The Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) cleared up its remaining routine duties throughout this most non-routine of years at its final common assembly of the tutorial yr on Tuesday afternoon. Many of the prior conferences had been largely given over to listening to reviews, however vital educational motion was taken within the April session, when the new doctoral program in quantum science and engineering was approved.

Today, on the request of the college’s docket committee, President Lawrence S. Bacow, Provost Alan Garber, and FAS dean Claudine Gay spelled out the steps Harvard and the FAS have taken to prevent any recurrence of the University’s engagement with individuals like the convicted sex offender (and donor) Jeffrey Epstein, together with promulgation of the first public gift policy, steps to guarantee its enforcement, and modifications in the way in which the college grants visiting fellowships (of the type improperly granted Epstein).

In addition, the college aired considerations in regards to the new Harvard system for reporting potential conflicts of curiosity and conflicts of dedication. It is meant to guarantee compliance with federal sponsored-research laws, however in its early implementation appears to have entangled humanities and social-sciences students who don’t obtain such funding however now seem to need to report modest sums obtained within the routine course of their educational work (resembling royalties on scholarly books or charges for serving on dissertation committees). Refinements of the system had been promised.

Among the formalities right now had been professional forma votes to approve Extension School choices and the Courses of Instruction for 2021-2022. But even amongst these housekeeping chores, echoes of the weird instances popped up within the agenda objects.

• Handbook for Students. Harvard College dean Rakesh Khurana introduced the annual tweaks to the language within the official compilation of guidelines and different mandatory info for undergraduates. The many emergency steps adopted by the Standing Committee on Undergraduate Educational Policy in response to the pandemic—numerous extensions of time, worldwide examine away, the deadline for electing move/fail analysis, credit score for summer season 2021 programs—are being faraway from the 2021-2022 version: a hopeful omen.

In a sequence of modifications Khurana presumably by no means wished to make, the Handbook language pertaining to the regulation of unrecognized single-gender social organizations (USGSOs: the ultimate golf equipment and fraternities and sororities) was stricken. This was the inevitable outcome of the June 2020 U.S. Supreme Court choice in Bostock v. Clayton County, ruling that federal regulation bars employers from discriminating on the premise of sexual orientation or transgender standing. The University announced then that the decision posed insuperable legal problems for the USGSO policy, and rescinded it. Khurana and then-president Drew Gilpin Faust had championed the coverage, and the Corporation (on which Bacow then served even earlier than changing into president) imposed it in late 2017. 

• Online attain. In her message to the college, Nancy Coleman, dean of the Division of Continuing Education and University Extension, documented the college’s attain through the pandemic: 746 distinctive programs, all on-line; 35,334 course enrollments, up 13 % from the prior yr. As beforehand reported, the college’s on-line prowess enabled it to rework its course choices and to increase its worldwide attain, a spotlight of her methods for progress (see “Online Takes Off,” March-April, web page 14). 

• Teaching honors. Continuing an annual custom, Dean Gay awarded prizes for educating, advising, and mentoring—a particular honor for these acknowledged beneath what had been undoubtedly essentially the most difficult circumstances most had ever confronted main a category. FAS’s highest commendation for educating is the Harvard College Professorship, conferred in recognition of distinguished contributions to undergraduate educating (normally training and concentrations), advising, and mentoring, in addition to work in graduate training and analysis. This yr’s honorands, who maintain the title for 5 years and obtain further assist for his or her analysis, are:

• Stephen Chong, McKay professor of pc science and faculty dean of Winthrop House

• Sean D. Kelly, Martignetti professor of philosophy and college dean of Dunster House (who led the most recent review of General Education);

• Deidre Lynch, Bernbaum professor of literature (profiled here);

• Andrew Murray. Smith professor of molecular genetics, director of the Rowland Institute, and director of the John Harvard Distinguished Science Fellows Program; and

• Leah Somerville, professor of psychology.

