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Harvard divestment advocates caught national attention when they took their fight to court last week, but legal experts say the case’s claims may ultimately be too tenuous to be heard.
Harvard Will Keep Controversial Health Plans, Faust Says, But Will Subsidize Some Affected Employees
University President Drew G. Faust wrote Thursday night that Harvard will keep the controversial changes in place for 2015 but will also establish a fund to mitigate cost increases for some employees and explore alternative plan designs for the future.
Harvard’s small surplus is a move into the black after recent years of deficits large and small. The progress was largely fueled by the first public year of fundraising for the Harvard Campaign.
A tense back and forth between administrators defending the policy changes and FAS professors, who loudly applauded each other after each statement condemning the policy, followed the introduction of the motion.
University Provost Alan M. Garber ’76 argued that increases in health care costs at Harvard necessitated adjustments, including the introduction of a deductible in some instances and a 10 percent co-pay.
The size of the faculty had remained flat since the onset of the financial crisis until the last fiscal year. Its renewed growth comes even as the school ran a $77 million deficit, according to a copy of the draft report obtained on Monday.
The jump in costs that Hausammann described did take place, but over the course of only two years and more than a decade ago.
Stephen Blyth, pictured at the Phi Beta Kappa Literary Exercises in 2013, was named the next president and CEO of Harvard Management Company on Wednesday.
Blyth, who is currently a managing director and head of public markets at HMC as well as a professor of statistics, will assume the role Jan. 1, 2015.
The investment gains leave Harvard’s endowment just short of its $36.9 billion peak, which was reached in June of 2008, before the global financial crisis.
Faust made it clear in an interview on Tuesday that the humanities will be a focus for her during the academic year.
Harvard has raised at least $4.3 billion in pledges and donations during its University-wide capital campaign so far, including $500 million in the second quarter of 2014 alone.
Members of Harvard Faculty for Divestment called once again for an open and public forum with members of the Harvard Corporation and the Harvard Management Company on Tuesday.
Some activists worry that the new plans may increase the cost of healthcare for non-union employees; others say that the changes help balance costs.