An item reported in this morning’s Politico Playbook newsletter probably won’t be welcome news in Newark, if it is true. According to the report – and confirming whispers TSD has picked up on over the last several weeks – Vice President Joe Biden is looking to establish an office at the University of Pennsylvania after he leaves office in January.
That would be a blow to the University of Delaware, which had hoped to provide an operational home to the vice president and his staff for the public policy and cancer research-related activity Biden is expected to pursue. In fact, at the December 7 swearing in ceremony for new UD president Dennis Assanis, which UD graduate Biden attended and spoke at, the News Journal reported that “Assanis hinted that UD might name its school of public policy and administration after Biden.”
The Politico report says Biden “will set up shop at the University of Pennsylvania after he leaves the White House. Biden has hinted that he’s in search of a university to house his staff and his post-government work. (Biden’s spokesperson Meghan Dubyak declined to comment.)
A UD-Biden school is certainly still possible, and if the vice president does set up an office at the Philadelphia school it most likely could be tied to the work he has said will take up the great majority of his focus: a ‘moonshot’ to cure cancer. Penn has one of the world’s leading medical schools and robust efforts across multiple areas of innovative cancer research. The Ivy League university is also the alma mater of Biden’s late son Beau, the former Attorney General who passed away from brain cancer in 2015.