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FAS is Hosting Informational Sessions about Tenure Review Process Changes, Gay Says

Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean Claudine Gay, pictured in her office in 2019.
Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean Claudine Gay, pictured in her office in 2019. By Allison G. Lee
By Ariel H. Kim, Crimson Staff Writer

Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean Claudine Gay said in an interview last week the FAS has been hosting informational sessions about upcoming changes to the tenure review process for tenure-track faculty.

Last month, Gay sent a plan to faculty outlining how the FAS will implement recommendations of a report published in October by a committee that examined Harvard’s tenure review procedures.

The changes outlined in the plan are directed at improving communication and feedback between candidates, deans, and review committees, offering more guidance for tenure-track faculty, and spurring more participation from tenured faculty. Most changes will go into effect on July 1.

Gay said Wednesday the FAS Office for Faculty Affairs has gathered tenure-track faculty by division to discuss implementation of changes to the tenure process and address any questions.

The FAS hosted an information session for “demystifying” the role of the Committee on Appointments and Promotions in the tenure review process, according to Gay.

“So far, the response has been very positive,” she said. “I think everyone who’s had the opportunity to review the report that was generated by the Tenure Track Review Committee has come away deeply impressed, and, honestly, in some ways, even inspired by the opportunities there are for strengthening our practices and procedures.”

She added there will be informational sessions targeted at tenured faculty and departmental administrators in the coming months.

Gay also said Wednesday the Task Force on Visual Culture and Signage has put together a search advisory committee to support the search for a curator.

The task force was originally launched in September 2020, charged with developing guidelines to evolve the visual culture and imagery of the FAS. In a final report issued last year, the task force recommended updating portraits in Annenberg Hall and expanding Harvard’s tour program using digital content.

The search advisory committee will be chaired by Arts and Humanities Dean Robin E. Kelsey. It will include faculty and other administrators, including the curator of the Harvard Art Museum.

“The hope is that before the semester is over, we’ll have at least launched the search, which means posting the job description and getting all of the outreach so that we can build a really strong diverse pool of candidates,” she said.

Gay said she anticipates the search will take several months.

The Crimson interviews FAS Dean Claudine Gay once per month during the academic year. Click here to submit a question for consideration in our next interview.

—Staff writer Meimei Xu contributed reporting.

—Staff writer Ariel H. Kim can be reached at

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