Winners of the Roslyn Abramson Award for excellent undergraduate educating are Demba Ba, affiliate professor of electrical engineering and bioengineering, and Robin Hopkins, Loeb affiliate professor of the pure sciences.

And the Everett Mendelsohn Excellence in Mentoring Award—established by the Graduate Student Council to acknowledge college members who provide distinctive assist and steerage in college students’ analysis, training, skilled and private improvement, and profession plans throughout lengthy and typically lonely years of examine—is conferred on these honorands:

• Robin Bernstein, Dillon professor of American historical past and professor of African and African American research and of research of girls, gender, and sexuality (and a Harvard College Professor);

• Sheila Jasanoff, Pforzheimer professor of science and expertise research and professor of environmental science and public coverage (on the Kennedy School of Government), and an affiliate of the departments of historical past of science and of authorities;

• Erica Kenney, assistant professor of public well being diet and director of the Ph.D. program within the discipline;

• Hannah Marcus, assistant professor of the historical past of science; and

• Christopher Rycroft, Loeb affiliate professor of engineering and utilized sciences. 

• An enormous, remembered. One of the Memorial Minutes introduced to the college acknowledged the life and service of a towering professor. Sociologist Nathan Glazer, professor of training and social construction emeritus (who died in 2019), was energetic in FAS and the Graduate Schools of Education and of Design. He was lauded as “an academic and public intellectual who greatly influenced not only scholarship on American culture and ethnicity but also post-war American intellectual discourse on public life and policy,” notably via The Lonely Crowd: A Study of the Changing American Character (with David Riesman ’31, J.D. ’34, LL.D. ’90, and Reuel Denney) and Beyond the Melting Pot: The Negroes, Puerto Ricans, Jews, Italians, and Irish of New York City (with Daniel Patrick Moynihan, LL.D. ’02). Though revealed a long time in the past, they continue to be elementary works on American individualism and the matter of persisting ethnic identification (versus an assimilationist melting pot)—points very a lot alive right now. 

So are the coverage implications. The Minute mentioned of Glazer, “He was that most unusual of intellectuals, one not afraid to change his mind.” Accordingly:

His work influenced not solely scholarship but in addition the revival of ethnicity as a socio-political pressure through the Seventies. However, when this motion developed to push for affirmative motion towards equal illustration within the office and academia, Glazer turned a number one critic, arguing in opposition to group over particular person rights in his influential work Affirmative Discrimination: Ethnic Inequality and Public Policy (1975). Nonetheless, 20 years later, in mild of the proof of persisting Black drawback and segregation, Glazer reconsidered each his earlier view on the inevitability of assimilation in America and his criticism of affirmative motion. His e-book We Are All Multiculturalists Now (1997) acknowledged the persisting injustices and structural inequalities Blacks skilled within the U.S. and acknowledged, considerably cautiously, the necessity for particular motion on their behalf. This shift elicited dismay and outrage from conservatives of the time, who had seen him as an necessary mental chief. 

Given this willingness to rethink and adapt, the Minute noticed, “An important assessment of his life and work in the New York Times Magazine opened with the ironic bon mot that ‘Nathan Glazer has had more second thoughts in his lifetime than most people have had thoughts.’” In the mid Nineteen Sixties, he was a contributor to The Public Interest, which turned the coverage journal of neoconservatism; though he turned co-editor in 1975, Glazer didn’t embrace the time period, and thought of himself a “centrist Democrat,” in response to the Minute. “Glazer spoke truly,” it continued, “when he said, ‘I consider myself pragmatic, rather than a man of the left or a man of the right.’” 

There is probably not a lot room for such self-styled pragmatists in right now’s heated political discourse, however there’s, and should be, lots of room for contemplating his like inside the academy. The Minute was composed by Michèle Lamont (professor of sociology and of African and African American research and Goldman professor of European research), Mario Small (Grafstein Family professor of sociology), and Orlando Patterson (Cowles professor of sociology)—a various group of intellectuals, many of whose views should have differed from Glazer’s, however who got here along with particular pressure to laud their late colleague. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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