Bok Creates Urban Planning Chairs

K-School, GSD Will Share Three Joint Positions

President Bok has created three professorships in urban planning to be held jointly at Kennedy School of Government and the Graduate School of Design (GSD)

Bok outlined his proposal in a November 8 memorandum, promising to "make available funds to finance the first of the three professorships."

The GSD has experienced recent financial troubles; a problem many administrators and faculty attribute to the loss of the City and Regional Planning Program, which was transferred to the K-School in 1980, taking many students and revenues with it.

We Want It Back

Since the GSD lost the program. Dean Gerald M. McCue has explored the possibility of creating a new design-oriented urban planning program at the GSD to complement the K-School's program.


During the summer, Bok selected an advisory group of K-School and GSD deans and faculty to discuss alternatives to a separate degree program at the GSD.

Rather than create a joint degree program. Bok proposed the three professorships--in transportation, housing, and urban economic development--leaving options open for further strengthening of Harvard's graduate urban planning programs.

A Positive Step

Steven L. Solomon assistant dean for development at the GSD, said the program "will be an added positive effect in terms of attracting students to our school and our programs."

But Solomon added. "I don't think enrollment is meant to shoot up as a result of these professorships."

Both schools currently offer courses in the areas the join professional ship, will cover, but officials said the collaborative efforts of the schools will produce better-trained urban planner.

"It will enable our students to gain more knowledge of finance and management," Solomon said.

"What this plan will do is allow both schools to specialize in their distinctive areas of competence," said David M. Irons, director of external affairs at the K-School "There will be some overlap, but that's understandable when the whole purpose is to generate cross-pollination. "Hybrids are always stronger," he added.

The joint professors will teach real estate finance and the history of urban development in the GSD, according to Bok's memo, while urban politics, finance and management will remain at the Kennedy School.

Both schools will also work together in teaching and research on issues of urban policy and physical planning.

It is unclear at this stage what curricular impact the professorships will have, professors said yesterday.

Search committees for the positions have not yet been established, said Edith M. Stokey, secretary of the K-School.