John Fry

Drexel University President's Blog

A Pledge to Address Systemic and Institutional Racism

Drexel University stands with a nation rising in anger at the senseless deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, and too many other Black individuals. The protests and demonstrations in Philadelphia and nationwide speak to the anger, pain, frustration, and fear felt in the Black community and increasingly understood by Americans of all races. I share in the calls for action: for a serious dialogue about systemic racism, a full accounting of the way institutional racism has affected all aspects of our society, and a clear action agenda that begins to change both policy and practice across this country. 

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Readying Drexel’s Return to Campus for September

As we continue to confront the challenges of a global pandemic and act with renewed urgency to redress racial inequalities at our University and in the wider society, this extraordinary moment calls for creative and innovative approaches to academic and student life in an environment that fosters a safe and healthy community, founded upon mutual understanding and an appreciation of the uniqueness of each and every individual.

Our plan to return to campus on September 21 to start our new academic year embodies this approach.

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Drexel’s Response to the Financial Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic

As the University has taken unprecedented measures over the past several weeks to continue its mission of teaching, research and service while ensuring the health and safety of everyone in the Drexel community, all of us have been anxious about the financial impact on Drexel of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently, I shared my assessment of where we stand, the hurdles and uncertainties that remain, and the plans we are formulating to keep the University on strong financial footing.

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Data-driven Research Expert Sharpened Drexel Policy Decisions

Mark Freeman has done more than anyone to sharpen Drexel University’s forecasting and decision-making through the use of data-driven research. And so, it is bittersweet news that Mark is leaving Drexel to take a senior position at The Common Application, the Arlington, Va.-based nonprofit firm best known for processing college and university applications.

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Joining the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank Board

It’s a distinct honor for me to be appointed to the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, and I look forward to working with my new colleagues on the board, as well as Patrick T. Harker, president and CEO. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia plays a critical role in the regional economy, both as a watchdog and keen observer of economic conditions. Congratulations also to another new board member, Christopher Maher, chairman, president, and CEO of OceanFirst Corporation and OceanFirst Bank, and to Phoebe Haddon, chancellor of Rutgers University–Camden, and Madeline Bell, president and CEO of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, whose appointments were renewed effective this month.

Strengthening Our Engagement with Corporate and Nonprofit Partners

As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Drexel co-op, the University, through the Drexel Solutions Institute, is already exploring how co-op will be reimagined over the next 100 years. The Solutions Institute has become the new gateway for industry partnerships — connecting Drexel’s 1,600 co-op employers, as well as other businesses and nonprofits, to Drexel student talent, faculty expertise and world-class resources. Continue reading

Preparing Students for Jobs That Don’t Yet Exist

I spoke about the future of work at the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank’s conference hosted by Drexel University.

Given the pace of change taking place throughout the world and in our regional economy, it’s fair to say the Future of Work is a consuming topic that all civic leaders are wrestling with.

One question is how to prepare students today for jobs that don’t yet exist.

As president of one of Philadelphia’s anchor institutions, this is an issue that is of paramount concern.

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‘Facing the Seminal Challenges’ in Philadelphia

I sat down recently for a brief chat with The Drexel InterView host Paula Marantz Cohen, where we discussed civic engagement as a strategy to address Philadelphia’s most pressing problems. Here’s the interview.

One Foot in the World, One in the Halls of Learning

In my remarks this morning at Convocation, I shared my excitement at the start of the new academic year, as well as the 100th anniversary of the Drexel Co-op program.

All around us on campus this morning, there are thousands of new and returning students, some beginning their university careers, others stepping into new professional or graduate training. Some have traveled across town to be here, others have come from around the world. This is their time and I know that we are just as excited as they are to experience the start of the new academic year at Drexel.

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Building on Success for the New Academic Year

As this new academic year begins, we can look back, ahead, and around us with deep pride and appreciation. We have much to celebrate — the launch of the 100th anniversary of the Drexel Co-op program, the continuing brilliance of our faculty, new additions to the University City campus, and the arrival of a high-achieving class of first-year students.

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