Messages from the Dean

New FAS Dean for Administration and Finance

June 2, 2021

Dear members of the FAS community,

It is with great excitement that I write to announce the appointment of Scott A. Jordan as the next Dean for Administration and Finance for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, starting August 9th.

This role has never been more critical, particularly as institutions of higher education emerge from a year that has given us a new perspective on both barriers to and opportunities for future academic and institutional excellence. From the start of the search process, I knew I needed to find a partner with the bold thinking and ability...

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An Extraordinary Year

May 19, 2021

Dear colleagues,

As we reach the end of this extraordinary academic year, and in anticipation of sharing final plans for Fall 2021 later this month, I am writing to share some reflections on all that we’ve learned, as well as thoughts on the path ahead as we make our way back to campus-based operations this fall. We were presented with unimaginable challenges, and the pain and loss of this year were never far away. But we also saw things that gave us reasons to hope and to look to the year ahead with new eyes.

March 2020 was a leap of faith. Abruptly we left the...

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The Ongoing Work of Justice

April 20, 2021

Dear colleagues,
Moments ago, a judge announced that a jury found former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of the murder of George Floyd. Although the whole world witnessed George Floyd’s brutal killing—unfolding in broad daylight and in front of dozens of bystanders—history has given us plenty of reasons to doubt that justice would prevail, that there would be accountability for what some scholars have called a “public lynching.” But the jury affirmed what we all saw with our own eyes, that a man was murdered. And confirmed the truth of what we all know, that...

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New Executive Director of the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture

April 13, 2021

Dear colleagues,
It’s with great excitement that I write to announce the appointment of Brenda Tindal as the next Executive Director of the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture, which will begin on May 17, 2021.
Brenda is an award-winning educator, scholar, and practitioner who leads with a passion for the work of museums as incubators of courageous inquiry. A forward-thinking leader and public historian, she brings to her work a heartfelt belief in the power of museums as profound...

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FAS Fall 2021 Planning Update

March 22, 2021

Dear members of the FAS community,

A little over a year ago, we left campus. Undergraduates packed up their belongings and said their goodbyes months earlier than planned, having no idea what would come next. Faculty, researchers, and graduate students abandoned their offices, labs, and studios and canceled their travel, classes moved online, and staff began to work from home, as we became for a time a completely “remote” community. From that moment on, we have been working tirelessly, across all departments and programs, to chart a path back to campus.

Through our many...

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Standing Against Anti-Asian Racism

March 18, 2021

Dear FAS Community,
Many of us woke up yesterday to the horrific news of the vicious and deadly attack in Atlanta, the latest in a wave of increasing violence targeting the Asian, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander community. After a year of unprecedented loss and trauma, it stuns me to silence to witness once again how misplaced fears and prejudice can be weaponized to wreak havoc in our time. My heart breaks for the families and friends who lost loved ones on Tuesday night, and for the millions in the AAPI community who don’t feel safe today because of the possibility of...

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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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