Romance in the Houses... An Allston Addition...

“Romance” in the Houses

Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis has appointed new masters for Eliot and Kirkland Houses. Lino Pertile, professor of Romance languages and literatures and professor of comparative literature, will take the helm at Eliot House. His spouse, co-master Anna Bensted, is managing news editor at WBUR, a National Public Radio afiliate in Boston. They have two sons. Pertile teaches courses on both Dante and twentieth-century Italian literature, and has also been involved with the Eliot House crew. Tom C. Conley, professor of Romance languages and literatures, whose course offerings embrace French literature, cartography, and film, will be master of Kirkland House. Verena A. Conley, visiting professor of literature, who teaches “Parisian City­scapes,” will be co-master. Tom Conley, a handball player, hopes to share his passion for cinema with his new charges.


An Allston Addition?

Having previously assembled 52 acres of scattered parcels in Allston, beyond the Business School campus, Harvard now seeks to nearly double its landholdings there. The Massachusetts Turnpike Authority put up for auction 48 acres of land it owns along Western Avenue and Cambridge Street, with bids due June 29, after this issue went to press. As an adjacent landowner, the University has a strong interest in the parcels, which might help it assemble the critical mass necessary to create an envisioned new “academic precinct” in coming decades, as Cambridge development comes to an end (see “South by North Harvard,” September-October 1999, page 67). Harvard may also be the only institution with the patience to develop the site, which is encumbered with railroad and truck freight facilities, a turnpike trafic ramp, and the residue of past industrial uses. Unlike the political outcry that followed the 1997 disclosure of the earlier purchases, the Boston Globe greeted news of Harvard’s interest in this site with an editorial titled “Welcome expansion.”


Kennedy School Cadre

The Kennedy School of Government appointed new directors for three of its centers this spring. David Pryor, former Democratic U.S. Senator from Arkansas, will become director of the Institute of Politics in August, succeeding Alan K. Simpson, the former Republican senator from Wyoming. Alex S. Jones, Nf ’82, a Pulitzer Prize winner and former media correspondent for the New York Times, will direct the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy, succeeding Marvin Kalb. Jones has shared the Patterson professorship of the practice of journalism at Duke with his wife, Susan E. Tifft, M.P.A. ’82; they are coauthors of books on the Bingham and Ochs-Sulzberger newspaper families. And Ira A. Jackson ’70, M.P.A. ’76, AMP ’87—associate dean at the school between 1976 and 1983—is returning as the director of the Center for Business and Government after service in Massachusetts government and at BankBoston Corporation. He takes over from Roger B. Porter, IBM professor of business and government.


Dot’s the Law

The University prevailed in its legal action against an entrepreneur who registered Harvard- and Radcliffe-related domain names for use on the Internet and then proposed selling them to Harvard or other bidders (“it’,” March-April, page 82). The defendant, Michael Rhys, accepted a consent judgment, as did the owners of a health website who poached an article from the Harvard Health Letter. No word yet on the “on-line university” partnership between Barnes & and


Legal Legions

With six appointments clustered at year’s end, the Law School’s permanent faculty increases to 80 as of July 1, an all-time high. The new faculty members (and their specialities) are professors Janet Halley (family law, from Stanford Law School) and William Stuntz (criminal law, from University of Virginia School of Law) and four assistant professors: Samuel Bagenstos, J.D. ’93 (disability law, from the De­partment of Justice); Heather Gerken (voting-rights law, from the firm of Jenner & Block); Kenneth Mack, J.D. ’91 (legal history, Ph.D. candidate at Princeton); and Jonathan Zittrain, J.D. ’95, M.P.A. ’95 (cyberlaw, the executive director of the school’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society).


Graduate Grace Period

The proposed renovation of Cronkhite Graduate Center to accommodate ofices for the Radcliffe Institute (“Brevia,” May-June 2000), which would have displaced nearly 150 graduate students who live there, has been deferred for at least a year, until next summer. The institute cited planning and permitting delays. In the meantime, the University is pushing to expand Harvard-owned graduate-student housing in Allston (see page 79).


Medical Breakthroughs

Carol A. Warfield, associate professor of anesthesia, was appointed chair of the department of anesthesia and critical care at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, becoming the first woman to head an anesthesiology department  within Harvard’s teaching-hospital system. Colleague Thomas L. Delbanco, chief of primary care, has been named to Harvard Medical School’s first endowed chair in general medicine—chipping away at its reputation as a hive of specialists. The school has also become the consumer healthcare information source for Aetna U.S. Healthcare’s InteliHealth website (, replacing Johns Hopkins.


Graduate Schools Graded

The annual U.S News and World Report scorecard on graduate and professional schools ranked Harvard’s business (tied with Stanford), education, and medical schools as the best in the country, and placed the law school third, behind Yale and Stanford. Among the arts and sciences disciplines surveyed, Harvard ranked first in biological sciences doctoral programs (tied with Stanford), economics (tied with MIT and Stanford), and political science; second in chemistry (a four-way tie) and mathematics (ditto); third in physics (a four-way tie) and English (tied with Yale); sixth in psychology (tied with Carnegie Mellon and UCLA); and seventh in sociology (tied with Stanford). Harvard ranked below the top 15 in computer science and in engineering.


Nota Bene

Journalistic judgment. The Supreme Court of Zimbabwe threw out a government attempt to prosecute two local journalists, including 1999-2000 Nieman Fellow Mark Chavunduka, editor of the Standard, in Harare, for reporting on a possible coup attempt. He and the paper’s Ray Choto had previously been detained and tortured for their reporting.


Ethics endowed. The Center for Ethics and the Professions, which supports research and teaching on ethical issues in public and professional life, has received $1 million to endow four graduate fellowships annually. The gift, from HSBC Bank USA, honors the late Edmond Safra, founder of Republic National Bank of New York. Safra had previously endowed a professorship of Jewish history and Sephardic civilization and a professorship in Latin American studies, and supported the Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies and AIDS research at the School of Public Health.


In-house honors. The first tie vote for the Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism has produced a pair of Harvard winners: Philip J. Fisher, Reid professor of English and American literature, for his book Still the New World; and Elaine Scarry, Cabot professor of aesthetics and the general theory of value, for Dreaming by the Book. The six judges, who sought superb work of general literary criticism, included three faculty colleagues: K. Anthony Appiah, Stephen J. Greenblatt, and Peter M. Sacks.


Fit for the Bar

Responding to student requests, the Law School has invested $150,000 to install new fitness equipment in Hemenway Gymnasium and to reconfigure space for a new weight room and an improved aerobics space. The effort represents an interfaculty initiative of a sort: the Faculty of Arts and Sciences owns the building. At the same time, Dean Robert C. Clark hastened to assure his future barristers that “we are continuing our long-term planning to meet the needs of our students for premium athletic facilities.” Until then, the law students, like the rest of the student body, can only envy their Business School peers’ access to Shad Hall.


Classrooms to come

Hawes family members at the June 1 groundbreaking for Hawes Hall, the newest addition to the Business School campus. The building will house eight state-of-the-art classrooms for traditional case-method instruction in 47,000 square feet. Designed by Einhorn Yaffee Prescott in a traditional Georgian style, it was originally envisioned as part of the plans for Aldrich Hall, which were drawn up in consultation with McKim, Mead, and White and Olmsted Brothers. Right: The site plan, showing the building’s location at the northeast edge of Aldrich Hall.

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