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Harvard Ed School Dean Bridget Terry Long to Step Down at End of Academic Year

Harvard Graduate School of Education Dean Bridget Terry Long will step down at the end of the 2023-2024 academic year.
Harvard Graduate School of Education Dean Bridget Terry Long will step down at the end of the 2023-2024 academic year. By Frank S. Zhou
By Emma H. Haidar and Cam E. Kettles, Crimson Staff Writers

Harvard Graduate School of Education Dean Bridget Terry Long will step down at the end of the academic year, interim University President Alan M. Garber ’76 announced Thursday in an email to HGSE affiliates.

Long’s six-year tenure as dean will conclude a decade of administrative service to the school. She previously spent four years as academic dean at HGSE before former Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust appointed her in 2018 to become the first Black woman to lead the school.

Long first joined the HGSE faculty in 2000 as a professor of education and economics. Following a sabbatical next year, she will return to teaching, according to an article in the Harvard Gazette — a University-run publication — about her resignation.

“This decision was not an easy one, but I believe this is the right time for me to embark on my next chapter — and the school is well positioned to embark on its own next chapter, too,” Long told the Gazette. She did not further specify her reason for departing.

The HGSE deanship will likely be one of Garber’s first senior appointments as interim president since taking office on Jan. 2 following former Harvard President Claudine Gay’s resignation. In a Thursday message to HGSE affiliates, Garber did not specify a timeline for the search for Long’s successor but wrote that additional information would be forthcoming.

Garber will also be tasked with completing the search for a new Harvard Kennedy School dean. Last year, HKS Dean Douglas W. Elmendorf announced his intention to step down at the end of the 2023-2024 academic year. That search was initially co-led by Garber and Gay.

Both dean searches will be conducted amid a presidential search for Garber’s permanent successor. The two dean vacancies raise the question of whether the University will wait for the next Harvard president to select Long and Elmendorf’s successors or allow Garber to make the appointments in his interim role.

In his email, Garber pointed to Long’s “vision and resolve” at the start of the pandemic, which helped HGSE transition to remote learning.

As dean, Long restructured the school’s masters’ program, streamlined professional development and alumni relations, and established pipelines for recent alumni to assist school districts struggling with pandemic-era teaching.

In his message to affiliates, Garber also highlighted Long’s fundraising efforts, touting the $80 million in financial aid raised during her six years as dean.

“Since her appointment in 2018, and throughout her earlier tenure as academic dean, Bridget has served HGSE with distinction, guided always by an unwavering commitment to the School’s mission of preparing leaders and innovators who expand opportunities and improve outcomes for learners everywhere,” Garber wrote in the email.

“I am deeply grateful for her leadership,” he added.

—Staff writer Emma H. Haidar can be reached at Follow her on X @HaidarEmma.

—Staff writer Cam E. Kettles can be reached at Follow her on X @cam_kettles or on Threads @camkettles.

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