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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Benita Wolff

Difficult, But Necessary Conversations

October 23, 2020

At the end of her time in FAS, Benita D. Wolff reflects on its first DIB steps.

Benita D. Wolff served as the FAS Division of Science's first-ever Equity and Inclusion Administrative Fellow from October 2019 to the end of this month. She was part of the Administrative Fellows Program, a University-wide, year-long leadership development program. 

Wolff, who was based in the Department of Physics, came to Harvard from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Medicine, where she will return. Her influence spanned well beyond physics, and she...

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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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