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Professors, Staff Named to Presidential Search Advisory Committee

By Claire E. Parker, Crimson Staff Writer

Harvard moved one step closer to naming its next president Tuesday when it unveiled the membership of two committees that will advise the search for University President Drew G. Faust’s successor.

Photography professor Robin Kelsey, the dean of Arts and Humanities for FAS, will chair the 13-member faculty committee, and executive vice president Katie Lapp will chair the nine-member staff committee. Members hail from across the University’s schools and disciplines, with only the School of Dental Medicine unrepresented.

As the search committee—comprised of all 12 members of the Harvard Corporation and three members of the Board of Overseers—amasses a list of possible candidates, it will consult these groups to glean what qualities and backgrounds they’d like to see in the next president. It plans to unveil a student advisory committee later this summer, according to a press release.

At a university whose faculty is prone to flare-ups with administrators over governance—and brought about the downfall of at least one president—faculty engagement in the search will be critical to the next president’s success. The advisory committee will provide a channel through which Harvard’s professors can influence the process.

“Our faculty drive the intellectual ambitions and the academic excellence of this extraordinary University, and we’re very grateful to these distinguished professors from across Harvard for their willingness to devote their time and insights to the critical effort ahead,” William F. Lee, who is the senior fellow of the Harvard Corporation and chair of the search committee, said in a statement.

The staff committee will work with central administrators and members of the Administrative Council across Harvard’s schools to garner the perspectives of employees and convey them to the search committee.

The search committee has also been soliciting advice and nominations through a designated email address since last month, and Lee wrote in the press release that it has already received hundreds of submissions. The committee plans to name Faust’s successor before she departs in June 2018.

The full composition of the faculty committee is as follows: Kelsey, Law professor William Alford, Graduate School of Design professor Anita Berrizbeitia, Divinity School professor Catherine Brekus, Medical School professor Stephen Elledge, Kennedy School professor and former dean David Ellwood, FAS dean of social science Claudine Gay, biology professor Hopi Hoekstra, Graduate School of Education professor Bridget Terry Long, Business School professor Youngme Moon, philosophy professor Alison Simmons, SEAS professor Salil Vadhan, and School of Public Health professor Dyann Wirth.

The staff committee includes: Lapp, Divinity School Executive Dean Patricia M. Byrne, Business School Executive Dean for Administration Angela Q. Crispi, Vice President for Human Resources Marilyn Hausammann, Graduate School of Education Executive Dean for Administration Jack Jennings, FAS Dean of Administration and Finance Leslie Kirwan, Deputy General Counsel Diane E. Lopez, Radcliffe Executive Dean Nisha Mongia, and Vice President for Campus Services Meredith Weenick.

—Staff writer Claire E. Parker can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @ClaireParkerDC.

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Drew FaustFront FeatureUniversity NewsFaculty NewsPresidential Search