Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

John Harvard's Journal

Brevia

January-February 2019

Mohsen Mostafavi 

Photograph by Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Public Affairs and Communications


Mohsen Mostafavi 

Photograph by Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Public Affairs and Communications

Mohsen Mostafavi

Mohsen Mostafavi, dean of the Graduate School of Design since January 2008, will conclude his service on June 30. During his tenure, the school’s faculty expanded significantly; to accommodate it and new teaching technologies, work is under way to plan an expansion of Gund Hall. Mostafavi helped create the undergraduate architectural-studies curriculum, and joint master’s degrees with the public-health and engineering and applied sciences schools. President Lawrence S. Bacow and Provost Alan Garber will direct the search for a successor. Read more at harvardmag.com/mostafavi-18.

Computer and Data Science

MIT has unveiled a $1-billion program to expand and reflag its work in computer science and artificial intelligence, to be known as the Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing. Schwarzman, M.B.A. ’72, gave a $350-million naming gift, and MIT has raised $300 million more; the initiative is meant to address research and teaching on computer science and AI institute-wide, and to incorporate work on the ethical and social dimensions of adapting these technologies (see “Artificial Intelligence and Ethics,” page 44).…Berkeley has unveiled a campuswide Division of Data Science and Information, designed to engage faculty members and students from all fields in computational and data-driven research and learning.…Boston University has filed a letter of intent seeking regulatory approval to build a 350,000-square-foot, 19-story tower to house data-sciences faculty, including its departments of mathematics, statistics, and computer science.…Yale’s department of statistics and data science­ (DS2), founded two years ago, reported that student concentrators have doubled; new courses like an undergraduate introduction to data science, YData, will debut in 2019; and faculty expansion is proceeding apace.

Labor Relations

In October, the University and the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers (HUCTW) reached a tentative three-year contract agreement after seven months of negotiations; the union’s 5,100­ members voted to approve it as this issue went to the printer. Under the contract, members who have been employed for at least one year will receive an average salary increase of 3.8 percent on December 5. In the second and third years of the contract, the average member with at least one year of service will receive raises of 3.5 percent. The new contract also includes changes to the University’s policies governing the use of contingent workers, a contentious issue for the union. According to an HUCTW analysis, Harvard’s reliance on contingent workers—including temps, independent contractors, and less-than-half-time workers—has grown substantially in the last few years, often exceeding what is allowed by the current contract. The new contract aims to more closely monitor and strictly limit the use of such workers. 

Ed-Tech Nexus

As part of Amazon’s much-ballyhooed announcement of its second headquarters sites, in Long Island City, New York, and Crystal City, Virginia, significant investments are being made in related high-tech higher education. With $250 million in seed funding from the state,  Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University announced a plan to build a billion-dollar Tech Innovation Campus in Alexandria, two miles from the Amazon site. The million-square-foot complex aims to enroll 750 master’s-degree students and hundreds of doctoral candidates and postdocs. George Mason University, in Fairfax, said it would triple its computer-science enrollment (to 10,000 undergraduates and 5,000 graduate students) during the next five years, in part by creating a new school of computing and adding a 400,000-square-foot Institute for Digital InnovAtion to its campus, again with significant state help. In New York, Amazon is close to LaGuardia Community College, and just across the river from the Cornell Tech campus, on Roosevelt Island.

On Other Campuses

 

Michael R. Bloomberg
Public Domain

Michael R. Bloomberg, M.B.A. ’66, LL.D. ’14, former New York mayor and founder of the eponymous financial-information and media firm, has given $1.8 billion—the largest higher-education donation in U.S. history—to his alma mater, Johns Hopkins, making undergraduate admissions need-blind. His previous benefactions led to the naming of the public-health school there. At Harvard, he is memorialized at the Business School’s Baker Library|Bloomberg Center.…Yale’s Swensen professor of economics, Steven Berry, is the inaugural faculty director of the Tobin Center for Economic Policy, an interdisciplinary entity aimed at articulating data-driven economic and social-science policies that can be applied to alleviate problems in society; it is funded with more than $60 million in recent gifts.…In October, three months before the conclusion of a capital campaign, the University of Michigan announced that it was the first public institution to raise $5 billion in a fund drive.

 


Photograph by Harvard Magazine/JC

Dudley House Redux

Effective July 1, Lehman Hall will be devoted to programs for Arts and Sciences graduate students—perhaps the University’s most prominent but invisible cohort. Undergraduate Dudley House functions (for those who live in the Co-op or off campus, or are in residence during the summer, or participate in the visiting undergraduate scholars program) will transition to the new “Dudley Community,” directed by a Faculty Fellow and overseen by a full-time assistant dean. The decision by Dudley House faculty deans James and Doreen Hogle to step down on this coming June 30 led College dean Rakesh Khurana and Graduate School dean Emma Dench to rethink the organization.

