When Brendan A. Maher assumes his post as dean of the Graduate, School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) in July, he will find himself at the helm of a school strengthened administratively in the past four years but still financially troubled.
Maher, whose appointment awaits the formal approval of the governing boards, will take over for outgoing Dean Sally Falk Moore, during whose tenure the graduate school grappled with the perennial problems of too few students and too little money.
Moore became dean in 1985, right after a faculty review--prepared by Leverett Professor of Physics Karl Strauch--concluded that GSAS needed an infusion of financial support from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS). Her appointment was made at the same time that then-Dean of the College John B. Fox '59 was named GSAS administrative dean.
It was the first time GSAS had been run by two deans, and the school began a major bureaucratic reorganization under the Moore-Fox leadership, professors said yesterday.
Moore visited each of the 40 departments and eight degree-granting programs which deal with GSAS after assuming her post. She said yesterday that those visits were "symbolic" of her attempts to improve relations between the GSAS administration and the departments.
"Clearly, the graduate school managed before we got there," Moore said yesterday. "It isn't as if we worked great miracles. We succeeded in reducing the atmosphere of tension that was there before."
Specifically, Moore and Fox divided the departments into three groups--social sciences, humanities and the physical sciences--and gave one GSAS admissions and financial aid officer responsibility for each of the areas. The bulk of GSAS's administrative contact with departments involves admissions and student stipend awards, according to administrators and professors.
Fox yesterday called the plan an effort to "professionalize" GSAS structures. He cited the GSAS officers' expertise in fields such as federal student aid regulations and travel-abroad requirements as examples of their usefulness.
"She was extremely solicitous of departmentneeds and was very helpful, I think particularlyin the admissions process, from my point of viewas a new department chair," says Fine ArtsDepartment Chair Neil Levine.
But even as she was reorganizing theadministration, Moore had to deal with therecurring problem of securing more funding forGSAS.
In 1985, GSAS exceeded its financial aid budgetby $600,000, prompting Dean of the Faculty A.Michael Spence to grant the school an extra $1million.
And while GSAS's budget from FAS has increasedover the last five years, the school--which unlikethe College does not have a need-blind admissionpolicy--could still use more money, professorssay.
"We're underfunded compared with certainschools with which we compete for students--likePrinceton and Stanford," said Moore. She addedthat Harvard matches those schools in fundingphysical science students, but lags behind in thesocial sciences and humanities.
Moore conceded yesterday that she has alsoencountered difficulty in attempts to implementanother of the Strauch Report'srecommendations--that GSAS expand its enrollment.
Moore said there has been but a "smallincrease" in the number of students in traditionalGSAS programs. She added, however, that specialPh.D programs conducted by Harvard's professionalschools have grown rapidly.
Moore said GSAS might have grown faster hadPresident Bok not expressed fears about theUniversity as a whole becoming too large.
"I believe that without that sense fromhim--that as a matter of policy he did not want amajor increase in numbers--I think I would haveencouraged departments even more to admit morestudents," she said.
GSAS is still studying the third major findingof the Strauch Report--that graduate studentsspent too much time teaching and too little timeresearching, Moore said.
Moore said GSAS would have difficulty reducinggraduate student teaching loads becauseundergraduate courses require graduate teachingfellows. In addition, she said graduate studentsneed teaching salaries to support themselves andmust learn teaching skills as part of theirtraining