Jay M. Harris, teacher of the popular core course Foreign Cultures 56: "Jewish Life in Eastern Europe," received tenure this week in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (NELC).
Although the appointment will not be official until July 1, Harris was notified on Monday afternoon that he would be tenured, NELC department chair John Huehnergard said yesterday.
In addition to the "Jewish Life," which has 234 students, Harris offers courses in Bible commentary and directs graduate and undergraduate tutorials.
In an interview yesterday, Harris said he was "happy" with his new appointment.
Huehnergard said the department is "delighted" with Harris' promotion.
"[Harris] has been a wonderful teacher and colleague and a superb scholar," said Huehnergard, who is professor of Semitic philology. "We're very happy he's staying with us."
Harris arrived at Harvard as an assistant professor in 1989. He was later promoted to associate professor and then to the Weston chair as an associate professor of humanities.
Before coming to Harvard, Harris taught in Columbia's religion department for five years.