Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

John Harvard's Journal

Brevia

March-April 2015

The Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Photograph by Mario Anzuoni/Reuters/Corbis

Her Honor, Honored

The Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg, L ’59, LL.D. ’11, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, returns to campus to receive the Radcliffe Medal on Radcliffe Day, May 29. The ceremony will be preceded by a panel on the Roberts Supreme Court, moderated by the Honorable Margaret H. Marshall, Ed.M. ’69, former chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Ginsburg’s former colleague, retired associate justice David H. Souter ’61, LL.B. ’66, LL.D. ’10, will speak at the Radcliffe Day event; then, Kathleen M. Sullivan, J.D. ’81 (a former Harvard and Stanford law professor, and Stanford law dean) will engage Ginsburg in a conversation about her career.

Sexual-Assault Settlement

On December 30, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and Harvard Law School (HLS) entered into a resolution agreement, concluding the government’s finding that the school’s response to sexual harassment and sexual assault was in violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The government found that HLS’s policies and procedures did not provide for prompt and equitable response to complaints, and did not appropriately respond: in one case, it took more than a year to reach a final determination and the school failed to allow the complainant to be involved in the extended appeals process. HLS has proposed revised policies and procedures, one result of which will be compliance with the University’s new sexual-assault procedures (see harvardmag.com/policy-15), subject to OCR-directed refinements. But HLS has established its own, separate, investigatory procedure for such cases. A University statement said the new HLS procedures “reflect the school’s distinct pedagogical mission.” OCR continues its investigation of Harvard College.

Dishonoring a Code

As Harvard College moves toward implementing an honor code this fall (as enacted in May 2014: see harvardmag.com/honor-15), Dartmouth, which has an honor code, has disclosed that 64 students cheated in—of all subjects—a “Sports, Ethics, and Religion” course last fall. After students were given clicker devices to respond to class questions, the professor noticed that more answers were being recorded than students appeared to be present; investigation revealed that some students skipped classes and gave their clickers to peers, who answered for them. Many will likely be suspended. In January, the school’s president, Philip J. Hanlon, unveiled Moving Dartmouth Forward, a plan that bans hard alcohol at public functions; institutes four-year sexual-assault education for students; eliminates pledging associated with Greek life; and moves toward a residential-house system for all students. Harvard Corporation member Lawrence S. Bacow, former president of Tufts, will chair an external panel reviewing implementation.

Sustainable Developments

Trumping the undisclosed but eight-figure gift by Chinese real-estate firm Evergrande Group, to found Harvard’s Center for Green Buildings and Cities (see harvardmag.com/green-15), MIT in early January announced a $118-million gift from its alumnus Samuel Tak Lee, of the Hong Kong-based Prudential Enterprise, an international developer. The funds will support a real-estate entrepreneurship laboratory; fellowships; research on sustainable real-estate development, construction materials, land-use regulations, and urbanization; a professorship; and other initiatives. Separately, Yale College and graduate students took a course in its School of Forestry and Environmental Studies focused on evaluating and strengthening that university’s sustainability plan. Harvard’s own plan was unveiled last October; see harvardmag.com/sustainability-14. Meanwhile the University of Maine’s investment committee has approved a plan to cease direct investments in coal companies, echoing a divestment step taken earlier by Stanford.

Crimson on Capitol Hill Update

On December 17, Martha McSally, M.P.P. ’90, Republican of Arizona, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, was declared the victor in her House race by 167 votes. Her election increases to five the number of Harvard alumnae who will be serving in the House of Representatives.

HUB Hoopla

Harvard, Massachusetts General Hospital, and MIT will join The Boston Globe in a self-described “weeklong series of world-class events [bringing] together leading thinkers and doers from diverse backgrounds to develop new solutions to global and local issues.” HUBweek (hubweek.org), scheduled for October 3-10, is envisioned as a mash-up of Aspen, Davos, South by Southwest, TED talks, and more, including “displays of emerging technologies and hackathon-type forums focused on solving major problems,” cultural performances, “interactive art experiences,” and exhibitions aimed at “the people who power the innovation and creative economies throughout our region and across the world.”

