A Statement to the Penn Engineering Community from Dean Vijay Kumar

As we approach the end of the 2023 fall semester and prepare to embark on a well-deserved winter break, I want to take a moment to address our community with a spirit of optimism and unity.

As you are all aware, Penn is now under the leadership of Interim President J. Larry Jameson. As he said in his December 12 statement to the Penn Community, all of us firmly believe “every person at Penn should feel safe and be secure in the knowledge that hate has no home here.” 

At Penn Engineering, our shared purpose is unwavering: to recruit and nurture the best and brightest among us to develop and harness technology and knowledge to better our world. We welcome expert and aspiring engineers from around the globe and provide the ideal setting to learn, create and collaborate. For some students and trainees on our campus, this is perhaps the first and only time where they will be exposed to such a vibrant breadth of expertise, resources and multicultural perspectives. It is an unparalleled opportunity. 

The events of the past weeks at Penn do not change this. Nor do they change our values or our mission as a School. 

In any community, challenges and differences may arise, but it is essential that we maintain an environment where everyone feels safe, enabling the freedom to learn, question, explore and innovate. Tolerance and respect are the cornerstones of such an environment.

I want to assure you that I have been listening to all who have reached out with concerns over the last 3 months, and I welcome continued feedback as, together, we work toward upholding the mission and values of Penn Engineering.

I wish each of you a restful winter break and look forward to all that is to come for Penn Engineering in the New Year.

Vijay Kumar
Professor and Nemirovsky Family Dean
Penn Engineering