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By Noah S. Rayman and Elyssa A. L. Spitzer, Crimson Staff Writers

During a discussion about whether the Registrar’s Office should require course leaders to opt into three-hour exams at the end of the semester—a motion that the Faculty ultimately passed—History Professor Charles S. Maier ’60 inadvertently admitted to giving students a take-home exam during exam period.

Dean of Undergraduate Education Jay M. Harris, who spearheaded the discussion, explained the rules for exam period and reading period.

During exam period, he said, major papers and projects are not permitted to be due.

In his second question on the topic, Maier said that he generally gives his students a two-day take-home exam at the end of his course.

“I understand that they can consult their books. The effort is to make them synthesize [the course material],” he said.

“Are you saying under this proposal I can no longer do that? Because if so, I can’t possibly support it,” he continued.

“No, not at all,” Harris said. “I mean, I assume...are you doing that during exam period, or reading period?”

“No, ah, oh,” Maier said. “At the end of reading period I send it out. I put something online and I say pick a 48-hour interval...and turn it in 48 hours after you open it.”

“So, I would say if the due date is during exam period, it does run afoul with existing rules, but this proposal has nothing to do with it,” Harris replied.

“I will clean up my act there,” Maier said to laughter. “But if it is due at the end of reading period...”

Then Maier would be in line with existing rules, Harris confirmed.

University President Drew. G. Faust, who moderates Faculty meetings, then asked the Faculty, “Do you have any other confessions?”


The final Faculty meeting of the year marked the Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ equivalent to a field day, where faculty were honored with applause for professorial excellence.

As FAS Dean Michael D. Smith read over 20 names aloud, faculty stood to clap for their peers in a gathering that Smith said “probably made quorum.”

Five professors were named Harvard College Professors: Professor of Applied Mathematics and Applied Physics Michael P. Brenner, Slavic Languages and Literatures Professor Julie Buckler, Classics and History Professor Emma Dench, History Professor Peter E. Gordon, and Human Evolutionary Biology Professor Daniel E. Lieberman.

Smith also announced the newly elected members of the Faculty Council: Economics Professor Jerry R. Green,  German Art and Culture Professor Jeffrey F. Hamburger, Associate Professor of History Maya Jasanoff, Philosophy Professor Sean D. Kelly, Professor of Biological Oceanography James J. McCarthy, and Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature Karen L. Thornber.

Over ten professors were honored with teaching and mentoring awards—including the John H. Marquand Award for Exceptional Advising and Counseling, the Roslyn Abramson Award, the Joseph R. Levenson Memorial Teaching Prize, and the Everett Mendelsohn Excellence in Mentoring Award.

—Staff writer Noah S. Rayman can be reached at —Staff writer Elyssa A.L. Spitzer can be reached at

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