Messages from the Dean

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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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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