FAS Strategic Planning

Emerson Hall

Fall 2022 Update

Over the course of spring 2022 and throughout the summer, FAS faculty and staff have been hard at work developing plans for the year ahead. This fall marks the beginning of the second year of this three-year strategic planning project, which was launched last fall to define the structures and resources needed to support long-term excellence in teaching and research within and across the many fields and disciplines of FAS. We anticipate that it will be a year of designing and piloting solutions to the challenges—and opportunities—that surfaced over the course of our first year, which was focused on listening and discovery.


The Faculty of Arts and Sciences has launched a broad, three-year strategic planning process to define the structures and resources needed to support long-term excellence in teaching and research within and across its many fields and disciplines. The process puts a particular focus on a forward-looking vision for excellence in graduate education, faculty support and development, and the organization of academic communities.

The FAS strategic planning process benefits from insights achieved through a number of distinct review and planning efforts across the Academic Divisions. It draws particular inspiration from the FAS Study Group, a faculty group convened in November 2020 by Edgerley Family Dean Claudine Gay, to define a vision for how to position the FAS for broad-based academic excellence, innovation and sustainability.

From November 2021 through February 2022, the FAS convened nearly 200 faculty members for small group conversations to create a shared vision for the future of the FAS. The resulting vision statement for the FAS Strategic Planning Process is as follows:

Vision Statement

strong, intellectually vibrant, creative FAS ready to steward the future of the liberal arts and sciences through cutting edge research and teaching. An FAS that can:

  • Attract and retain the world's most original and compelling scholars
  • Support faculty to achieve excellence in their teaching and research and to contribute at a high level to the University through their citizenship
  • Attract and prepare the next generation of leaders and support them in a transformative educational experience
  • Foster an environment of ambition, curiosity, and shared commitment to our academic mission that elicits excellence from all members of our community
  • Simultaneously cultivate deep disciplinary expertise while promoting meaningful and novel collaboration across disciplines, departments and Schools
  • Act quickly and efficiently to advance emerging academic directions and opportunities
  • Ensure that individual faculty and academic units have the information they need to make well-considered choices about how to advance our academic mission
  • Intentionally structure graduate programs around a shared understanding of student success

Academic Communities

Division of Arts & Humanities Steering Committee & Charge

The Division of Arts & Humanities is assessing the structure of the division to ensure that the departmental organization is best equipped to support the intellectual interests and administrative needs of the community.

Arts & Humanities Strategic Planning Committee

  • Robin Kelsey, Chair, Dean of Arts & Humanities and Shirley Carter Burden Professor of Photography
  • Glenda Carpio, Professor of English and of African and African American Studies and Chair of the Department of English
  • Suzannah Clark, Morton B. Knafel Professor of Music and Director of the Mahindra Humanities Center
  • Phil Deloria, Leverett Saltonstall Professor of History and Chair of the Committee on Degrees in History and Literature
  • Kristie La, G5 in the Department of History of Art & Architecture
  • William Lohier '23, joint concentrator in African and African American Studies and English
  • Melissa McCormick, Professor of Japanese Art and Culture
  • Denise Oberdan, Director of Administration for the Department of Art, Film, and Visual Studies
  • Parimal Patil, Professor of Religion and Indian Philosophy and Chair of the Department of South Asian Studies
  • Matt Saunders, Professor of Art, Film, and Visual Studies
  • Jeffrey Schnapp, Carl A. Pescosolido Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and of Comparative Literature and Faculty Director of metaLAB
  • Raquel Vega-Duran, Senior Lecturer in Peninsular and Transatlantic Film and Literature and Chair of the Committee on Ethnicity, Migration, Rights
  • Emily Warshaw, Director of Administration for the Committee on Theater, Dance & Media

For more information please visit https://artsandhumanities.fas.harvard.edu/ah-strategic-planning-process or reach out to arts-hum@fas.harvard.edu.

Division of Social Sciences Update & Steering Committee

At the end of spring 2022, the Division of Social Sciences hosted four focus groups for department and Center faculty and administrative leadership. The focus groups examined the role of the Centers in the FAS mission and opportunities and challenges with regards to Center and departmental collaboration and coordination. This fall the DoSS Centers & Departments Steering Committee will focus on defining a set of shared priorities for Centers and identifying 2-4 pilots to address areas of opportunity raised during the focus group sessions.

Division of Social Science Centers & Departments Steering Committee

  • Lawrence Bobo, Chair, Dean of Social Science; W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Social Sciences
  • Sidney Chaloub, David and Peggy Rockefeller Professor of History and of African American Studies; Chair of the History Department
  • Ryan Enos, Professor of Government
  • Brian Farrell, Monique and Philip Lehner Professor for the Study of Latin America; Professor of Biology (former director of DRCLAS)
  • Erez ManelaProfessor of History; Acting Director of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs 2022-2023
  • Elaine PapouliasExecutive Director of the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies
  • James RobsonJames C. Kralik and Yunli Lou Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations; William Fung Director of the Asia Center
  • Damari RosadoExecutive Director of the Economics Department
  • Martha WhiteheadVice President for the Harvard Library; University Librarian; Roy E. Larsen Librarian for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences
  • Mary WatersPVK Professor of Arts and Sciences;John L. Loeb Professor of Sociology
  • Beverly Beatty, Administrative Dean for Social Science (ex officio)
  • Valerie Beilenson, Senior Project Manager, FAS Dean's Office (ex officio)
  • Mark Elliott, Mark Schwartz Professor of Chinese and Inner Asian History; Vice Provost of International Affairs (ex officio)
  • Jennifer Shephard, Special Initiatives Program Manager, Division of Social Science (ex officio)

