A John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellow, Conn has also directed National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) seminars for college and high school teachers. He has received several awards for distinguished teaching, and has served as literary consultant on numerous television projects, including "The American Short Story" series, and adaptations of novels by James Baldwin and Saul Bellow.
In 1993, Conn was named visiting professor at the University of Nanjing, in the People's Republic of China.
Conn has served as Dean of the College, chair of the graduate groups in American Civilization and English, and Faculty Master of Robert Hill College House and Community House. Currently, Conn serves as Interim Provost of the University. He is also Board Chairman Emeritus of Pearl S. Buck International.
Peter and his wife Terry have four children: Steven, David, Alison, and Jennifer. Jennifer was adopted through Welcome House, the international adoption agency founded in 1949 by Pearl S. Buck.