 


Photograph courtesy of Harvard Management Company

HMC COO

Sanjeev Daga has been appointed chief operating officer of Harvard Management Company, beginning in February; he comes from Columbia University Investment Management Company, where he worked with N.P. Narvekar, now CEO of HMC, for more than a decade. Daga will succeed Bob Ettl, who joined HMC as COO in 2008, served as interim CEO in 2016, and will remain through 2019 to complete the transition. Kevin Shannon, HMC’s chief financial officer, will retire at the end of 2019, completing a decade of service; he will work with Daga and Ettl to determine whether to appoint a successor CFO, or to distribute the responsibilities to others.

Nota Bene


Brittany N. Ellis
Stephanie Mitchell/HPAC

Jin Kyu Park
Stephanie Mitchell/HPAC

Rhodes roster. Seniors Brittany N. Ellis and Jin Kyu Park were awarded Rhodes Scholarships—the latter, the first DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) designee to be so honored. Twenty-one of the 32 recipients were women. Duke, Princeton, and Yale each had three scholarship winners this year.

Imaging visionary. Arnold professor of science Xiaowei Zhuang—a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and member of the department of chemistry and chemical biology—has been awarded a $3-million Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences for her work developing imaging techniques that reveal molecular-scale interactions and processes within cells.

Leadership leader. Gray professor of health economics and policy Meredith B. Rosenthal has become faculty chair of the Advanced Leadership Initiative (see “Advancing Leadership,” March-April 2014, page 38), succeeding founding leader Rosabeth Moss Kanter, who remains Arbuckle professor of business administration.

Legal legroom. Harvard Law School has opened its new building, at 1607 Massachusetts Avenue (on the corner of Everett Street), a home to several clinial programs, faculty offices, and research centers. Professor in practice of urban design Alex Krieger designed the facility.

Miscellany. Robert Cashion, formerly senior associate vice president of development and senior associate dean of development for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences—and thus a leading figure in the recent capital campaign—has been appointed New York University’s vice president for university development and alumni relations.…The Debra and Leon Black Family Foundation has given $7.5 million to create up to 25 fellowships annually for U.S. veterans and active-duty military personnel pursuing graduate education at the Kennedy School, Business School, or Law School.…Dumbarton Oaks and JSTOR, a digital library for research and teaching, have received three-year grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to develop a program in “plant humanities,” enabling research that will draw on the Washington-based Harvard affiliate’s expertise and collections in landscape architecture, botany, the history of science, and humanities research.…Bloomberg has reported that Mark Zuckerberg ’06, LL.D. ’17, and Priscilla Chan ’07 are seeking a chief investment officer to oversee management of more than $10 billion for their eponymous Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. They are being advised by David Swensen, Yale’s long-term CIO, who pioneered the endowment-management strategies used there and at many peer institutions; he will chair the philanthropy’s investment committee, Bloomberg noted.…Harvard has joined the Talloires Network, the global community of “civically engaged and socially responsible higher education institutions” based at Tufts and founded there when Lawrence S. Bacow was president.…Jeffrey C. Stewart’s The New Negro, a biography of Alain Locke, A.B. ’08, Ph.D. ’18, has won the nonfiction National Book Award; it figured significantly in Adam Kirsch’s appraisal of Locke, “Art and Activism” (March-April 2018, page 36).…The million-dollar Berggruen Prize for Philosophy and Culture has been conferred on Martha C. Nussbaum, Ph.D. ’75, RI ’81, Freund Distinguished Service Professor of law and ethics at the University of Chicago, recognizing her as “one of the world’s leading public philosophers.”

You Might Also Like:

President Bacow speaking at Peking University on March 20
Photograph by Yi Wang/Harvard Center Shanghai

Harvard President Bacow academic freedom China

The American Repertory Theater will remain at the Loeb Drama Center, on Brattle Street in Cambridge, for several more years, before moving to a new performing-arts center planned in Allston.

Photograph by John Phelan/Wikimedia

Harvard American Repertory Theater Moving to Allston

Exterior of the ArtLab

Photograph by Clare O’Keefe

Allston ArtLab Prepares to Open

You Might Also Like:

President Bacow speaking at Peking University on March 20
Photograph by Yi Wang/Harvard Center Shanghai

Harvard President Bacow academic freedom China

The American Repertory Theater will remain at the Loeb Drama Center, on Brattle Street in Cambridge, for several more years, before moving to a new performing-arts center planned in Allston.

Photograph by John Phelan/Wikimedia

Harvard American Repertory Theater Moving to Allston

Exterior of the ArtLab

Photograph by Clare O’Keefe

Allston ArtLab Prepares to Open