Kennedy School Looks for Cohesion

Carnesale Aims to Consolidate Resources

After years of expansion, the Kennedy School of Government this year focused on consolidation. With a new dean at the helm, the school is seeking to create a more cohesive institution.

Littauer Professor of Public Policy Albert Carnesale succeeded Price Professor of Politics Robert D. Putnam as dean of the school in November, after serving one semester as acting dean.

The former academic dean says the goal of his deanship will be to "consolidate" the school's resources and create a more efficient machine.

"We've gotten students more engaged in the activities of our research centers, for example," says Carnesale. "We've gotten staff and the administration more engaged and informed about teaching and research activities in the school."

Many of Carnesale's colleagues describe his deanship as more active and open than his predecessors," saying his efforts have done much to galvanize the community.


"Graham Allison was extremely intelligent and visible. Putnam was put her too brief a time [two years] to leave a specific imprint...[but] he was very concerned about academic standards," says Marvin Kalb, Murrow professor of press and public policy.

"Carnesale comes in a time when the school is searching for a new definition of purpose...He's been here long enough to know where the school has been and where it's going," says Kalb, who is also the director of the Joan Shorenstein Barone Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy.

Pierce Professor of Technology and Public Policy Harvey Brooks says, "I think he's somewhat better in communicating with the faculty than his predecessors."

In addition to consolidating resources, Carnesale is trying to strengthen the school's ties to the greater Harvard community. He is active in the University's academic planning process and is bolstering the Kennedy School's programs in education, economic policy-making and health policy-making, programs that Harvard's other schools are interested in.


One of Carnesale's achievements has been reorganizing the structures of the faculty and administration, says Francis M. Bator, Ford Foundation professor of international political economy.

According to Bator, Professor of Public Policy David T. Ellwood, who will replace Carnesale as academic dean, "will principally be responsible for the management of personnel issues and staffing."

Two other positions were created through consolidation to assist the dean. "Joe Kalt [Professor of Political Economy] will be responsible for research centers..[and Baker Professor of Public Management Herman B.] Leonard will be responsible for the curriculum," he says.

Another example of Carnesale's attempt to consolidate is appointing junior faculty to new posts created by consolidation, according to Kennedy School spokesperson Steven R. Singer. This will enable more faculty members to be more active in the Kennedy School community, he says.

"I suspect that is also going to be a kind of liberating experience with people not feeling bogged down in bureaucracy," Kalb says.