I am writing in regard to your coverage in yesterday's edition of Provost Jerry Green's decision to assume a distinguished new professorship designed to promote scholarship across traditional disciplinary lines. Given the tenor of your coverage, the exceptional service that Jerry has rendered to the University as Provost, I feel it important to convey my thoughts directly.
The entire Harvard community has benefited from Jerry's administrative ability and responsiveness, his sound management of complex problems, and the astute role he has played in planning for the coming fund-raising campaign. All of us owe him our admiration and thanks.
As Harvard's first Provost in nearly 40 years, he has played an absolutely central role in the University-wide academic planning process that has unfolded over the last few years. He has made critical contributions to bringing Harvard's different Faculties closer together. He has charted a course through new terrain for many inter-Faculty academic initiatives, and has ably taken on some of the most challenging administrative problems facing the University, in areas as diverse as science policy, benefits planning and information technology.
Both personally and professionally, it has been a privilege for me to work closely with Jerry since he accepted my invitation to become Provost. His new Leverett Professorship is a symbol of the strong commitment that he and I share to scholarship across Faculty lines. It will enable him to combine and build upon his achievements as both Provost and scholar, bringing the insights he has developed through his leadership in inter-Faculty initiatives to bear more directly on the actual practice of interdisciplinary teaching and research. I hope very much that Harvard's next Provost will accomplish as much in that challenging role as Jerry has during his productive and distinguished tenure. Neil L. Rudenstine President