Administrators Take a Summer Break
After a year of being cooped up in stuffy offices, many Harvard administrators are ready for a little sun and fun--even if they are reluctant to openly admit it.
"The summer life of the Dean isn't usually exotic. We don't admit to vacations (just weekends away)," Dean of the Faculty Jeremy R. Knowles said in an e-mail message.
Still, many University higher-ups are embarking on interesting summer excursions, from multi-country tours to home-grown road trips.
Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis '68's vacation falls in the latter category--he just returned from a week spent driving across most of the U.S.
"I spent one night each in Grove City, PA, Big Rapids, MI, Eau Claire, WI, Bismarck, ND, and Glasgow, MT," he said.
Lewis said he has taken around a dozen road trips since his college days.
"I always love doing it and return feeling reconnected to America and impressed by its grandeur and beauty and the friendliness of its people."
He also remarked on the "fine dining" he met with on the trip, "especially at Meriwether's in Bismarck and Sam's Supper Club in Glasgow."
While Lewis was enjoying Midwestern dining, Knowles was returning from a post-Commencement tour of Asia.
He said his trip to Japan, Hong Kong and China was mostly spent on of University business.
"Much of this was full of speeches and meetings, but we did escape to some Japanese gardens, a kabuki theater, and a marvelous visit to the Shanghai Museum," he said.
Knowles was also treated to a little dinner theater when the Harvard Krokodiloes, who were in Shanghai for their world tour, serenaded his party at a restaurant.
"The other patrons were deeply impressed, too," he said.
Executive Dean of the Kennedy School Sheila P. Burke covered both foreign and domestic bases, traveling with her family on their annual trip to Lake Tahoe and London.
Burke's trip to England included a visit to the recently renovated Globe Theatre to see the Shakespearean tragedy Julius Caesar.
And she said the the excursion to the play with her three children was "quite an adventure."
"Amazingly, they loved it," she said. "Even the 7-year-old."
University Provost Harvey V. Fineberg '67 will also travel overseas, as part of a two-week visit to Southern Africa with his wife. The excursion is a travel and study program sponsored by the Harvard Alumni Association.
"This will be our first trip to the region, and we are really looking forward to it," he said.
The trip will begin in South Africa, and continue through Botswana and Zimbabwe.
Fineberg said he is particularly looking forward to visits to Chobe National Park and to Victoria Falls and traveling along the Rovos Rail.
But while University officials said they enjoy their getaways, they also said they return to full inboxes and plenty of projects to be completed.
"The work of University Hall continues, even though the summer allows us to shape plans for the coming year, and to catch up on a myriad of neglected projects," Knowles said.
And even while traveling, Knowles said, it is difficult to escape entirely.
"There are always College issues cooking, but in these days of cell phones, fax machines, and email, I never really get very far away from them," Lewis said.