Ellwood did leave the White House in 1995, expressing deep reservations about the compromise that President Clinton reached with congressional Republicans on welfare reform. But he returned to his post as academic dean of the Kennedy School, while the school’s top administrative post went to another Clinton White House official: then-Assistant Secretary of Defense Joseph S. Nye.
After eight years as dean, Nye is stepping down this summer—and University President Lawrence H. Summers has tapped Ellwood to lead the Kennedy School.
Ellwood said he doesn’t know if he would have accepted the deanship in 1995 had then-University President Neil L. Rudenstine offered him the post.
“I can devote myself to the job [now] in a way that would have been very difficult back then,” Ellwood said. “This is the right time for me.”
Ellwood has been a member of the school’s faculty since 1980—with a two-year leave of absence during his stint at the White House in the 1990s. He most recently served as the Black professor of political economy.
Ellwood inherits a school that has changed dramatically since the beginning of Nye’s deanship. The school’s faculty and student body have grown remarkably—both in size and diversity.
Sustaining that growth will be a challenging task. The University faces a fundraising slowdown and a costly Allston expansion—factors that could exacerbate the Kennedy School’s budget crunch and force further belt-tightening measures.
But with these challenges come new opportunities. The Allston expansion will make the Kennedy School closer to the geographic center of Harvard. And if Ellwood has his way, the school will be a link between the University’s Cambridge home and its new campus across the Charles.
BRIDGE OVER THE RIVER
Ellwood served as the only Harvard College alum on the University’s Allston planning task force focused on undergraduate life—a committee that last month recommended the construction of between three and eight upperclass Houses across the river.
“If undergraduate housing is on both sides of the river, we’re conveniently located right at the intersection,” Ellwood said.
The Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics could then serve as central space for undergraduates on both sides of the Charles, Ellwood said.
Ellwood holds deep ties to the Quad—currently home to three upperclass Houses that could be uprooted in the Allston expansion. He was a member of Currier House while he was a student at the College, and his daughter is a member of Pforzheimer House’s Class of 2006. But the task force’s report could uproot the Quad houses from Garden Street.
“I’m proud to be a Currier House resident,” Ellwood said. “But at the end of the day, the key is one University and I believe in one University.”
Welfare Expert Set to Re-Join K-School FacultyLike a kid fresh from Santa's lap, Dean of the Kennedy School Joseph S. Nye announced yesterday that the Kennedy
KSG Students Rally To Fund ProgramStudents at the Kennedy School of Government (KSG) launched a campaign this week to raise funds for a popular but
Kennedy School Budget BurgeonsThe historically cash-strapped Kennedy School of Government has completed a stunning financial turnaround, posting a $1.1 million surplus in the
Outside FAS, Support Was Strong for SummersLawrence H. Summers continued to enjoy strong support at Harvard’s professional schools throughout the tumult of the past three weeks,
KSG Predicts Surplus for ’05Moving past former financial woes, the Kennedy School of Government is projecting a fourth consecutive budget surplus for the upcoming
Gov. School Holds On to KennedyIn politics, image is all-important—and no place should know that better than a school of government. The John F. Kennedy