Kirby Selected As FAS Dean
Harvard Corporation Meets This Morning
Three sources close to the search confirmed the pick.
The Harvard Corporation, the University governing board that must ultimately approve the appointment, convenes today for one of its regularly-scheduled meetings.
Corporation Fellow Hanna H. Gray would not comment yesterday on the agenda of today’s meeting.
Summers could introduce Kirby to the full Faculty at tomorrow’s Faculty meeting. The president of the University presides over these meetings.
Kirby has long been considered a candidate for the deanship, given his administrative experience as former chair of the history department and his current role as director of Harvard’s Asia Center.
He has also shown a commitment to issues of undergraduate education—a topic that Summers has placed high on his agenda. A report co-authored by Kirby was influential in improvements to Harvard’s study abroad policies that was adopted by the Faculty earlier this month.
He served as the dean of the University College at Washington University in St. Louis from 1988 to 1992.
Kirby’s sense of humor would earn him friends among faculty members, colleagues say.
Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Peter T. Ellison was a finalist in the search.
Summers’ search for a new dean began in February, following Dean of the Faculty Jeremy R. Knowles’ announcement that he would step down as dean at the end of the academic year.
Over the course of the three-month search, Summers solicited input from students, faculty and alumni. He formed an advisory committee made of 13 professors.
Summers also met once with the chairs of all the Faculty’s departments as a group and with several of the Faculty’s top policy committees, including the Faculty Council and the Educational Policy Committee.
The Undergraduate Council also formed a committee that met with Summers almost two weeks ago to offer students’ perspective on issue the new dean should address.
University spokesperson Joe Wrinn declined to comment on the search last night.
—David H. Gellis and Catherine E. Shoichet contributed to the reporting of this story.
—Staff writer Kate L. Rakoczy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
—Staff writer Dan Rosenheck can be reached at email@example.com.