Dean of the Division of Continuing Education Huntington D. Lambert announced his decision to retire in December in an email to DCE affiliates Wednesday.
DCE encompasses Harvard’s Extension School and Summer School, as well as a variety of other academic enrichment programs. Lambert has held the deanship for six years. Starting next January, Henry H. Leitner, DCE associate dean and chief innovation officer, will serve as interim dean until a permanent replacement can be found.
Lambert wrote in the Wednesday email that he is stepping down to focus on “family, philanthropy, and learning passions,” and to thank the school’s students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
“I am reaching out to thank all of you for your amazing contributions to our successes at DCE,” Lambert wrote. “Your hard work and dedication to our mission, students, FAS, and Harvard have allowed us to expand DCE into the leading CE institution in the world. It was an honor to work with such committed and driven staff, faculty, and teaching assistants.”
In recent years, DCE programs have increased both in participation and their financial contributions to Harvard. Harvard Summer School offers more than 500 courses to over 10,000 students. The Extension School offers more than 900 courses, which are available both online and on campus. In Lambert’s first year at Harvard — 2013 — the Extension School issued 645 degrees. Now, the number has risen to more than 1,200 annually.
In a message sent Tuesday, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Claudine Gay praised Lambert’s contribution to Harvard’s educational mission and attributed DCE’s growth to his work.
“During Hunt’s time as dean, Harvard has increasingly sought to engage learners who seek to expand their knowledge and develop deeper professional skills through non-degree offerings,” she wrote. “Hunt and other leaders within DCE have been important voices in that work, both in cross-university review efforts and through DCE’s own programs.”
Prior to arriving in Cambridge, Lambert had worked on more than 25 startups in 12 different countries. As an administrator at Colorado State University, he founded an entrepreneurship center and the university system’s online program. In his email Wednesday, Lambert described leading DCE as a “finale” to his career and called the divisions’ faculty, staff, and students “outstanding.”
“Nothing prepared me for the quality of the dedicated adult part-time and summer students Harvard DCE attracts and engages,” Lambert wrote. “DCE has demonstrated to the whole world that serving students across their lifespan is what makes a great 21st century global university like Harvard complete.”
Gay wrote in her email that a search for Lambert’s successor will commence later this fall.
As Lambert completes his tenure at Harvard, Gay offered her gratitude for his work leading DCE.
“Hunt leaves a proud legacy at Harvard, and I am deeply grateful for the positive impact he has had on our community.”
—Staff writer Lucy Liu can be reached at email@example.com.