another five years. Sister Vale, now 71 years old, is the longest-serving college president in the Philadelphia area. She is a member of the college’s founding order, the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Philadelphia.

Chestnut Hill College enrolls about 1,450 undergraduate students and 500 graduate students. Women make up 67 percent of the undergraduate student body.  Chestnut Hill College was a women’s college when President Vale first took office. It went co-educational in 2003 and has since seen its enrollment double.

President Vale is a graduate of Chestnut Hill College, with a bachelor’s degree in English. She earned a master’s degree in theology and a Ph.D. in historical theology from Fordham University in New York.

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