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Faculty Vote to Approve Environmental Engineering Concentration

The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, where the new Environmental Engineering concentration will be housed.
The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, where the new Environmental Engineering concentration will be housed. By Fankai Liu
By Angela N. Fu and Lucy Wang, Crimson Staff Writers

The Faculty of Arts and Science voted to create a new Environmental Engineering concentration at their monthly meeting Tuesday.

The addition of the new concentration, Environmental Science and Engineering, will bring the total number of concentrations offered to undergraduates up to 50. The Faculty unanimously voted for its creation, and, in a meeting last month, the Faculty Council—FAS’s highest governing body— also unanimously supported the new concentration.

Environmental Engineering Professor Daniel P. Schrag initially presented the proposal to the faculty at their meeting last month. He explained that ESE was the only track within the Engineering Sciences concentration that did not have its own standalone concentration. Currently, students are only able to concentrate in Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, or Electrical Engineering.

During the President’s business portion of the meeting, University President Drew G. Faust said the 2019 spending bill Congress passed last month will have positive effects for the University in various areas. She pointed specifically to increased funding for agencies that support research—like the National Institutes of Health—programs like Federal Work-Study.

She said, though, that the bill is missing a permanent fix for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals—an Obama-era program that allows undocumented youth to legally live and work in the United States—and that she would continue to advocate for undocumented students and faculty. President Donald Trump has vowed to end the program, and over the past year, Faust has met with top lawmakers in Washington, D.C. multiple times to advocate for DACA.

Harvard Business School Dean Nitin Nohria also presented a proposal to create a new Ph.D. program in Business Administration to replace the existing Doctor of Business Administration degree that HBS currently offers. Under the proposal, HBS and FAS will jointly offer the new Ph.D. program.

The Faculty Council has previously voted unanimously to support the proposal. Their vote, however, is purely advisory, and the Faculty will not vote on the proposal until May.

Additionally, Philosophy Professor Sean D. Kelly, who sits on the docket committee of the Faculty Council, announced six new members were elected to the Council for the upcoming academic year. Kelly said a record 294 Faculty members cast ballots in this year’s election, and the new Council members will begin to serve in July.

In contrast to last year, when the Council elected no female faculty to its ranks, half of the new council members are female. Anthropology Professor Anya Bernstein, History Professor Kirsten A. Weld, and East Asian Studies Professor Jie Li will join the Council in July.

Many administrators and professors who spoke at the meeting also praised Smith, who announced last month that he will be stepping down as soon as President-elect Bacow finds a replacement, for his eleven years of work as the FAS Dean.

Faust said Smith had a “steady hand at helm” during his tenure and highlighted his commitment to teaching and diversity issues in FAS. Upon his recognition, the room of faculty members stood up and erupted with applause.

—Staff writer Angela N. Fu can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @angelanfu.

—Staff writer Lucy Wang can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @lucyyloo22Faculty Vote to Approve Environmental Engineering Concentration

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