A Busy Woman

Sally Falk Moore

When Professor of Anthropology Sally Falk Moore of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS), she decided she's have give up a few other duties around campus.

When she assumes the post Thursday, Moore laments that she will have to resign from her posts on the Faculty Council the Committee on Undergraduate Education and the Faculty Committee on Women.

She will have to cancel at least one, and perhaps two, of the three courses she had planned to offer in the coming academic year.

She will, she adds, have to give up writing and her anthropological research trips to Africa--at least for a while.

She'll have to hand the reins of the Anthropology Department's social Anthropology wing to one of her colleagues. And, finally, husband and Dunster House co-Master Cresap Moore will inherit most of the administrative duties connected with the job they share.


Sally Moore is a busy woman. She stands to get busier.

When she takes over from Acting GSAS Dean Peter S. McKinney on Thursday, Moore will have to begin confronting a host of difficult reforms to the school's financial and enrollment policies that were recommended by a committee conducting the school's first major review in more than 15 years.

What that means is that she and newly appointed Administrative GSAS Dean John B. Fox Jr. '59 will have to look into why enrollment in the school has dropped 60 percent during the last decade, why graduate students perennially complain that Harvard doesn't have enough teaching fellowships or housing for them, and why the GSAS needs more money--and lots of it. These problems are just the tip of the GSAS iceberg.

But colleagues say the school is in good hands. "Moore comes from diverse backgrounds and has a broad perspective, which indicates a person with a vision," says McKinney.

Diversity is indeed Moore's hallmark. The Anthropology professor's resume would turn Margaret Mead green with envy. Moore has received more than 15 academic awards, including a Guggenheim fellowship, an award for innovative teaching and another commendation for creative scholarship and research.

She has held tenured posts at the University of Southern California and the University of California at Los Angeles and is now one of 21 tenured women at Harvard.

She is also the first female dean of the GSAS and the first female Master of a River House, and she has become second only to Graduate School of Education Dean Patricia Graham on Harvard's female administrative For totem pole.

Moore has published more than 20 articles and books on topics ranging from Law and Anthropology (her specialty), to the Chagga tribe of Tanzania, to "asymmetrical cross-cousin marriage and Crow-Omaha terminology." Choice magazine named her book, Law and Process, one of 1978's best academic works.

It is a little-known fact that, at age 22, Moore also distinguished herself as the youngest prosecuting attorney for the War Department at the Nuremberg trials. It was this experience, and the desire to understand how human beings are compelled to act as the German Nazis did, that led her back to school for an Anthropology degree.

With a law degree from Columbia in 1945 and a PhD from the same school 12 years later, Moore has managed to unite her two areas of expertise into one little-explored field. She has not only offered a Core course in the Anthropology of law, but she has also been instrumental in creating a Master's degree program in the new field, as well as two others.