Messages from the Dean

University Hall with tourists around the John Harvard statue
Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard File Photo

Interim FAS Dean for Administration and Finance

February 3, 2021

Dear colleagues,

In September, I shared the news of Dean Leslie Kirwan’s retirement and the launch of the search for the next FAS Dean for Administration and Finance. With her departure swiftly approaching on March 31, I write to update the community on the search process and plans for the remainder of the term.

We are fortunate to have an extraordinarily accomplished and wise advisory committee engaged in the search process....

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Our Common Project

January 21, 2021

Dear colleagues,
Yesterday, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris participated in one of the foundational rituals of our democracy. In moments of war and peace, prosperity and hardship, the inauguration of a new administration has served, for more than two hundred years, not only as a demonstration of the continuity of leadership, but as a profound act of national renewal. However, yesterday’s speeches and oaths were witnessed not by cheering crowds, but by thousands of National Guard troops, a chilling reminder of just how much has changed in four years....

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Harvard College Spring 2021 Plan

December 1, 2020

Dear undergraduate students and faculty and staff colleagues,

We write today to announce our plans for the Spring 2021 undergraduate residential program at Harvard College.

In our planning for this academic year, we established a maximum residential density of no more than one student per bedroom. This density limit is a critical piece of our campus public health program to limit...

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FAS Pandemic Management Update

October 29, 2020

Dear colleagues,

I am writing to share an update on our planning for the spring semester, starting with a decision regarding the academic calendar.

The upcoming spring semester will follow the regular academic calendar, with classes starting on January 25 and ending on April 28. The five days of vacation normally taken as spring break will be re-allocated across the semester as scheduled wellness days, providing one day off from remote teaching and learning approximately every other week. A full schedule is...

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October 27, 2020

Dear members of the FAS community,

We are now one week out from a highly anticipated Election Day. Elections are by nature threshold moments, with competing visions of our collective future in view, but outcomes not assured, and the path forward not yet revealed. This year, that inherent ambiguity is compounded by the challenges of a year already marked by profound uncertainty and disruption. An ongoing, and now intensifying, global pandemic, the national reckoning with racial injustice and structural inequality, and a climate emergency that is wreaking havoc on the West Coast...

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Dean Leslie Kirwan

September 29, 2020

Dear colleagues,

It is with profound gratitude and immense admiration for her singular service that I write to announce that Dean Leslie Kirwan will retire from her role as the Faculty’s Dean for Administration and Finance this spring. We have each been drawn to Harvard to participate in its enduring mission, one that betters the world by championing truth, advancing knowledge, and deepening our understanding of what it means to be human. While the casual observer may see in its historic buildings and well-loved rituals evidence of undisturbed constancy, we who live in this...

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FAS Task Force on Visual Culture and Signage

September 29, 2020

Dear members of the FAS community,
As one of several steps the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) is taking to advance racial justice in our community, I am writing to launch the work of the FAS Task Force on Visual Culture and Signage. This Task Force will take up the important conversation of how we foster a more inclusive visual culture across the FAS, connecting our past with the promise of our future. Our campus has been...

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Dean Margot Gill

September 17, 2020

Dear colleagues,

It is with profound gratitude for the accomplishments of a singular Harvard career that I write to announce that Margot Gill, FAS Administrative Dean for International Affairs, will be retiring at the end of this calendar year. Through her many roles at Harvard over the years, Margot has been the FAS’s ambassador, forging connections with international governmental and institutional partners to further our Faculty’s teaching and research mission. She has been a fierce advocate for our students, and, in recent years, she has also been the one opening “Harvard’s...

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FAS Title IX update

September 14, 2020

Dear Members of the FAS Community,

As described in President Bacow’s message to the community, the University has taken a number of steps to address the new Department of Education (DoE) regulations for responding to campus-based sexual harassment, including sexual assault, that went into effect on August 14th. The University has adopted two interim policies that go beyond the minimum requirements stipulated by the new...

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