About the Program

"The time has come to lower the barriers that separate departments and schools. Discipline must reach across to discipline and build bridges of common understanding and shared purpose across all 12 of Penn’s schools and throughout the campus. Only then will we be able to integrate knowledge, thereby allowing us to gain a deeper understanding of our world, to more fully appreciate our common humanity, and to solve the most important and difficult problems of our time.”

- President Amy Gutmann (2005)

penn president amy gutmann

Just months after being inaugurated as Penn’s president in October 2004, Amy Gutmann launched Penn Integrates Knowledge (PIK) with a $10 million anonymous gift. This unprecedented faculty initiative had a bold, ambitious agenda: to recruit to Penn renowned scholars whose work draws from two or more academic disciplines and whose achievements demonstrate a rare ability to thrive at the intersection of multiple fields.

Today, some of the world’s most accomplished and unique interdisciplinary scholars call Penn home. Distinguished by the diversity of their research and teaching, each of these academic pioneers shares two things: a drive to solve complex, real-world problems and a commitment to working across disciplinary boundaries to find solutions. Each day, these masterful collaborators move with ease across schools and departments. As they pursue their path-breaking work, they widen and deepen Penn's rich tradition of cross-disciplinary scholarship and learning.

Related Links

"A Penn Compact," Inaugural Address, October 15, 2004. President Gutmann introduces the Penn Compact and unites the Penn community around its three ambitious goals: increasing access, integrating knowledge, and engaging locally and globally.

"Building Bridges," May/June 2005, Pennsylvania Gazette.  The President makes her case for "integrating knowledge" and calls for "bold leaps of imagination" in finding new ways to bridge traditional academic divides.

Aristotle's Brain: Integrating Knowledge in the 21st Century, Founders Day Symposium, January 18, 2008. President Gutmann moderates a discussion with four PIK professors on the challenges and opportunities of integrating knowledge. 

"Proof of Concept," Sept/Oct 2008, Pennsylvania Gazette. Four years after President Gutmann launched the PIK initiative, Gazette writer Trey Popp examines the program and explores the innovative work of the first six appointees.  

"The Penn Compact 2020," Sept/Oct 2013, Pennsylvania Gazette. With the close of Penn's history-making campaign, President Gutmann's renews her vision for leading Penn through the next decade and beyond. 

ben franklin on the bench