Woetzel

Damien Woetzel

Photograph courtesy of Damien Woetzel

First Artist

Recognizing the essential role of the arts manager, Harvard will confer its 2015 Arts Medal on Damien Woetzel, M.P.A. ’07, on April 30, at the beginning of the annual Arts First celebration. Woetzel, a principal dancer with the New York City Ballet from 1989 to 2008, is director of the Aspen Institute Arts Program and artistic director of the Vail International Dance Festival.

Nota Bene

Medical math. In light of the rising importance of analytics in medical and clinical research, Harvard Medical School has created a Department of Biomedical Informatics. Henderson professor of pediatrics Isaac Kohane—co-director of the current Center for Biomedical Informatics and director of the Countway Library of Medicine (see “Gutenberg 2.0,” May-June 2010)—will be the department’s inaugural chair.

A leg up. As applications for early-action admission to the class of 2019 soared (5,919 during the fall 2014 season, compared to 4,692 in 2013), the College admitted 977 students (see harvardmag.com/admissions-15). Stanford admitted 743 of a record 7,297 early applicants: an extraordinary low 10.2 percent. Yale took 753 early applicants from a pool of 4,693. Including the early applicants, the College reported receiving a record 37,305 applications, surpassing the prior peak of 35,023, recorded two years ago.

Ethics leader. Political theorist Danielle S. Allen, Ph.D. ’01, has been appointed professor of government and faculty director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics (in the latter capacity, succeeding Furman professor of law Lawrence Lessig). Allen, a 2002 MacArthur Fellow who studies the history of political thought and Greek and Roman political history, has been UPS Foundation professor at the Institute for Advanced Study; she also chairs the Pulitzer Prize board.

Entrepreneur exit. Gordon Jones, inaugural managing director of the Harvard Innovation Lab, will become founding dean of the College of Innovation and Design at Boise State University on June 1.

Honor roll. Franke professor of German art and culture Jeffrey F. Hamburger has received a Maier Research Award for research in the humanities and social sciences. The €250,000 grant will fund a five-year collaboration with scholars in Germany. He will work on medieval art history and train students to work with the era’s primary sources.…Clowes professor of science Robert P. Kirshner will share the $100,000 Wolf Prize in Physics for 2015 with James Bjorken, of Stanford; the award recognizes fundamental work on supernovae and the accelerating expansion of the universe.…Peabody professor of music Alexander Rehding has been awarded the Royal Music Associations’s Dent Medal for scholarship making an outstanding contribution to musicology.

Media move. Alex Jones will step down as director of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy at the end of the academic year; his 15 years’ service coincided with upheaval in the news media wrought by online distribution. (As Jones noted in his announcement, he came to what was the Shorenstein Center on the Press). He also served as a director of Harvard Magazine Inc.

Colby calls. Tim Wheaton, who came to Harvard as an assistant women’s soccer and men’s lacrosse coach in 1985, and then coached women’s soccer from 1987 through 2004, has been appointed director of athletics at Colby College, which has 32 varsity teams. Wheaton was most recently an associate director of athletics at Harvard, overseeing alumni relations, capital planning (the hockey rink has been expanded and renovated, and plans are under way to renovate the Stadium and build a new basketball arena), and supervision of varsity sports.

Miscellany. Harvard has gathered its Web-based learning resources at a single “gateway,” spanning free classes, paid executive-education offerings, and more: http://online-learning.harvard.edu.…The Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ registrar’s office is moving from 20 Garden Street, across Cambridge Common from the heart of the campus, to renovated space in the Smith Campus Center (formerly Holyoke Center), on Harvard Square.…A $5-million Walton Family Foundation gift to Harvard Graduate School of Education will underwrite fellowships in the doctor of education leadership (Ed.L.D.) degree program launched in 2010 (see “Training Leaders to Transform Education,” November-December 2009).…The Crimson has reported that renovation of Cabot Library and the adjacent Science Center atrium (likely involving a reduction in book space, and creation of collaboration space and tools for data visualization and electronic media) is on schedule for construction in the next academic year.

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