Messages from the Dean

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

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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Associate Dean of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

August 24, 2020

Dear members of the FAS community,
It is with genuine excitement and a sense of new possibility that I write to announce the appointment of Sheree Ohen as the inaugural Associate Dean of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DIB) for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, starting September 28.
Dean Ohen is currently the Chief Officer of Diversity and Inclusion at Clark University where she provides strategic direction in creating a campus climate that is welcoming, inclusive, respectful, and free from bias and harassment. A highly principled leader, Sheree is known...

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Advancing Racial Justice

August 20, 2020

Dear members of the FAS community,
As we look ahead to the start of a fall semester unlike any other, we confront the realization that we are now living history in the making. This moment has been shaped by crises old and new, as one pandemic has collided with another. The COVID-19 pandemic is a truly singular event; a public health threat that has spared no part of our academic enterprise from disruption, forcing us to reimagine everything from undergraduate residential life to the daily activities of our labs and libraries. Meanwhile, a second pandemic is unfolding, one...

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