For more information please visit https://socialscience.fas.harvard.edu/DoSS-strategic-planning or reach out to socsci@fas.harvard.edu

Division of Science Update

Informed by consultation with the Dean of Science’s Faculty Advisory Committee and department chairs, the Division of Science has drafted a proposal for identifying, prioritizing and nurturing scholarship and teaching in areas that cut across the existing departmental structure in the FAS. This fall that proposal will be enriched and strengthened through deep engagement with faculty, starting within the Division of Science and expanding to broader engagement across FAS faculty in winter 2023.

For more information please reach out to Sarah Elwell, Senior Director of Administration and Operations for Science, at sarah_elwell@harvard.edu.  

Faculty Support and Development

Update & Steering Committee

Throughout the 2022-2023 academic year the Faculty Workload Committee met to examine the non-research workload of faculty at the FAS and SEAS. The group examined historical documentation and scholarly literature on faculty workload, analyzed data from three years of Faculty Activity Reports, and had conversations with faculty in multiple forums including department chair meetings, meetings of Directors of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies and meetings of divisional deans. The report on their findings and recommendations for improvement will be shared with FAS faculty in fall 2023.

Faculty Workload Committee

  • Cassandra Extavour, Timken Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and of Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Jenny Hoffman, Clowes Professor of Science
  • Alexandra Killewald,  Professor of Sociology
  • Mary Lewis,  Robert Walton Goelet Professor of French History
  • James Robson, James C. Kralik and Yunli Lou Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations
  • Ju Yon Kim, Patsy Takemoto Mink Professor of English
  • David Parkes, George F. Colony Professor of Computer Science
  • Nina Zipser, Chair, Dean for Faculty Affairs and Planning

For more information please reach out to Lisa Mincieli, Director of Special Projects, FAS Office for Faculty Affairs at mincieli@fas.harvard.edu

Graduate Education

Update & Steering Committee

The Graduate Admissions & Graduate Education Committee met throughout spring 2022 and developed a set of principles to guide any recommended enhancements to the admissions and educational processes. This fall those principles were shared with faculty and students through the Directors of Graduate Studies and Graduate Student Council for review and feedback. GAGE will meet weekly throughout the fall term to develop recommendations for improvements in advising, teaching, employment outcomes, institutional finances and admissions allocations.

Graduate Admissions and Graduate Education Working Group

  • Emma Dench, Chair,  Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, McLean Professor of Ancient and Modern History and of the Classics
  • Allen Aloise, Dean of Administration and Finance, GSAS
  • Valerie Beilenson, Senior Project Manager, FAS Dean's Office
  • Noel Bisson, Associate Dean of Academic Programs, GSAS
  • Mohan Boodram, Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid, GSAS
  • Verena Conley, Long Term Visiting Professor of Comparative Literature and Romance Languages and Literature
  • Victoria D'Souza, Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Peter Girguis, Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
  • Ann Hall, Director of Communications, GSAS
  • Matthew Liebmann, Peabody Professor of American Archaeology and Ethnology 
  • Elizabeth Lunbeck, Professor of the History of Science in Residence
  • Catherine McKenna,  Margaret Brooks Robinson Professor of Celtic Languages and Literatures
  • Charlie Otero, Executive Assistant to the Dean, GSAS
  • Kay Shelemay, G. Gordan Watts Professor of Music and Professor of African and African American Studies
  • Sheila Thomas, GSAS Dean for Academic Programs and Diversity

For more information please visit https://gsas.harvard.edu/gsas-admissions-and-graduate-education-planning or reach out to GSASdean@fas.harvard.edu.

Alongside the above academic strategic planning efforts, there are a number of allied administrative efforts under way to ensure that our operations are effectively supporting the core teaching and research mission of the FAS. This includes efforts to reimagine budgeting led by Scott Jordan, FAS Dean for Administration and Finance. That work is structured into five working groups that will tackle (1) workforce planning, (2) space and capital planning, (3) multi-year planning, (4) the annual budget process, and (5) reporting and accountability to make recommendations that will be implemented for the FY24 budget process. For more information on this effort please contact Katherine Gates at kgates@fas.harvard.edu.

A comprehensive technology landscape study is being led by Vice President and University Chief Information Officer Klara Jelinkova, who also serves as FAS Chief Information Officer. Overseen by an FAS Steering Committee, the study will produce an in-depth mapping of technology usage and needs across the FAS community, as well as strategic recommendations for a cohesive, future-facing technology ecosystem that enables the FAS's teaching and research mission. The Steering Committee, which reviews study design and data analysis, includes Professor Deidre Lynch, Dr. Chase Harrison, Professor Amanda Pallais, Professor James Waldo, Mike Holmes, Dean Mary Ann Bradley, and Dean Russ Porter. For more information or to participate in this study, please reach out to FASCIOOffice@fas.harvard.edu

For questions, comments or more information on FAS Strategic Planning, please contact fasstratplan@fas.harvard.edu