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Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

John Harvard's Journal

Brevia

July-August 2007

Radcliffe Institute Interim Dean

Rose Lincoln / Harvard News Office

Barbara J. Grosz

Higgins professor of natural sciences Barbara J. Grosz, a computer scientist, has been named interim dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. She succeeds Drew Gilpin Faust, who became president of Harvard effective July 1. Grosz has been deeply involved in the Radcliffe Institute since September 2001, when she became dean of science—recruiting fellows from scientific disciplines, arranging for them to continue laboratory work as necessary, and building relationships with researchers throughout Harvard.

Mass Hall Moves

Massachusetts Hall, home both to Harvard's president during working hours and, on its upper floors, dorm rooms for 18 to 24 freshmen, was sold by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences to the University?s central administration a year ago. The sale had long been rumored; the president?s immediate staff is shoehorned into the office space, and the provost's and vice presidents? staffs are housed in Holyoke Center. It is unknown whether the upper-floor space will be renovated into offices, as was planned a couple of years ago; for now, according to Harvard College dean Benedict H. Gross, the plan is to use the student rooms for upperclassmen or for temporary residential swing space. The days of housing the president below freshmen, however, are apparently over.

Science across the Schools

The Corporation has approved creating a new department of developmental and regenerative biology, the first academic department based in more than one of the University’s schools. The venture, joining personnel from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) and Harvard Medical School (HMS), is the initial result of the University’s interdisciplinary science-planning efforts (see “For Science and Engineering, New Life,” March-April, page 65). The new department (an institutional home for the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, with the power to make faculty appointments and with teaching responsibilities) is co-chaired by Cabot professor of the natural sciences Douglas Melton and Jordan professor of medicine David Scadden. It is expected to be based in the first new Harvard science building in Allston. Separately, President Derek Bok appointed the members of the Harvard University Science and Engineering Committee, the oversight and administrative body endorsed and funded by the Corporation in January; it is chaired by Provost Steven E. Hyman and includes the deans of FAS, HMS, and the schools of public health and of engineering and applied sciences; the Radcliffe Institute’s dean of science; several faculty members; and representatives from five Harvard-affiliated hospitals and medical research centers. Neurobiologist Kathleen Buckley, associate provost for science, assumes added responsibility as director of academic affairs for interdisciplinary science. Finan-cial manager Russ Porter, who had been executive director of FAS’s life-sciences division, becomes associate provost and director of administration for the interdis-ciplinary initiatives.

Private-Public Partnership


Justin Ide / Harvard News Office

Douglas Melton

Justin Ide / Harvard News Office

David Scadden

Stephanie Mitchell / Harvard News Office

Kathleen Buckley

 

Stephanie Mitchell / Harvard News Office

Russ Porter

Harvard Business School and the Kennedy School of Government have created an integrated three-year master’s-degree program. Students will earn a master of business administration/master of public policy (M.B.A./M.P.P.) degree or an M.B.A./master in public administration-international development (M.P.A.-I.D.) degree. Applicants for the program, which will enroll students in the fall of 2008, must be admitted to both schools. They will complete each school’s required core curriculum during their initial two years of study, and then assemble a third year from electives plus two new integrative courses focusing on business-government collaboration. The initiative succeeds a program under which students could earn separate degrees concurrently from the two schools.

Global Health s Gates Connection

Christopher Murray, founding director of the Harvard Initiative for Global Health (see “Global Health Aims HIGH,” January-February 2005, page 61), has decamped for the University of Washington. Murray, former Saltonstall professor of population policy and professor of social medicine, had hoped his research—which is focused on the efficacy of health programs—would be funded by an anticipated gift of $100 million or more from Oracle Corporation chief executive Lawrence J. Ellison. Those funds were not forthcoming. Now a $105-million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—the principal philanthropic funding source for global-health programs—will help create the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which Murray will direct.

