News

Undergraduates Celebrate Second Consecutive Virtual Housing Day

News

Dean of Students Office Discusses Housing Day, Anti-Racism Goals

News

Renowned Cardiologist and Nobel Peace Prize Winner Bernard Lown Dies at 99

News

Native American Nonprofit Accuses Harvard of Violating Federal Graves Protection and Repatriation Act

News

U.S. Reps Assess Biden’s Progress on Immigration at HKS Event

Harvard steals Organic Chemist From Caltech

Rudenstine bypasses ad hoc committee

By Kevin S. Schwartz, CRIMSON STAFF WRITERS

Andrew G. Myers, a chemistry professor at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and a leading synthetic organic chemist has accepted a tenured position in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology (CCB) following an unusually abbreviated review process.

Myers was officially offered his Harvard appointment March 20 and accepted within a week in a letter to Dean of the Faculty Jeremy R. Knowles, himself an accomplished organic chemist.

CCB began the process of filling the professorship two years ago. In early February, President Neil L. Rudenstine reviewed the Myers case.

According to David A. Evans, chair of CCB and Lawrence professor of chemistry, Rudenstine "ruled that an ad hoc committee did not have to be convened because of the strength of the case."

An ad hoc committee traditionally meets to review a candidate who has been recommended for tenure by a department. The committee--which consists of experts from within and outside Harvard--makes a recommendation to Rudenstine, but does not vote. Later, Rudenstine and Knowles meet and then Rudenstine personally makes the final tenure decision.

Harvard's confidential tenure process--and the ad hoc committee in particular--has come under fire with last spring's tenure denials of Associate Professor of Government Peter Berkowitz and Bonnie Honig, now a tenured professor at Northwestern University.

Some observers have alleged improprieties in the makeup of Berkowitz's ad hoc committee, which did not recommend him for tenure.

One tenured professor in the government department, who refused to be named, was unaware of a previous case where the ad hoc committee stage was bypassed.

"This is absolutely astonishing, " the professor said, regarding the rapid review of Myers' tenure case. "My understanding is that the ad hoc com- mittee is not skippable."

University spokesperson Alex Huppe would notcomment on Myers' tenure.

Evans explained that the department wassuccessful in its efforts to expedite theappointment because the department uniformlysupported Myers' candidacy.

"We're absolutely delighted," Evans said."[Myers] is unquestionably the best syntheticorganic chemist under the age of 40 in the world."

Myers said he was very excited to be joiningthe Harvard Faculty.

"I am particularly looking forward to workingwith my new colleagues on the Faculty and staff,"Myers said. "They are wonderful people and havemade every effort to smooth the transition for meand my research group."

Peter B. Dervan, chair and professor ofchemistry and chemical engineering at Caltech,could not be reached for comment.

Myers received his bachelor degree in chemistryfrom MIT. He went on to receive his Ph.D. inchemistry at Harvard.

Myers was advised by Elias J. Corey, Emeryprofessor of organic chemistry and a Nobellaureate, on research as a graduate student andlater a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard.

Corey was pleased that Myers will joinHarvard's Faculty.

"He is an absolutely outstanding syntheticchemist and a leader in his generation," Coreysaid.

Myers joined the faculty of Caltech in 1986,and became a full professor there in 1994.

Myers' research interests involve the synthesisand study of complex molecules of importance inbiology and human medicine. His research alsofocuses on the development of new methodology insynthetic organic chemistry.

Myers has been recognized for his work by anumber of awards. Most recently, Myers won theThieme-IUPAC Award in Synthetic Organic Chemistry,the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, and the Camilleand Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award.

Myers' responsibilities will include teachingand research. He will bring a group of 10 graduatestudents and two post-doctorate students with himto work with new Harvard graduate students in thefall.

Myers' appointment takes effect July 1, but hewill not begin teaching next year.

According to Evans, he will be participating incommittee work, along with setting up his researchlabs and reestablishing his group at Harvard.

In coming years, Myers will teachundergraduate- and graduate-level organicchemistry courses, Evans said

University spokesperson Alex Huppe would notcomment on Myers' tenure.

Evans explained that the department wassuccessful in its efforts to expedite theappointment because the department uniformlysupported Myers' candidacy.

"We're absolutely delighted," Evans said."[Myers] is unquestionably the best syntheticorganic chemist under the age of 40 in the world."

Myers said he was very excited to be joiningthe Harvard Faculty.

"I am particularly looking forward to workingwith my new colleagues on the Faculty and staff,"Myers said. "They are wonderful people and havemade every effort to smooth the transition for meand my research group."

Peter B. Dervan, chair and professor ofchemistry and chemical engineering at Caltech,could not be reached for comment.

Myers received his bachelor degree in chemistryfrom MIT. He went on to receive his Ph.D. inchemistry at Harvard.

Myers was advised by Elias J. Corey, Emeryprofessor of organic chemistry and a Nobellaureate, on research as a graduate student andlater a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard.

Corey was pleased that Myers will joinHarvard's Faculty.

"He is an absolutely outstanding syntheticchemist and a leader in his generation," Coreysaid.

Myers joined the faculty of Caltech in 1986,and became a full professor there in 1994.

Myers' research interests involve the synthesisand study of complex molecules of importance inbiology and human medicine. His research alsofocuses on the development of new methodology insynthetic organic chemistry.

Myers has been recognized for his work by anumber of awards. Most recently, Myers won theThieme-IUPAC Award in Synthetic Organic Chemistry,the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, and the Camilleand Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award.

Myers' responsibilities will include teachingand research. He will bring a group of 10 graduatestudents and two post-doctorate students with himto work with new Harvard graduate students in thefall.

Myers' appointment takes effect July 1, but hewill not begin teaching next year.

According to Evans, he will be participating incommittee work, along with setting up his researchlabs and reestablishing his group at Harvard.

In coming years, Myers will teachundergraduate- and graduate-level organicchemistry courses, Evans said

Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.

Tags