Harvard University’s subsequent president will be Lawrence S. Bacow, a former president of Tufts University and a leading academic officer at M.I.T., who was chosen for his diplomatic and leadership capabilities at a time when higher education is under fire, the university announced on Sunday.
The departure of Drew Gilpin Faust, Harvard’s very first female president, who is stepping down following 11 years, designed an opportunity for Harvard to select a leader who would reflect the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements that have shaped campus dialogue in current years.
Instead, it chose Mr. Bacow, 66, who is greater recognized as a manager and institutional leader than as a scholar. His selection reflects Harvard’s want for a steady hand at a time when the university should navigate the issues of dealing with the Trump administration’s antagonism toward elite universities like Harvard that have massive endowments.
That was clear at the news conference on Sunday to announce the appointment. William F. Lee, senior fellow of the Harvard Corporation and the chairman of the search committee, described Mr. Bacow as the proper leader “at a moment when the value of larger education is getting questioned, at a moment when the fundamental truth of reality-based inquiry is getting questioned and known as into doubt.”
Speaking to reporters, Mr. Bacow described growing up in Pontiac, Mich., as the son of immigrants. His mother was 19 when she reached the United States on the second Liberty ship carrying refugees from Europe following the war, and was the only member of her family to survive Auschwitz, he said. His father, born in Minsk, was brought to America as a child to escape pogroms.
“Where else can a single go in 1 generation from off the boat, with actually nothing at all, to appreciate the sort of life and opportunity that I and my household have been fortunate to appreciate?” Mr. Bacow stated. “It was larger education that produced this all attainable.”
Now, even though, for the very first time in his life, he stated, people are questioning the value of going to college, and some of the criticism is fair.
“I think academic institutions, such as Harvard, want to spend more focus to these in this country who’ve been left behind in this economy,” he stated.
The university is facing a number of immediate challenges. Like others in its league, it is facing a new 1.four % excise tax on the investment returns of endowments that quantity to much more than $500,000 per student. Harvard administrators have said the tax could price the university around $43 million a year, and would weaken Harvard’s capacity to help students and analysis.
Harvard is also facing an investigation by the Justice Division into its affirmative action policies and regardless of whether they discriminate against Asian-American applicants, as properly as a lawsuit producing the very same claims in federal court in Boston.
Mr. Bacow will take more than on July 1, becoming the 29th president of Harvard. He is now the Hauser leader in residence at the Harvard Kennedy College of Government’s Center for Public Leadership.
He was president of Tufts University for ten years, until July 2011. The Harvard announcement mentioned he was identified there for rising collaboration across schools and disciplines. Just before that, he was on the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technologies for 24 years, exactly where he served as chancellor, chair of the faculty and a professor of environmental research.
Even though his undergraduate degree is from M.I.T., he has 3 Harvard postgraduate degrees: a law degree and a master’s and doctorate in public policy.
Mr. Bacow was originally part of the university’s presidential search committee, which regarded more than 700 candidates, Mr. Lee stated, just before deciding that the appropriate candidate was in plain sight.
Annette Gordon-Reed, a Harvard professor of legal history who is recognized for her scholarship on Thomas Jefferson and his partnership with Sally Hemings, his slave, stated Mr. Bacow was a good choice. “Larry has impressive credentials, quite a few ties to Harvard, and from what I know of him, he has excellent values, such as a commitment to diversity,” she stated.
Published at Mon, 12 Feb 2018 00:42:04 +0000