Nutter apppoints former aide to School Reform Commission

Here's the release:


Philadelphia, September 20, 2011- Mayor Michael A. Nutter has appointed Dr. Wendell E. Pritchett, Chancellor of Rutgers University-Camden, a respected scholar in urban history and an experienced government policy-maker, to the School Reform Commission.

“I am very pleased to appoint someone with the qualifications, the imagination and the commitment to public education of Wendell Pritchett,” said Mayor Nutter. “He has demonstrated real leadership in the areas of education, local government and sustainable community development for many years.”

Since June 2009, Dr. Pritchett has served as chief executive officer of Rutgers University-Camden, reporting directly to the Rutgers President. As a key member of the university’s leadership team, as well as the principal spokesperson for the campus and the university in the region, he oversees approximately 1,000 employees and an annual budget of more than $50 million. In his role, Dr. Pritchett collaborates with organizations to promote the revitalization of Camden and advance the social, economic and cultural development of southern New Jersey and the Delaware Valley.

Previous to his position as chancellor, Dr. Pritchett taught at the University of Pennsylvania law school from 2001-09. As associate dean at Penn Law during 2006-08, he focused on faculty development among other projects. At Penn, Dr. Pritchett was also a member of the faculty of the graduate programs of the School of Design and the history department in the School of Arts and Sciences, and he has led or participated in many university-wide initiatives.

During 2008, Dr. Pritchett served as deputy chief of staff and director of policy for Mayor Nutter. Among other initiatives, he was responsible for writing the city’s Five-Year Plan and Budget, reorganizing the city’s anti-poverty programs, and supervising the operations of the mayor’s office.

“I am honored by this invitation to serve on the School Reform Commission and look forward to working with a committed group of commissioners and educators who are also dedicated to the students in Philadelphia schools,” said Dr. Pritchett. “Education has been a part of my life from my earliest days: my mother is a former Philadelphia school teacher, my father was the Director of Music Programs for the Philadelphia School District, I’ve been a law professor and I now have the honor of serving as Chancellor of Rutgers University-Camden. Education is at the center of the city and region’s economic development and I am very excited to play a role in the growth of highly educated young men and women as they prepare to become a part of our growing economy.”

Over the past 15 years, Dr. Pritchett has held leadership positions in numerous non-profit organizations. He was board chair of Community Legal Services of Philadelphia during 2005-08 and helped expand the organization from an annual budget of $6 million to more than $10 million. Through several positions as an attorney, as well as his current role as president of the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation, vice chair of the Redevelopment Authority of Philadelphia, and member of the Pennsylvania State Planning Board, he has used his extensive experience in policy analysis and development to promote economic opportunity in the Philadelphia region.

“Wendell comes from a family devoted to public education and has become a citizen who has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to that legacy through his work and his own family,” said Chief Education Officer Dr. Lori Shorr. “One needs only to look at where he has chosen to spend his considerable talent and time - teaching history, Chairing the Board of Community Legal Services, leading the Rutgers-Camden campus - to understand who he is and what he values. The city is fortunate that someone of his caliber has answered the Mayor's call to serve and I look forward to working with him.”

Dr. Pritchett resides in the University City section of Philadelphia with his wife, Anne Kringel, senior lecturer and legal writing director at the University of Pennsylvania law school, and their two children, who attend Julia R. Masterman Laboratory and Demonstration School.

The School Reform Commission is the five-member governing body of the School District of Philadelphia. The commission was established in 2001 when control of the district was assumed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Governor of Pennsylvania appoints three of the members, and the Mayor of Philadelphia appoints two members to the commission.