Summers s Settlement

The University disclosed in its annual filing as a tax-exempt organization that as part of his settlement upon resignation as president last year, Lawrence H. Summers, now Eliot University Professor, received a 20-year, $1-million loan toward the purchase of his new home in Brookline. The loan requires no payments until August 2010, payments of interest only from then until August 2014, and then of principal and interest. He also received a one-year paid sabbatical, “future salary supplements totalling less than one year’s salary” when he resigned, and reimbursement for legal, moving, and miscellaneous expenses.


Nota Bene

Aesthetics and economics. The little-used ground-floor economics library in Littauer Center closed in June, and will emerge as the (long-term) temporary home of the fine-arts library. That collection is being displaced as part of the preparations to renovate the Fogg Art Museum-Busch-Reisinger complex, a multiyear project scheduled to begin in 2008.

Photograph by Tony Rinaldo

James R. Houghton

Photograph by Tony Rinaldo

Maisie Kinnicutt Houghton

Pro arte. James R. Houghton 58, M.B.A. 62, Senior Fellow of the Harvard Corporation, and his wife, Maisie Kinnicutt Houghton ’62, have endowed the Harvard University Art Museum’s curatorship of contemporary art; James Houghton is chair of the Metropolitan Museum of Art board, and a trustee of the Pierpont Morgan Library. Separately, David Rockefeller, S.B. ’36, LL.D. ’69, established the new Abby Aldrich Rockefeller curatorship of Asian art, reflecting appreciation in the endowment he created 50 years ago to create a professorship in honor of his mother, who was deeply involved in the Museum of Modern Art from its inception—a tradition that he has continued.

Strike season. Perhaps emulating hunger strikers at Stanford and the University of Vermont, Harvard students conducted a nine-day end-of-term hunger strike in support of security guards, represented by the Service Employees International Union, who were in contract negotiations with AlliedBarton, an outside contractor. Two students were hospitalized for low sodium levels. The University restated its policy that contractors must satisfy compensation parity standards established in 2001, and agreed to audit the company’s compliance, but declined to weigh in on the negotiations. Other protests during the spring resulted in the arrest by Harvard police of four students who interrupted a speech by FBI director Robert S. Mueller III at the Kennedy School—charges were dropped at the University’s request—and a show of opposition to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, J.D. ’82, during his twenty-fifth Harvard Law School reunion. It was followed by a letter critical of his administration signed by 56 classmates and published in the Washington Post.

Literary link, mind measure. The Faculty of Arts and Sciences voted on April 10 to discontinue the standing committee on degrees in literature and to merge it into the department of comparative literature, under the new name of literature and comparative literature. Undergraduate degrees will continue to be awarded in literature, and graduate degrees in comparative literature. On May 1, the faculty approved changing the Mind/Brain/Behavior program from an interdisciplinary committee to a full-fledged instructional committee offering its own courses.

Miscellany. Enel, an Italian energy company, has endowed the environmental economics program at the Kennedy School of Government with a $5-million gift.…As of mid May, nearly 80 percent of applicants offered admission to the College class of 2011 had accepted, comparable to the prior year’s result; women continue to outnumber men, 826 to 804.…Final agreement has been reached to return to the Danilov Monastery in Moscow the bells now hanging in the Lowell House tower, in return for newly cast replicas (see “Bell Swap,” November-December 2006, page 88); the exchange is expected to be effected in the summer of 2008.…Bass professor of English and American literature and language Louis Menand will be one of 15 fellows at the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers during the 2007-2008 academic year.…U.S. News & World Report ranked Harvard Business School the best graduate business program; Harvard Medical School the best research institution in its field; Harvard Law School tied with Stanford for second (behind Yale); and Harvard Graduate School of Education third (behind Columbia’s Teachers College and Stanford).

Installation: Save the Date

Drew Gilpin Faust will be formally installed as president on Friday, October 12, in Tercentenary Theatre. The academic procession is scheduled to begin at 2:00 P.M., and the ceremony at 2:30.