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Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

John Harvard's Journal

Brevia

September-October 2008

Rendering: Behnisch Architekten / Courtesy of the Allston Development Group, Harvard University

Science Setting

The first Allston science laboratories, now under construction, will present a rectilinear face to the surrounding streets (see rendering in “Refining the Allston Master Plan,” January-February, page 60). Within the four-building complex, however, architect Stefan Behnisch envisions a more free-form approach. This drawing showed the evolving design proposed for the interior courtyard space as of early this summer.

 

New Dean for Public Health

Julio Frenk, who served as Mexico’s Minister of Health from 2000 to 2006, has been appointed dean of the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), effective next January. He succeeds Barry R. Bloom, who has been dean for the past decade. Frenk, a specialist in health systems and policy, is currently a senior fellow in the global-health program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In making the announcement on July 29, President Drew Faust cited Frenk’s experience “at the crossroads of scholarship and practice” and his “strong commitment to reducing disparities in health.” The full text of the announcement is available at www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2008/08.21/99-hsph.html. The magazine will present in-depth coverage of the new dean and his priorities in a forthcoming issue.

 

Undergraduate Education Overseer

Wolfson professor of Jewish studies Jay M. Harris, who has chaired the Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ general-education committee as new courses are introduced to the undergraduate curriculum, has been made responsible for the entire College course of study as the new dean of undergraduate education. Harris, who is chair of the department of Near Eastern languages and civilizations, and master of Cabot House, will now oversee general education, freshman seminars, international programs, writing, advising, and the Bok Center for Teaching and Learning. His appointment partially restores the structure prevailing until 2003, when the formerly separate College and undergraduate-education deanships were consolidated; Harris now reports to College dean Evelynn M. Hammonds.

 

Law Largess

Harvard Law School’s “Setting the Standard” capital campaign, launched in June 2003 (see “$400 Million for Law,” September-October 2003, page 73), concluded on June 30, having “substantially exceeded” its goal. Final figures were still being tallied as this issue went to press; the campaign will be formally celebrated in an event on October 23. During the campaign, both faculty ranks and student financial aid have expanded significantly, the first-year curriculum was reorganized (see “A New Script for One L,” January-February 2007, page 59), the school has invested substantially in international programs, and work has advanced on its huge Northwest Corner building (see "Law School, Looming Larger," March-April 2008, page 54). More than 26,000 donors contributed to the campaign.

 

Arts Administrator

Lori E. Gross, who previously oversaw arts initiatives at MIT, has moved upriver to become Harvard’s associate provost for arts and culture. She will work with the Harvard Art Museum, American Repertory Theatre, Villa I Tatti, and the University Library; participate in Allston planning for arts and cultural facilities; and collaborate with whatever new structure for the arts at Harvard is eventually recommended by the president’s task force on the arts, whose report is expected in late fall. Gross succeeds Sean Buffington, who became president of the University of the Arts, in Philadelphia, last year.

 

On Other Campuses

Yale will increase undergraduate enrollment by about 15 percent, to 6,000, and will create two new residential colleges, expected to open in 2013, to accommodate the growth. It has raised the goal for its current capital campaign by $500 million, to $3.5 billion, to pay for the buildings and related growth in faculty, advisers, and support staff. Princeton has received a $100-million gift from alumnus (and Harvard M.B.A. ’54) Gerhard R. Andlinger to support research on energy and the environment; it will fund a 110,000-square-foot laboratory, faculty positions, and research programs, anchoring a larger effort on energy and climate change. A $20-million gift from another donor will fund a new Princeton center to promote collaboration among engineering and liberal-arts students. University of Pennsylvania alumnus Jerome Fisher and his wife, Anne Fisher, have given $50 million for a center for translational medical research. And the University of California, Berkeley has appointed a vice chancellor, previously global head of mergers and acquisitions at Citicorp, to lead public-private partnerships and alliances that can support that institution’s research in an era of declining government budgetary support.

 

Campus Casual

©Victoria’s Secret

Laptop? Check. Cell phone? Check. MP3 player? Check. And now, students gearing up for their autumn return to campus can stock up on a new variety of Harvard logowear, courtesy of the “Collegiate Collection” from the Victoria’s Secret PINK line. Although the 33 institutions participating are principally large state universities, Berkeley, Boston College, and UCLA were on the roster along with the Crimson. Shortly after the collection appeared on the PINK website, Harvard items—properly licensed, the trademarks office assured, but for temporary offering only—disappeared, leaving only 32 schools’ stuff on display, and making browsers guess the identity of the missing institution. Harvard’s future participation is subject to “review of advertising and promotional materials.”

 

Ice Cream Icon

Harvard Planning Office

Although John Harvard could be present only in spirit for President Drew Faust’s ice-cream social for University staff members on July 1, he figured prominently in the electronic invitation to the wildly popular event. Vice presidents were pressed into duty as “celebrity scoopers” in Harvard Yard.

 

Nota Bene

Humanities head. Rothenberg professor of the humanities Homi K. Bhabha has been appointed senior adviser on the humanities, working with the president and provost—a new position. As director of the Humanities Center, within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (www.fas.harvard.edu/~humcentr), Bhabha has promoted interdisciplinary discussion involving subjects ranging from medicine (ethics, caring) to law (mercy) and terrorism—a role he expects to sustain at both the center and in his new capacity.

 

St. Andrews Steward. Radcliffe Institute executive dean Louise Richardson, an expert on terrorism (see “Understanding Terrorism,” January-February 2002, page 36), has been appointed principal and vice chancellor, the senior leadership post, of the University of St. Andrews, in Scotland, effective January 1. She is the first woman to serve in that capacity.

 

Job guide’s new job. William Wright-Swadel, director of the Office of Career Services since 1995, has been appointed to the equivalent post at Duke University. At Harvard, he oversaw career counseling, preprofessional and fellowship advising, employer recruiting, and internship programs for students associated with the Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ schools.

 

Miscellany. Diplomat and author (The Places in Between, on Afghanistan, and Prince of the Marshes, on Iraq) Rory Stewart has been appointed director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy (www.hks.harvard.edu/cchrp), effective January 1. He is currently based in Kabul, where he operates a nonprofit organization.…GlaxoSmithKline and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (www.hsci.harvard.edu) have reached a five-year, $25-million agreement to pursue research at the University and affiliated hospitals, exploring neurological, cardiac, and other diseases.…Welch professor of computer science Stuart M. Shieber has been appointed the first director of the Office for Scholarly Communication, the implementing body for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ open-access policy on distributing scholarly research (see “Open Access,” May-June, page 61); it may eventually serve the needs of all Harvard’s faculties. Shieber was the lead author of the policy proposal.…Bill Purcell, mayor of Nashville, Tennessee, from 1999 to 2007, has been appointed director of the Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School; he succeeds former congressman James A. Leach, who served as interim director during the past academic year.…
The Berkman Center for Internet & Society, founded and based at Harvard Law School as a locus for research, has been elevated to University-wide status as an interfaculty initiative (http://cyber.law.harvard.edu).…Brian C. Kenny, previously of Northeastern University and The Monitor Group, has been appointed chief marketing and communications officer at Harvard Business School.…Harvard Medalist and benefactor Katherine Bogdanovich Loker, L.H.D. ’00, whose gifts underwrote renovation of the Widener Library reading room, conversion of the Memorial Hall basement into a student “commons,” and restoration of Memorial Hall’s tower, died June 26, at age 92; her husband, Donald P. Loker ’25, died in 1988.