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Bacow Discusses FAS Dean Search at Faculty Meeting

Faculty enter University Hall for their monthly faculty meeting on a rainy Tuesday afternoon in spring 2018.
Faculty enter University Hall for their monthly faculty meeting on a rainy Tuesday afternoon in spring 2018. By Kai R. McNamee
By Angela N. Fu and Lucy Wang, Crimson Staff Writers

President-elect Lawrence S. Bacow delivered an update about the ongoing search for the next dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at the last Faculty meeting of the semester Tuesday.

Outgoing FAS Dean Michael D. Smith announced in March that he planned to step down from his position but would continue to serve as dean until Bacow, who is leading the search, named a successor.

Bacow updated meeting attendees on the search and said he is still collecting input from faculty members and meeting with department chairs. Bacow also said he and University Provost Alan M. Garber ’76 have already met with the Faculty Council—FAS’s highest governing body—the divisional deans, the Graduate Student Council, the Undergraduate Council, and various faculty members. In March, Bacow announced to FAS affiliates the composition of a committee that would advise him on the search.

“This is probably the most important appointment I will have to make as president. I don’t have to tell you that the Faculty of Arts and Sciences is the heart of the institution. It’s far more important we do this right than to do this with some artificial timeline,” Bacow said.

Tuesday’s meeting was the last Faculty meeting over which University President Drew G. Faust will preside before she steps down in June. Smith thanked Faust for “more than a decade of visionary leadership” near the beginning of the meeting and presented her with a hand-bound copy of her book, “This Republic of Suffering.”

“Fittingly, for all you have done to bring together art-making and scholarship these past 11 years, this book—your book—is now both deep scholarship and a piece of art,” Smith said as he presented Faust with the volume.

Following Smith’s presentation, faculty members rose and gave Faust a standing ovation. Faust called the book “beautiful,” thanking Smith, the librarians, and the Faculty.

The Faculty also unanimously voted to approve the creation of a new Ph.D. program at the Business School. The new program will grant students a Ph.D. in Business Administration and replace the existing doctor of business administration degree currently offered by HBS.

Government professor Dustin Tingley presented a new syllabus tool for the faculty, which would allow faculty and students to search for syllabi by keywords in a centralized web interface. Tingley said current syllabi for classes can often be hard to find, and this tool would allow for students pursuing research or senior theses to find “curated reading lists.”

Dean of Undergraduate Education Jay M. Harris, who will also be stepping down this June, presented plans for revamping the current course evaluation system, known as the “Q Guide.” A new subcommittee evaluating the Q Guide will start its work in fall 2018.

The Faculty also voted unanimously to approve courses of instruction for the upcoming 2018–2019 academic year in both FAS and the Extension School.

—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 @lucyyloo22.

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