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Nancy Coleman Named Dean of the Division of Continuing Education

Nancy Coleman will serve as the new Dean of the Division of Continuing Education.
Nancy Coleman will serve as the new Dean of the Division of Continuing Education. By Courtesy of Michelle Dunham Photography
By Andy Z. Wang, Crimson Staff Writer

Nancy Coleman will serve as the new Dean of the Division of Continuing Education beginning July 13, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Claudine Gay announced in an email to FAS faculty and staff Thursday.

Gay announced the search for a new DCE dean in December of 2019, following then-Dean Huntington D. Lambert’s announcement of his retirement at the end of the calendar year. Since January, DCE Associate Dean and Chief Innovation Officer Henry H. Leitner has served as interim dean.

The DCE houses the Extension School and the Summer School, among other programs designed for nontraditional students.

In her email, Gay wrote that Coleman will bring “a passion for student success” and “a deep commitment to expanding access and opportunities.”

“Nancy is joining Harvard at a moment when advancing creative and sophisticated models of online learning is mission critical,” Gay wrote. “I’m delighted to have her as a partner as we imagine the future of both DCE and the FAS as we adapt our teaching and learning in a post COVID-19 world.”

Coleman joins Harvard from Wellesley College, where she has served as Associate Provost and Director of Strategic Growth Initiatives since 2016. In the position, she was responsible for leading Wellesley Extended, an arm of Wellesley encompassing summer programs, online learning, and professional education.

Prior to her tenure at Wellesley, Coleman also served in administration at Keypath Education, an online program management provider, as well as at Boston University, where she was the Director of Distance Education.

Additionally, Coleman was elected as the President of the University Professional and Continuing Education Association for the 2020-2021 term. She previously served as director-at-large on the board.

Coleman holds a Ed.D. in Human and Organizational Learning from George Washington University, as well as an MBA from Boston University and a B.S. from Stonehill College.

“She joins the FAS poised to advance DCE’s mission of extending Harvard to part-time learners with the academic ability, curiosity, and drive to succeed in rigorous courses and programs,” Gay wrote. “Even as we enter a time of significant challenge, Nancy will be an energetic builder and connecter, deepening ties between DCE and the rest of the FAS and committed to a transformative experience for all our students.”

—Staff Writer Andy Z. Wang can be reached at

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