Anne H. Margulies, Harvard's assistant provost and executive director for Information Systems, will leave Harvard by the first week of May to become the Executive Vice President for McDermott/O'Neill and Associates, a public relations and strategic communications firm in Boston.
In contrast to her highly technical duties at Harvard, Margulies said she will be responsible for the management of various business aspects at McDermott/O'Neill.
"I think I'll be able to apply many of the skills that I've used over the past 12 years at Harvard to this business." Margulies said yesterday.
"I'll be able to apply my general management skills...to the firm," she said, adding that her new position would rely "only partly" on her experience with computer systems and information technology.
Provost Harvey V. Fineberg '67 praised Margulies' work at Harvard at a press conference yesterday.
"She's been fabulous in mobilizing, upgrading and leading the whole information technology initiative for the University," Fineberg said.
Margulies was hired in 1986 to plan and oversee the construction of Harvard's current telephone and data communications network, a project that included rewiring more than 200 buildings from 1986 to 1991.
Margulies went on to participate in the early planning stages for Project ADAPT, a $50 million multi-year initiative to overhaul the University's aging accounting system and unify the nine schools' finances into one central database. Planning for ADAPT began in 1993, and the newly computerized system is in full operation today.
After holding several management positions, Margulies was promoted in January 1996 to the position of the University's first assistant provost for information systems.
"The purpose [for creating a new position] was to better position information technology and its management in the University," Margulies said. "Since it is at the intersection of academic and administrative functions, it made sense to put it in the Office of the Provost."
As an assistant provost, Margulies led the restructuring of the Office ofInformation Technology (OIT) into today'sUniversity Information Systems (UIS) department.
Margulies said changes were necessary because"there were financial issues as well as problemswith the level of service that was being providedfrom central information technology services."
She said she is leaving Harvard because shefelt the timing was right to make a deliberatecareer change.
"It was a very, very difficult decision toleave Harvard," Margulies said. "It was a choicethat...if I was going to make any kind of a careerchange, this was a good time to do it."
She added that the executive position offeredby McDermott/O'Neill was "just too good anopportunity to turn down."
Susan S. Walsh, Harvard's current director ofnetwork and server systems, has been appointed theacting assistant provost for information systems,Fineberg said.
Fineberg added that Peter J. Segall will remainat his post as Project ADAPT's executive director.
"He will continue, and I will work closely withhim to make sure [ADAPT] is on track," Finebergsaid