Getting To Know the Bosses

The Harvard Corporation oversees all of the University's major decisions. But who makes up this panel?

Ask a student about the Harvard Corporation and you’ll get one of two responses. Said student may act bewildered and confused. Alternatively, she migh hop on the nearest soapbox and rant. What does the Corporation actually do?

Officially known as the Board of President and Fellows, the Corporation is an oversight panel comprised of seven ludicrously pedigreed Harvard graduates who evaluate the University’s departments, programs and museums; give consent to University appointments and “major initiatives,” such as Allston; and contribute expertise and advice to various committees and boards.

Last spring, the Corporation’s sole female member, Hanna H. Gray, accepted a history professorship at the University of Chicago and will officially step down from the board in June. While the Corporation searches for a replacement, FM takes a look at the team she’s leaving behind.

Lawrence H. Summers

Born: New Haven, Connecticut, November 30, 1954

RESIDES: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Education: B.A. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1975; Ph.D. Harvard, 1982.

Day Job: President of Harvard University.

Street Creds: Former member of economics faculty of MIT and Harvard; member of President’s Council of Economic Advisers; winner of Alan Waterman Award from National Science Foundation, 1987 and John Bates Clark Medal, 1993, for work in economics; former chief economist of the World Bank; Secretary of the United States Treasury, 1999-2001; former fellow at Brookings Institution; member of National Academy of Sciences.

High Point: Creating groundbreaking project for expansion of Harvard campus into Allston.

Low Point: Publicly alienating African-American Studies Department faculty and engaging in a standoff with Cornel West.

Robert E. Rubin

Born: New York, New York, 1938

RESIDES: New York, New York

Education: B.A. Harvard, 1960; L.L.B. Yale School of Law, 1964.

DAY JOB: Director and Chairman of Executive Committee, Citigroup Inc.; Chairman of Local Initiatives Support Corporation.