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Robert J. Kiely, professor of English, is the new associate dean for Undergraduate Education.
Dean Dunlop announced the appointment Friday. President Bok and Dunlop created the position last year because they felt there was a need for a professor to devote a large part of his time to the development and reform of the undergraduate curriculum. Previously, most of Kiely's duties were handled by the dean of the College who will now handle only matters pertaining to the administration of undergraduate life.
In an interview Saturday, Kiely explained that there were three different areas that he would be responsible for.
"My first duty will be to serve as chairman of the Committee on Undergraduate Education and the Committee on Special Concentrations. I also plan to attend all other committee meetings that relate in some way to undergraduate life," he said.
As chairman of the Committee on Undergraduate Education. Kiely will continue work on projects that have already begun such as a review of the General Education Program, a study of the possibility of a three-year B A program, and an examination of the feasibility of granting credit for work done while a student is away from Harvard.
Kiely described his second responsibility as serving as a "liaison" between faculty members in the various departments and the Administration and between students and the Faculty.
"This is the sort of role where I'll have to carve out my own role. I don't have any specific plans and I expect to do a lot of listening during the first term," he said.
Kiely's third job will be to serve in the role of a professional educational reformer, eventually presenting recommendations for change in the undergraduate program of study to Bok.
"I don't believe we still have a strong rationale for people spending three or four years here," Kiely said. "There isn't a cohesiveness in the program and one of my jobs will be to determine what the value of an undergraduate education is. Hopefully at the end of a year or so I'll present some of my feelings to President Bok and then, if he feels it is merited, he can appoint a committee to re-examine undergraduate education."
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