The First Year as a Provost

Rudenstine said Green has made it possible for the administration to complete projects that could not have been accomplished otherwise--including, apparently, taking a break.

Last month, Rudenstine and his wife Angelica traveled to the British Isles for what Rudenstine describes as their first real vacation since he became president. While everything from Stonehenge to family was on the agenda, one thing was not--the capital campaign. "I did not ask anybody for money and I did not look for anybody to ask for money," Rudenstine says.

Green, on the other hand, spent a few weekends in New York on what he described as fundraising trips, talking with alumni who are viewed as potential donors--one of the special benefits of being the second-ranked administrator at the richest University in the world.

The campaign is expected to kick off this spring, and the academic planning process, according to Green and Rudenstine, is being adjusted and developed--much like the concept of the provost's office itself.

Later In The Program


Green's part in the academic planning and capital campaign process are only one element of his administrative role. A typical interview with the provost contains questions on everything from race relations at Harvard to retirement law to the University endowment--and he manages to provide an answer to most questions.

Green was the chair of a committee which recommended this spring that the University offer health coverage to domestic partners of University employees, and was involved in protracted negotiations with the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers over the union's new contract last year.

His role in Harvard's complex labor-management dance was not without its tense spots. At one point, he accused the union of spreading "disinformation." At another point, a source close to the committee on domestic partner benefits grumbled that Green "had a lot to learn" about the subject. But in the end, the union had a contract and the domestic partners had their health benefits, in arrangements with which all sides said they were pleased.

Other areas of Green's efforts have been somewhat less strained. He is the head of the standing committee on visiting committees, groups of outside experts which periodically examine various aspects of the University. The committee is currently putting the finishing touches on a report that will suggest some changes in the visiting committee system.

Green was also instrumental in developing the new environmental sciences and public policy concentration that will be available for undergraduates this fall.

And Green has been a key figure in managing the University's progress in the area of information technology, a fast-growing field in recent years.

His involvement with science-related matters has gone far beyond computers, however.

Green says his favorite day as provost was not been spent schmoozing with foreign leaders or developing ground-breaking new policy.

"The most interesting day I've spent all year was the day that I took the first-year curriculum in the M.D. program and made believe I was an M.D. student," Green says. "They've done a beautiful job. This hands-on case study instruction integrated into the rest of the medical education...I was prepared for it to be good, but it was very, very good."

The Medical School, says Green, has been the source of many surprises. "I mean, I knew about the Medical School, but until you see it in action, it's a little hard to realize how complicated a place it is and how large it is," he says. "I have a tremendous admiration for (Medical School) Dean Tosteson, for what he's done."