John Fry

Drexel University President's Blog

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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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Drexel to Aid in Preserving City History

We hope to play an important and constructive role in saving the city’s History Museum collection, making it more accessible to the public and safeguarding it for future generations. My commentary article in The Inquirer outlines are plans.

Welcoming Nursing, Health Professions Academic Home to Drexel’s University City Campus

A transformational development will rise on the Drexel campus over the next several years, providing a new home for two high-performing and innovative West Philadelphia public schools, and bringing the College of Nursing and Health Professions from Center City to University City.

I’m pleased to announce that Drexel has entered into an agreement with developer Wexford Science & Technology, LLC for the design and construction of two buildings on the former University City High School site, on the western end of the University City campus at 36th and Filbert streets, with financing provided by Ventas, Inc. These two projects will bring more dynamism to our campus and further connect us with our neighboring community.

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Medical Education Leader for Changing Times

The rich history and broad excellence of the Drexel University College of Medicine has been pivotal to Drexel’s success as a research university. Given the seismic changes confronting medical education, it is important to ensure the College of Medicine’s next leader has experience as a dean as well as a strong track record managing new clinical partnerships.

I am pleased to announce that Charles B. Cairns, MD, FACEP, FAHA, will become the next Annenberg Dean and Senior Vice President of the College of Medicine. Dr. Cairns will succeed Daniel V. Schidlow, MD, who announced last year that he planned to retire this summer.

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