College Appoints New Dean of Finance

University Hall announced last week that John F. Gates will take over the responsibility of overseeing the College’s budget as the new associate dean for administration and finance, starting July 1.

Gates, who has served as provost and special assistant to the president at the University of Vermont (UVM) since 2003, will handle a number of administrative areas at the College, including human resources, finance, information technology, facilities, and operations.

Gates’ appointment comes in the midst of a major overhaul of the College administration.

In addition to shifting several University Hall standbys into new posts, Dean of the College Benedict H. Gross ’71 announced in January a series of appointments and new positions intended to better manage undergraduate life, in anticipation of future changes in the undergraduate curriculum, residential life, and advising structures.

Gates replaces Associate Dean of the College Georgene B. Herschbach, who became associate dean for undergraduate academic programs early this January.

In the interim, the staff in the financial office of the College has managed budgetary issues on its own in consultation with Herschbach, Gross said.

Gates, who advises senior administrators and manages diversity and equity programs at UVM, is currently on leave to complete his dissertation. He expects to get his Ph.D. in comparative international higher education and leadership from the University of London next year.

Gates’ experience in undergraduate administration spans more than a decade, balancing school and full-time work through his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees.

“I began college as a nontraditional student, and have undertaken all my degrees while working full-time,” Gates wrote in an e-mail yesterday.

Gates boasts a B.A. in English and African-American literature from Morehouse College and a M.A. in higher education administration from New York University (NYU).

“Our goal...is to develop the operations of the College as instruments for the advancement of student-centered learning,” Gates wrote. “We will do so by aligning the College’s resources to ensure a financial baseline that supports the recommendations of the curricular review and the need for ongoing investments in the quality of the student experience.”

Prior to his brief stint at UVM, Gates worked at NYU, while earning his master’s, for nearly a decade in a wide range of administrative posts. As executive director of Global Operations, Gates coordinated NYU’s campuses in the Czech Republic, Great Britain, Italy, and Argentina.

Gates also served as chief-of-staff to the vice chancellor and provost and acted as associate director of the NYU Africana Studies Program and The Institute of African-American affairs.

Gates was also involved with the Faculty Resource Network as associate director.

Gross pointed to Gates’ extensive experience in various aspects of undergraduate life as an advantage.

“Having an administrative dean who has worked on study abroad, student activities, and similar issues in the past will be a great advantage,” Gross wrote in an e-mail yesterday. “Hiring experienced administrators from outside Harvard has brought new vision to the College—Jane Edwards, Barry Kane, and Pat O’Brien are some recent examples.”

Gates will report to deputy dean of the College Patricia O’Brien.

—Staff writer Margaret W. Ho can be reached at mwho@fas.harvard.edu.