Refreshments served at Faculty meetings may no longer include cookies, but at today’s Faculty meeting—the first of this academic year—Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean Michael D. Smith may offer sunnier news in his report on the school’s finances over the past year.
Although predictions made in the spring state that the school continues to face a $35 million deficit, Smith said last month that he will be able to turn to some of his academic priorities after nearly two years of budget-strapping measures. He plans to close the deficit gap in FAS—Harvard’s largest school—by the summer of 2012.
The University endowment’s 11 percent investment returns over the course of the last fiscal year has also led FAS members to hope for an increased endowment payout—and thus higher spending capabilities—in coming years.
At today’s meeting, Smith will discuss the Dean’s 2010 Annual Report, which outlines FAS revenue and spending policies as they were over the course of last academic year. The draft is available online to some Faculty members and will be made public later in the month.
Dean’s Reports have traditionally been published in the spring semester, but Smith said he wants the information to be available to departments at the beginning of the budget planning process for next year. The official budgeting season does not begin until the spring, but departments have already worked on their preliminary requests to the Dean.
At today’s meeting, Smith will also discuss the planning for a new capital campaign. Harvard’s last capital campaign, which ended in 2001, raised $2.6 billion ($3.2 billion in today’s dollars). But in recent years, the University has repeatedly decided to postpone a new campaign.
“It’s been 10 years since Harvard ended its last campaign,” University President Drew G. Faust said in an interview last March. “That’s a very long time to go between campaigns.”
Although the past years in FAS have seen budget cuts and slimmed hiring, formulating plans for a capital campaign may be one indication that the University believes that its donors are once again prepared to give.
And across FAS, faculty members and administrators alike are hoping that the school can turn away from a discourse of budget cuts.
“I know that this year will be difficult,” said English department chair W. James Simpson. “But with the endowment looking up and with the markets looking up, there may be some light at the end of the tunnels.”
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Harvard Will Launch Historic Capital Campaign in 2013Harvard hopes to publicly launch its University-wide capital campaign in 2013. The campaign will likely aim to raise at least $6 billion, according to senior administrators and people with knowledge of the situation, which would likely make it the largest capital campaign ever run by an institution of higher education.
Support The Harvard CampaignJohn Harvard would be surprised that nearly four centuries after his generous gift, Harvard University has 21,000 students across 12 schools. He would be shocked at the $30.7 billion endowment. He would not be able to grasp the cutting-edge research, innovation, and learning happening both in Cambridge and across the river. He could not have known then what Harvard is now, much as we do not know now what Harvard will be in another 400 years.
With $1.3 Billion Pledged, FAS Campaign Over Halfway to GoalThe Harvard Campaign for Arts and Sciences raised a little more than half of its $2.5 billion fundraising goal as of the end of February, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Michael D. Smith wrote in an email to the Faculty Monday morning.