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Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

John Harvard's Journal

Brevia

March-April 2006

Cash Conservation Crimson Style

The Harvard Financial Aid Initiative aims both to attract applicants and to enroll more students from modest economic circumstances. But what happens when they land in pricey Cambridge? This funky Shoestring Strategies for Life @ Harvard, by the initiative’s student recruiters, covers everything from budgeting to buying used furniture and cheap(er) textbooks on line. There are tips on subsidized music lessons, free candy (available to participants in psychology experiments), gainful employment—and housing one’s parents during the hideously expensive week of Commencement festivities.

 

Science Summer Camp

The College will run a pilot Program for Research in Science and Engineering (PRISE) this summer, from June 19 through August 25, following last spring’s recommendation by the task force on Women in Science and Engineering. Students who secure research positions (in life or physical sciences, applied science, mathematics, or engineering) with professors in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health, or affiliated hospitals or research centers will qualify. They will be eligible for housing, partial board, transportation to the Longwood Medical Area, and enrichment programs on laboratory practice, research ethics, fellowship and graduate school applications, and other topics. The program (www.priselink.harvard.edu) aims to support women interested in scientific research and stem undergraduate attrition from science generally.

 

Social Security Scheme

Three finance experts have crafted an actuarially sound, nonpartisan plan for reforming Social Security and sustaining its solvency. The drafters are Kennedy School professor of public policy Jeffrey B. Liebman (author of “Reforming Social Security,” March-April 2005, page 30), a former adviser to President Clinton; Maya MacGuineas, adviser to Senator John McCain’s 2000 presidential campaign, now at the New America Foundation; and Dartmouth economics professor Andrew Samwick, chief economist of President Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers for 2003-2004. They advocated trimming future benefits gradually, increasing the cap on payroll taxes, raising the retirement age, and funding personal retirement accounts with 1.5 percent of current payroll taxes and an additional, like amount from workers’ wages. See www.nonpartisanssplan.com.

 

Medical Managers

The Medical School-Business School joint M.D./M.B.A. program, announced in 2004, admitted its first students this academic year. At a late-fall kickoff ceremony, physician Daniel L. Vasella, PMD ’89, chairman and chief executive of Novartis, delivered the keynote remarks. Students must apply for admission to each school. They spend three years studying at the medical school, pursuing preclinical and clinical requirements (with a summer management internship after the first year); then take the first-year core business curriculum; and devote a fifth year to electives at each school. On graduation, they are qualified to pursue medical practice before beginning healthcare management or other career tracks.

 

Gazette Gates

Photograph by Stephanie Mitchell/ Harvard News Office

Of special interest to architecture buffs and fanciers of wrought iron and brick is the textual, photographic, and Web-based multimedia presentation on the University’s elaborate gates created by Ken Gewertz and colleagues in the Harvard News Office. First published in the December 15 Gazette, it is available on line at www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2005/12.15/18-gates.html.

Nota Bene

Branding the college. According to a January 11 posting on the University’s employment website, the College seeks a “Director of Internal Communications,” a new position, at salary grade 57 ($49,500-$84,100), “to assume leadership of branding efforts.” Those efforts, “utilizing print and web media,” will “further one of the strategic priorities of the college: building a Harvard College community” by creating a “unified brand” for publications and web-based media.

Directorates. Scott professor of law Robert C. Clark, past dean of the Law School and a scholar of corporate governance, recently found himself in an unusual business conflict of interest. He joined the board of Time Warner in 2004, and of Lazard, the investment-banking firm, when it went public in 2005, under chief executive Bruce J. Wasserstein, J.D. ’70, M.B.A. ’71, a significant supporter of the school during Clark’s deanship. When investor Carl C. Icahn retained Lazard to help him promote a restructuring of Time Warner, Clark’s dual role attracted extensive attention, ultimately prompting him to resign from Lazard’s board. Separately, departing University vice president for finance Ann E. Berman has been elected to the Loews Corporation board.

Tasha
Courtesy of Broad Institute
Genomic gains. The Broad Institute—a genomic-focused research enterprise involving Harvard, MIT, affiliated hospitals, and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research—has received a second $100-million contribution from Eli and Edythe Broad (see “Genomic Joint Venture,” September-October 2003, page 75). Federal research grants and capital support from Harvard and MIT, plus the Broads’ funds, underwrite work in chemical biology, genomics, genetics, and research on cancer and genetic diseases. On December 7, a week after the announcement, a Broad-led team reported that it had decoded the DNA of dogs, using a female boxer named Tasha, enabling scientists to decipher genetic variations among different dog breeds.

A,B,Cs at HBS. Harvard Business School acting dean Jay O. Light in December ended the seven-year prohibition on disclosure of grades. Members of future classes will now have the option of sharing their marks with prospective employers. Students objected, on the grounds that reverting to the school’s historic practice would reduce collaborative study and classroom behavior, and discourage academic risk-taking.

Scientist’s scolding. At a news conference following his Nobel laureate lecture in Stockholm, Mallinckrodt professor of physics Roy J. Glauber took the Bush administration to task for denying scientific evidence in making policy, and criticized members of Congress for allocating research funds on the basis of their political, rather than scientific, payoffs.

Pudding picks. Movie stars Halle Berry and Richard Gere were chosen Hasty Pudding Theatricals’ 2006 People of the Year in the run-up to the club’s 158th show, Some Like It Yacht.

Jarrod Marto
Steve Gilbert
Proteome probe. The Harvard-affiliated Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has established a proteomics center, with new equipment, scientists, and staff, to explore proteins and their functioning in normal and cancerous cells. The center was funded by a $16.5-million gift from John F. and Shelley Blais, of Framingham, Massachusetts. Assistant professor of biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology Jarrod Marto will direct the center.

Miscellany. Graduate School of Arts and Sciences dean Theda Skocpol will also serve as the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study’s senior adviser in the social sciences, helping to develop fellowships and programs in that field. &The Harvard School of Public Health has appointed Michael T. Huguenin executive director of its Center for Risk Analysis (www.hcra.harvard.edu), which uses decision-science tools to find and educate the public about cost-effective solutions to health risks. &Ruling that the state’s public-records law does not extend to private institutions, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court rejected an effort by the Harvard Crimson to gain access to the University police department’s written incident reports. The daily arrest and incident log is released for publication. &During intersession, January 25-31, some 80 College students traveled to Louisiana and Mississippi to work on Hurricane Katrina clean-up and reconstruction, through a Phillips Brooks House Association program supported by the Coop. &Long-time Kennedy School professor William W. Hogan, a specialist in energy economics, has been appointed the first Plank professor of global energy policy….The Graduate School of Design’s postprofessional master in design studies program has overhauled its real estate and project management field, now three semesters long, to accommodate practitioners in development, finance, and public-sector careers.

 

Gazette Gates: