I have the honor to present my report on Harvard College for the five years from July, 1995 through June, 2000. This period covers the time since I became Dean of Harvard College on July 1, 1995. This report documents factual information about the College and offers some perspectives on its health and on opportunities for improvement and change in the coming years. While the report will address in some detail matters concerning the student body, it will mention only briefly curricular issues, the state of undergraduate education, admissions and financial aid, or athletics, which are outside the administrative purview of the College.
In broadest terms, the College is strong and healthy. Harvard continues to draw an extraordinarily talented and diverse student body, and our students have remarkable achievements while they are here and achieve considerable distinction as they graduate. Some of the systemic worries identified in the Report on the Structure of Harvard College, the report of the review committee chaired jointly by me and by Dean Nancy Maull during the year preceding my appointment as Dean, have, I believe, been successfully addressed. Armed now with the greater insights of several years of active problem-solving, I now recognize some new areas of concern, which should be the focus of planning for the future.1 THE STUDENT BODY
As a result both of our generous and more flexible need-based financial aid program and of the number of extraordinarily talented students who apply for need-blind admission, the quality of our student body is unsurpassed. In each of the past five years Harvard College has continued a trend of enrolling more National Merit Scholars (368 in 1995-96; 391 in 1996-97; 340 in 1997-98; 370 in 1999-98; and 394 in 1999-00) than any other institution --- besting the school with the next largest number by an average of 181 per year. The College has also enrolled in each of the past five years the highest number of National Achievement Scholars (a program that recognizes outstanding African American students): 63 in 1999-00; 63 in 1998-99; 58 in 1997-98; 69 in 1996-97; and 57 in 1995-96, which is an average of 30 more per year than the institution with the next largest number. We also seem each year to enroll more than our fair share of the Intel (formerly Westinghouse) Science contest top-ten winners, as well as USA Today All USA High School Academic First Team members. From the time the latter program began 14 years ago, Harvard College has been the choice of 134 of the 278 students nationally who have earned this distinction.1.3 Shift from transfer students to freshmen. So talented and promising (as well as large!) has the freshman applicant pool been of late that there is real truth to the claim that we could assemble at least two full classes from a single admissions cycle. The strength of the freshman applicant pool led the College in 1996 to add Apley Court to the stock of freshman dormitories and to admit 30 more freshmen each year while reducing accordingly the number of transfer admissions, so that the size of the College as a whole remained unchanged.
Appendix II shows concentration statistics for the several undergraduate fields of study. For the record, we include in a uniform format the figures going back to the academic year 1995-96, and list separately the numbers of men and women in each concentration. Over the past five years, the most significant shifts are a reduction in the numbers concentrating in Biology and in Biochemical Sciences, and a nearly corresponding increase in the numbers concentrating in Psychology. This shift is probably the result of the success of the Mind, Brain, and Behavior undergraduate program, which was structured not as a separate concentration but as tracks within several concentrations. There have also been a significant increase in the number of concentrators in Computer Science, and decrease in the number of concentrators in English and American Languages and Literatures. Also interesting are the variations in the gender ratios in the larger concentrations, with Psychology, for example, being about 60% women in 1999-2000 (a year in which the upper-class enrollments in the College were about 45% women), and Computer Science being about 17% women.1.5 General indicators of problems, and of satisfaction. How do we know what students think about their Harvard experience?
A good deal of information comes to us through the Senior Tutors, Masters, and Freshman Deans, who regularly report, often through discussion of petitions or infractions reviewed by the Administrative Board, on places where College structures and student behaviors come into conflict.
The Dean of Harvard College and the Dean of Undergraduate Education have each year written a letter over the summer to all continuing undergraduates, asking for their comments on any aspect of their Harvard experience. While the number of responses to these letters has been only in the dozens annually, these letters have proved useful both for bringing to light individual problems that can be resolved or at least explained, and also for providing "raw data" about certain areas of concern in either curricular or extracurricular affairs.
The student-faculty committees constituted under the Dowling Report --- the Committee on House Life, the Committee on College Life, and the Committee on Undergraduate Education --- whose student members are chosen through a democratic process under the purview of the Undergraduate Council --- have in recent years invariably been thoughtful and constructive in articulating problems and proposing solutions. In addition, deans learn a great deal through their more informal conversations with the leaders of the Undergraduate Council.
Since the experiences of undergraduates are so varied, it is hard to say much that is truly "typical" for Harvard students. Nonetheless we are informed by studies such as those of Professor Richard Light, who has through extensive interviews over many years revealed much about the impact of life at Harvard on its students. His current work speaks eloquently to the value of a diverse student body, housed under a system that encourages interactions among students of different backgrounds.
Finally, surveys of both freshmen and seniors are conducted annually, to gauge their experience both statistically and anecdotally. While an internally designed survey is administered in most years, occasionally a national survey instrument is used instead so that Harvard statistics can be compared against those of other similar institutions. Our internal survey was substantially rewritten in collaboration with the office of the Dean of Undergraduate Education; certain general questions will continue to be asked annually, while particular areas of concern will be measured every few years on a cyclical basis. Generally speaking, average satisfaction levels are high. In response to the question "What is your level of satisfaction with your overall experience at Harvard," the mean response by seniors in recent years has has not changed significantly:
|Satisfaction with Harvard||3.79||3.85||3.93||3.85||3.86|
The standard deviation for each year is a little less than 1. Men and women report almost equal overall satisfaction; for the class of 2000, the average was 3.85 among men, and 3.88 among women. Nonetheless it is clear that students' experience varies considerably depending on their field of concentration and their residential House. We report in subsequent sections on what we have learned along these lines, and about our efforts to encourage improvement in particular areas.2 ADVISING AND COUNSELING
The Committee issued a report in January of 1999, and released full information about the variations among concentrations in satisfying the minimum standards for academic advising. To take just two examples of the results, barely half of graduating seniors of the class of 1997 reported that they had not had trouble getting academic advice from their concentrations, less than two-thirds reported that their academic interests were discussed in advising conversations, and less than two-thirds reported that their advising conversations covered appropriate courses for the student to take, given his or her interests and background. The Committee considered helpfulness with such basic academic questions to be minimal expectations of our academic advising system. This report has stimulated review, introspection, and improvements in advising and student-faculty relations in several departments. Another survey was conducted of the Class of 1999, and departments were again notified of the results; a concentration-by-concentration comparison of the answers to these two questions is presented in Appendix III. Though some significant changes can be seen in the data for certain concentrations (and for small departments even large fluctuations are likely to be statistically insignificant), it is hard on the basis of these data to be encouraged by the direction of change. Academic guidance, particularly in several large departments, is at a level below the reasonable expectations of both students and faculty. We will continue our efforts in this area in collaboration with the Dean of Undergraduate Education.2.2 Freshman advising. Freshman advising is the responsibility of the Board of Freshman Advisors, under the leadership of the Dean of Freshmen. In practice, the vast majority of freshmen are advised by their proctors, who are typically graduate students in fields unrelated to the primary academic interests of their advisees. Though the Dean of Freshmen produces extensive written advising materials for both students and advisers, many students report disappointment that their freshman advisors are not more knowledgeable about the academic opportunities in their particular fields of interest. Accordingly it has been an important priority of the Dean of Freshmen to encourage departments to welcome freshmen with questions about their fields, and to encourage freshmen to seek out departmental representatives with their questions. In spite of vigorous efforts, there are more failures on both sides than we would like: departments barely able to manage the concentrators who have already committed to them and are therefore less forthcoming with advice for freshmen, and freshmen reluctant to venture out to make inquiries of departments when they barely know what questions to ask. We have made some efforts to increase the tiny number of faculty who advise freshmen --- the number is barely two handfuls, including several professors who are deans. The matter of freshman academic advising remains problematic and a topic for future thought and effort.
The Administrative Board of Harvard College (prior to the Radcliffe Agreement of 1999, the Administrative Board of Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges) remains constitutionally what it has been since it was formed early in the twentieth century: a subcommittee of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, to which the Faculty has delegated responsibility for administration of its rules and regulations for undergraduate affairs. The Board's actions are thus reviewable by the full Faculty. The Board brings recommendations to the Faculty. Some of these recommendations are routine --- the granting of degrees to individual students; some are extraordinary --- disciplinary actions beyond what the Faculty has authorized the Board to take on its own; and some are legislative in nature --- when the Board recommends a change in Faculty policies.
The Board hears cases of three kinds: petitions for exceptions to rules; disciplinary cases, involving violations of the Faculty's expectations of personal conduct; and review of unsatisfactory academic records. In order to improve the Board's efficiency while enabling it to focus its critical judgment on matters most needing the collective judgment of its members, an Executive Committee was constituted several years ago with the formal authority to handle routine petitions for which precedent is clear. The Executive Committee handles, for example, most petitions for medical makeup examinations or permission to enroll simultaneously in two courses with overlapping meeting times (provided certain standard conditions are met). The Executive Committee reports statistically to the Board and brings to its attention any petitions it receives that seem to raise questions not governed by clear precedent.
More informally, the Board serves as the meeting place of the resident deans --- the Allston Burr Senior Tutors and the Dean and Assistant Deans of Freshmen, who are in effect the deans of the students in their residential areas. It is through Board discussions that trends and concerns affecting undergraduate life often first become visible. Resident deans hearing a report on a student from their peers may be reminded of one of the circumstances of one of their own students who is in the same course, or is involved in the same extracurricular activity, or who has come from the same background and has experienced similar difficulties in the College.
An example in which observations of the Board have developed into changes in Faculty policies is the change in minimum academic requirements adopted by the Faculty in the spring of 1997. The academic talent of our student body is so high that students with very poor academic records are invariably suffering not from lack of ability, but from lack of motivation, unclear academic objectives, or underlying personal or psychological difficulties. After its review of unsatisfactory academic records in 1995-96, the Board came to the view that the Faculty's minimum requirements for students' grade records were so very low that a number of students were drifting along, sometimes for two or three years, barely above the level of satisfactory performance, with their underlying problems unaddressed because their academic records, even though far below their abilities, were not so poor as to require official review by the Board. On the recommendation of the Board, the Faculty adopted new definitions of "unsatisfactory record" and "minimum requirements"; now any record with a single grade of D or E results in a review by the Board.
In the same vein, the Board clarified in 1996 its policies for the granting of "ninth terms," codifying the principle that extra terms might be granted to students who had experienced catastrophic failures that would otherwise prevent their graduating at all, but not to enable a student to polish or improve an academic record that already was on target for a timely degree. The Board also proposed, and the Faculty adopted, a new policy under which a student could be placed involuntarily on leave of absence, under certain narrowly defined conditions requiring urgent administrative action pending, for example, psychiatric hospitalization or the outcome of a criminal investigation. While to date no student has been placed involuntarily on a leave of absence under this policy, its availability has been crucial in several instances to persuading a student to take a voluntary leave of absence.
Though cases involving potentially serious criminal charges constitute a tiny percentage of the Board's business, they have caused the Board some notoriety, since three times in the past five years the Board has recommended to the Faculty, and the Faculty has agreed, that a student should be dismissed, i.e. permanently separated, for having committed a rape as defined by Faculty rules. These cases are extremely anomalous, since the Board's objective in almost all other cases is to respond to a disciplinary infraction with a sanction that is as much educational as punitive, recognizing that most student misbehaviors have their roots in developmental issues. The Board in fact generally tries to put students in the best position to complete their degrees honorably, even when that may entail sending them away for a year. Cases of potentially serious criminal actions, such as rape, are also unusual in that they involve behavior which, if the complainant chose to seek redress through the criminal justice system and were successful in obtaining a criminal conviction, could result in imprisonment of the perpetrator. Thus entanglement of the Board process and the legal process is inevitable when the Board becomes involved in such a case. We have accordingly found ourselves in the somewhat awkward situation of recommending to our students that they seek legal counsel, so that they will not violate their constitutional rights against self-incrimination should a criminal charge be forthcoming, while simultaneously maintaining that the Board acts as a Faculty committee without the engagement of lawyers either for the student or for the College. These cases are anomalous in another way as well. The Board's processes and actions are confidential; we never comment on the discipline imposed on a student, again respecting the student's privacy and the continuing relation the student will have with the College, and reflecting the view that public humiliation of a student is not a useful response to misbehaviors that ordinarily have developmental and highly personal origins. Yet potentially criminal matters may come into public view through disclosures by other students who have been involved in the events, and the Board's confidentiality in the face of public discussion in the media may seem an attempt to hide our actions from public scrutiny.
While we are not troubled about the fairness or propriety of the Board's actions in such cases, members of the Board, all teaching members of the Faculty or administrators of academic affairs, do not welcome these brushes with the legal system and with the media. The Board does not happily take up such potentially criminal cases, and would, I think, gladly have them all first pursued through the criminal justice system if the complainants chose to take them there. But faced with evidence that a student has seriously violated both ordinary standards of decent conduct and clear Faculty rules governing students' behavior, the Board has no choice but to take up these complaints, and to handle them, as best it can, in a manner consistent with the way it deals with less serious misbehaviors. I expect that with more experience our views of how these cases should be considered by the Faculty will continue to evolve.
I have made it a priority to recruit, each year, one or two senior members of the Faculty who have no other administrative responsibilities in the College to serve as members of the Board for a year. In this way the Board itself is kept informed of the views of the permanent teaching members of the Faculty whose policies it is charged to administer, and the Faculty is gradually becoming populated with a few individuals who have observed the Board's conduct first-hand on a day to day basis. We are extremely grateful to the faculty who have during the past five years given up a year of their Tuesday afternoons in this service to the College: David Cutler, Yu-Chi Ho, Akira Iriye, Daniel Jacob, Jay Jasanoff, and David Mitten, and, for the current year, Jonathan Grindlay and Kathleen Coleman.
The complete statistics of Administrative Board actions for the period from July, 1995 through June, 2000 are presented in Appendix IV. A couple of trends are worth noting. The increase in minimum academic standards has, as expected, increased the number of records considered unsatisfactory and the number of students placed on probation for academic reasons, but the number required to withdraw for academic reasons has not changed much. Moreover, though the number of unsatisfactory records jumped by almost 50% the first year the new standard was in place, it declined steadily over the next two years by a total of 11%, perhaps because students are accommodating their behavior to the new expectations. It is also worth noting that the number of medical makeup exams has declined over the past two years from 163 to 141 to 110, a drop of 33%, without any change in policy either by the College or by the Health Service, and also without a comparable decrease in the total number of exams administered. It may be that the disadvantages of makeup exams are more widely known and accepted by students than used to be the case.4 EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
We regard this growth as healthy, even though we try to restrain it in certain ways. It is natural that students who gained admission to Harvard in part through their exhibition of leadership skills will want to become heads of new groups rather than members of old ones, and we do try to ensure that newly created groups meet some genuinely un met need. Nonetheless, the great growth in undergraduate organizations reflects the wide-ranging talents and interests of our students, and equally importantly, their energy and their desire to spend their nonacademic time at Harvard in constructive and purposeful activity.4.2 Space problems. During this period of growth in the numbers of student organizations, space available for their activities has, if anything, shrunk. While many activities do not need or ask for office space, meeting and rehearsal spaces are needed at least occasionally by almost every group. The College has a limited number of classrooms to offer for evening and weekend meetings, but, with the growth of the Division of Continuing Education and its evening use of Yard classrooms, as well as the greatly increased number of evening events (such as sections, required viewings of films, or required guest lectures) by regular FAS courses, there is less availability of central rooms during the evening hours when students most want to gather. Many organizations store their files and belongings in the dormitory or House rooms of members, or even hold their meetings in students' rooms, often crowding student suites and inconveniencing roommates.
The needs of individuals and groups engaged in musical performance are particularly acute and troubling. A very large number of our students bring vocal or instrumental talent with them to Harvard, but the College lacks rooms for both individual and group rehearsals. Even where space could be available, in the Houses and in some classroom buildings, musical practice mixes poorly with other uses of nearby rooms, for sleeping, studying, or teaching, in structures not designed with acoustic isolation in mind. We have rented space in some nearby churches for some rehearsals, and the Music Department is compensated for the costs of keeping its practice rooms available to non concentrators in the evenings, but even so, we hear too many tales of students who have given up their long years of training in piano, percussion, brass instruments, or voice upon arriving at Harvard for no better reason than the lack of any place for them to go to play their instruments or to sing.
The situation of the many theatrical groups is somewhat better, in part due to the accommodation of the Masters of performances in the House dining halls, and the availability of small spaces such as the theater that was constructed in what was once the Adams House swimming pool. And yet the 1999 agreement with Radcliffe College that created the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study contains a clause that is worrisome for the College: the provision that the Agassiz Theatre and the Rieman Dance Center (the old Radcliffe Gymnasium) will revert to Institute use at the end of the 2003-2004 academic year. With the potential loss of Agassiz Theatre, the College may lose one of its stages for student dramatic productions, at a time when stage space and the space to construct sets and for other technical activities is already at a premium. The possible loss of the Rieman Dance Center at a time when we have seen a sharp rise in excellent dancers coming to Harvard is especially problematic, since many dance forms require a floor larger than almost any now available to students. The only adequate stage at Harvard for a large dance production is the main stage of the Loeb Drama Center. Though the Loeb Drama Center was built and given to Harvard for undergraduate use, student access to the main stage is limited by Harvard's long-term agreement with the American Repertory Theater. The Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club has time on the main stage for two productions per term, but adding even one week during the academic year for a student dance performance has proved to be impossible. We are exploring alternative spaces in the Boston area for dance performance, but even the possibility of renting a stage, at great cost, in the theatre district in Boston or at a nearby university is inconsistent with the objective of satisfying our students' needs on campus and for the benefit of our own community.4.3 The Hasty Pudding Theatre. As a result of the very serious financial problems of the Institute of 1770, parent organization of the Hasty Pudding Club and Theatricals, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences has assumed responsibility for the Hasty Pudding Theater building on Holyoke Street. The building is in serious disrepair, though there is no immediate danger to those using it. In the near future it will require a major renovation, costing $10 million or more. In preparation for planning that renovation, a committee, chaired by Dean David Illingworth, was formed last spring to consider the programmatic needs that can be accommodated in this historic and centrally located structure, consisting both of a small theater and several floors of rooms that have been used for a variety of purposes over time.
A fundamental goal is to maintain and restore the theater space for undergraduate dramatics, and in particular for the Hasty Pudding Theatricals, which could well have lost its venue without our intervention. We anticipate that the singing groups which have used the building will continue to have access to it. We also hope to accommodate the needs of some of the other performance groups on campus, both musical and theatrical, for which practice and performance space are in critically short supply. The stage cannot, however, be made large enough to meet the needs of dance productions.4.4 Student businesses. Following a review of the longstanding policy that prohibited students from operating businesses out of their rooms in the Harvard Houses and freshman dormitories, that policy was modified by Faculty vote in 2000. The new policy makes it possible, under certain circumstances, for permission to be granted to students for certain kinds of businesses that use few University resources other than its Internet connection.
OCS also oversees pre-professional advising, coordinating the work of pre-medical and pre-law Tutors in the Houses as well as providing direct advice to students on these careers. Pre-medical advising also has an academic component that must be coordinated with the work of the Board of Freshman Advisers and departments setting the curricula in Biology, Chemistry, and Mathematics. As medical schools have encouraged graduating seniors to spend some postgraduate time away from school before making their applications, we are seeing more pre-medical advising of alumni/ae, who often seek advice from OCS rather than from their undergraduate House, where they are likely not known by the tutorial staff. As a result, of the 788 individual pre-medical advising sessions at OCS last year, 243 or 32% were with alumni/ae.
Finally, the OCS Fellowship Office provides advice concerning many postgraduate fellowships and scholarships, and oversees endorsement and selection processes for fellowships administered by Harvard or requiring a Harvard endorsement. The number of fellowship programs administered by the Fellowships Office has increased by 50% in the past five years, the most recent increase having resulted from the transfer to it of responsibility for certain fellowships formerly administered by Radcliffe College.
To meet the increased --- and welcome --- demand for career guidance, OCS has recently undertaken two significant changes in its presentation to students. First, it has increasingly emphasized group information sessions rather than individual counseling appointments --- where appropriate. This transition is aimed to ensure that individual sessions are targeted to the student's particular needs, rather than to the conveyance of basic information applicable to most students. For example, OCS now offers an on-going set of orientations to various aspects of study abroad, international work, and international volunteering programs, so that subsequent individual conversations can focus on the unique aspects of a student's situation.
Second, OCS is increasingly emphasizing its electronic presence: its web site, which has been heavily developed; an electronic recruiting program, enabling the transfer of resumes from students to companies without photocopying and foot traffic; an on-line jobs and internships database; and rapid and helpful response by OCS counselors to e-mail inquiries from students. The removal of basic information exchange from counseling appointments mean that when they do occur, those appointments can focus on actual career advising.
These initiatives have benefits and risks. The potential efficiencies have been mentioned, and should not be underestimated, in light of the cramped quarters of the OCS office space. Of course, there are also dangers that if students are "seen" more in groups or electronically, and less one-on-one, some number will find the process depersonalized. We are all alert to these dangers, as we are to the need to accomplish more with a constant number of staff in the face of rising demand.5.2 Career advising and counseling. To give some sense of the scale of these various activities, I will present just a few numbers for the past academic year, 1999-2000. During that year OCS held 315 group meetings, which were attended by 10,089 individuals, for an average attendance of about 32 persons per meeting. In addition, OCS sponsored many meetings on-campus that were conducted by individual companies. There were a total of 7,335 individual counseling sessions. Counselors' work is less seasonal than might be expected: here is the month-by-month distribution of individual counseling sessions across the academic year:
The same 7,335 individual counseling sessions are distributed as shown below according to the status of the individual being counseled.
Thus about 17% of the individual counseling sessions were with alumni/ae. It may be a source of concern that the number is this large in a year when unemployment was low; in case of an economic downturn one would expect the number of alumni/ae seeking advice to go up, possibly overtaxing OCS's already stretched counseling capacities. Indeed, careful coordination with the Harvard Alumni Association will be needed in the future, since HAA is increasingly promoting career connections and information for alumni/ae in its programming; inevitably some who attend HAA career-oriented events will discover that OCS services are open to alumni/ae and will seek professional advice through this office.
A related problem is that OCS is the natural resource for students or alumni/ae of any Faculty who wish to explore careers in business, teaching, or other sectors covered by OCS. A mid career lawyer wishing to move out of the legal profession is likely to want the general information and advice provided by OCS, rather than going to the Law School's specialized career service office. As OCS is not now open to students or alumni/ae of other Faculties, this is a source of potential (indeed, occasionally today actual) awkwardness, and poor service by the University, taken as a whole, towards its alumni/ae.5.3 On-campus recruiting. The on-campus recruiting program run by OCS hosts companies on campus, where their representatives interview students, who have previously submitted resumes, in temporary booths in the Hilles Library penthouse. The program lasts more than 65 days annually, and has increased in size in recent years. The number of student participants has gone up by 40% in the five-year period 1995-2000, and the number of companies participating has gone up by 109% over the same period, from 215 to 450. Limitations of space prevent any further growth, and many companies wanting to recruit at Harvard cannot be accorded access to the program, which is now fully booked almost a year in advance. While it is, of course, gratifying that so many companies want to hire our students, accommodating this activity on-campus has become increasingly difficult; should the Hilles library space, already only barely adequate and located at an inconvenient distance from OCS, ever be reclaimed for other purposes, it is not at all clear where else the recruiting program could take place. Indeed, even now there are signs that companies are becoming indifferent or hostile to the amenities provided and the conditions stipulated for the recruiting program, and are taking their interviewing and recruiting business off-campus, into hotels, for example. When this occurs, Harvard loses all control over the ethical conduct of the recruiting activity; we have a strong incentive to keep this activity under our control and oversight.
The following table summarizes the trajectory of the recruiting program over the past five years:
|Fr, So, Jr
Thus almost half the senior class now uses the recruiting program. A common complaint is that the program is dominated by the consulting and investment banking businesses, and that opportunities in less highly compensated lines of work are not so visible. Of course, companies come because they want to hire our students and have the financial resources to make themselves visible, not only at the recruiting program but through large advertisements in the Crimson, receptions at the Faculty Club, etc. OCS is working with PBH and other agencies to improve the visibility of nonprofit and other opportunities, which often present themselves later in the academic year and in a less flashy style.
The fall Career Forum, held at the Gordon Track and Tennis facility, is an open fair where students wander among tables and display booths set up by companies making their first contact with students who may become prospective summer or permanent hires. Like the recruiting program, the Career Forum has grown:
|Types of Industries
There is a story behind the recent decrease in the types of industries represented: some nonprofit organizations, study-abroad programs, and the like were moved to a newly created separate forum, made possible by the fees from the additional companies attending the main forum. Through this and other means, OCS is attempting to balance the visibility of the recruiters from the companies with the most money to spend on their recruiting activities.5.4 Fellowships. In the Fellowships area, there have been no major changes except for the steadily increasing workload on a staff that last increased in size in 1990. In that year the office administered 872 applications for 34 fellowships, and ran 10 prize competitions for the College. In 1999-2000 OCS administered about 1300 applications for 56 fellowships, plus 13 prize competitions. We have worked hard to improve the coordination and support of the House Fellowships Advisers, who join with the Masters and Senior Tutors in writing the College's official endorsement letters for the most prestigious fellowship opportunities. Harvard students continue to fare well in the competitions for elite scholarships: in the five-year period covered by this report 27 of our students have won US or Canadian Rhodes Scholarships (out of a total of 215 awarded in all) and 29 have won Marshall Scholarships (out of a total of 200 awarded in all).
OCS faces a significant space problem, due to the level of activity it is supporting from various constituencies. Its friendly wood-frame building is rather a rabbit-warren, with every square inch utilized; but most of the building is not wheelchair accessible, and a number of offices and meeting rooms are marginally comfortable for extended occupancy. With increased outreach to both freshmen and graduate students, more meeting space is needed; group meetings now often have 50% more students than the nominal occupancy of the rooms in which they are held. And a plan should be made for permanently accommodating the recruiting program; it would make sense to explore the possibility of joining with with other Faculties, who might well be able to use a similar space for recruiting purposes at times of the year when it is not needed by the FAS Office of Career Services.6 THE BUREAU OF STUDY COUNSEL
The Bureau of Study Counsel provides counseling, psychotherapy, and advice and training on study skills. Its multiple roles are intertwined in useful ways, as students often are readier to acknowledge difficulty in studying, and to seek help for academic problems, than to acknowledge the deeper personal and developmental problems that are the true source of their difficulties. As a part of Harvard College its services are invaluable not only to our students but to the advisers, deans, Masters, and tutors who call on Bureau counselors for routine scheduled training sessions, for rapid response in time of emergency, and for help in many in-between situations. We have tried to deal in a direct and informed way with a variety of behavioral, social, developmental, and psychological problems among students, including alcohol and drug abuse; the Bureau's resources have been invaluable in helping us understand students' behavior and to respond appropriately. As specialists in the psychology of the college-age population, Bureau counselors can help us understand the fine line between psychological and characterological problems of young adults going through an intense period of identity-seeking. To better discriminate cognitive and emotional issues in contributing to these problems and to provide even more individualized and specifically targeted interventions, in the past two years the Bureau has added psychological assessment as one of its services. The assessor provides verbal and written communication of the comprehensive results of the assessment directly to the student and to her or his counselor, a much-appreciated innovation. We also call on the Bureau to work with roommates, teammates, boyfriends and girlfriends, and other students affected directly or indirectly by the troubles of their peers.
An important development in the past two years has been the Provost's review of the University's mental health care, and the creation of the Student Health Coordinating Board. The Bureau has been actively involved in these efforts, with the result of improved coordination with the Mental Health Service of the Harvard University Health Services. The Bureau's new assessment program also incorporates Mental Health Service psychologists and promotes the Bureau's closer collaboration with Student Disability Resources and such departments as Romance Languages and Literatures, where targeted tutoring can help freshmen pass the language requirement.
In addition to psychological counseling and psychotherapy, the Bureau also teaches and counsels on reading and study skills; it runs an important and successful reading course, which we encourage all freshmen to take. It also supervises the peer tutoring program, through which students provide supervised tutoring to their fellow students in a variety of courses, especially in science, mathematics, and the quantitative social sciences. By Faculty rules, this is the only tutoring service undergraduates are allowed to use, and the Bureau works closely with faculty members to identify and recruit tutors from among students who have taken the course in the past. A recent innovation has been the extension of the peer tutoring program to provide instruction in the English language for foreign graduate students, especially those who will be teaching fellows; in these sessions, it is the undergraduates teaching the graduate students.
Puzzled a few years ago that the Bureau's academic tutoring services, unlike its psychological counseling services, were charged back at cost to undergraduates, I asked you to provide a subvention for these costs. You made available a restricted endowment for this purpose starting in the 1998-99 academic year; now students pay only $4/hr for peer tutoring, while the tutors are paid $12/hr. This measure caused a healthy but not overwhelming increase in the demand for tutoring and, we trust, has resulted in a better educated student body. A subvention from the same source was applied to the Bureau's reading strategies course, though it seems to have caused at most a modest increase in the number of students taking that course.
Some data on the utilization of the Bureau's services are presented below. First are the statistics on individual counseling:
Hours per student
|Total grad students
The disproportionate use of psychological counseling by women at Harvard is consistent with the pattern in America generally. Next, the number of groups (#G) and of students in those groups (#S) for the various groups, courses, and workshops offered by the Bureau on a scheduled basis to collections of students. WISH is the Workshop In Studying at Harvard, a key study skills course.
|Groups & Workshops||1995-1996||1996-1997||1997-1998||1998-1999||1999-2000|
Finally, these data on the peer tutoring program show that it is used more by students in their first year or two in the College, and more by women than by men:
The big jump in utilization in 1998-99 coincides with the subsidization of the cost to the student. While the demand for tutors has increased in proportion, for the moment, at least, BSC is able to satisfy those demands through its recruitment process.7 OFFICE OF THE REGISTRAR
The most important development in the Registrar's office has been to undertake the replacement of the information system that supports all the storage, production, and reporting needs relating to records of students in the College and in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. The existing system, the Harvard Educational Records System or HERS, was developed in-house on the basis of a UNIX flat-file data structure in the early 1980s; it has, both from technology and usability perspectives, reached the end of its useful lifetime. The initial upgrade project was approved in the summer of 1997, and since then several extensions have also been planned. To date, the components of the new project, dubbed collectively HERS2, include:
The core HERS2 system is now in use, as are the housing, classrooms, and sectioning applications. Thus information is already being distributed better and made usable by more people than had been possible in the past.
Though the project is not yet complete, it is perhaps not too soon for me to offer some observations on its unique challenges. The decision to plan and undertake the development of a large information system, rather than to acquire a system from a commercial vendor, was not taken lightly. Our investigations suggested at the time, and information received from other Faculties and other universities also confirm, that adopting one of the commercial student information systems would require a significant change in the educational model of what constitutes a Harvard student, course, enrollment, etc. Or, if we chose to purchase an off-the-shelf system while not wanting to change our educational structures to accommodate the vendor's educational model, the system would require massive customization, perhaps rivalling in effort the undertaking of our own development in the first place, but leaving us not in control of the end product and vulnerable to renewed costs when the vendor released product upgrades.
Accordingly we undertook a custom development, but elected to engage an outside contractor to do the work. The contractor worked with us closely to understand Harvard's structures and our particular needs before undertaking the design and development process. Thus our objective has been not only to provide better information more readily to more people, but to make the transition process as invisible as possible to those not wishing to know about it. Indeed, the conduct of this project can be likened to replacing the transmission of an automobile with a new and better model without taking the car off the highway --- and indeed without the passengers being aware of the upgrade. We have tried to achieve these ends while simultaneously ensuring the absolute highest levels of accuracy, security, and reliability possible, knowing the strictures of our academic schedule. (More than one caution was introduced by a nightmare vision of the Dean rising on "that loveliest of June days" to explain to the tens of thousands assembled in Tercentenary Theatre that because of problems with our computer systems, we were not sure who should be receiving their degrees!) Thus we have kept both HERS1 and HERS2 running, and have kept both their independent and incompatible databases up to date with the same information about students, courses, and grades. The process of running and synchronizing two information systems at the same time as bringing one of them on line and fulfilling all the ordinary registrarial business has been stressful and difficult for everyone in the office, and we owe them our thanks for their professional management of all aspects of this project.
The Registrar's Office has been and will continue to undergo considerable change in its operations and, consequently, both in its staffing and and in its facilities needs. The new technology initiative creates the need for user training and support and systems maintenance, and both office space and meeting room space for these activities. Even independent of the technology shift, the office's responsibilities and activities have expanded since it was relocated to 20 Garden Street eight years ago. For example, in July of 1996 the Office of Instructional Research and Evaluation moved under the Registrar's organization and moved physically from Shannon Hall to 20 Garden Street. Student Disability Resources, also housed organizationally and physically within the Registrar's office, has experienced a significant growth in activity in recent years. At present most of the basement of 20 Garden Street is occupied by the Economics Undergraduate Office; I hope that a plan can be developed to meet the Registrar's space needs within this building.8 THE HARVARD FOUNDATION
The Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations sponsors activities and events aimed at the promotion of understanding between individuals of different racial, ethnic, or cultural backgrounds. It does its work through its own agency, inviting major speakers to campus and organizing important events such as the annual Cultural Rhythms festival and food fair, and also through its sponsorship and funding of activities by individual student groups when those activities support the same important objectives. Now in its twentieth year under its founding Director, Dr. S. Allen Counter, the Foundation's efforts and programs have touched almost every Harvard student. Its activities also provide fora for discussion of difficult issues through the joint participation in civil discourse of students and faculty with varying views. To the extent that Harvard can take pride in its humane climate of racial integration and intercultural understanding, the consistent educational mission of the Foundation certainly deserves credit.
The Foundation's work is shared by the Director with both students and faculty, with the student advisory committee taking major responsibility for the allocation of student grant funds, for example. On many occasions, the Foundation's small offices are teeming with activity by student workers and visitors.
The Foundation's grants budget has gradually been increased over the years in recognition of the proliferation of student groups focused on the culture, language, arts and music, and people of various ethnic groups and nationalities. It does not have, and by policy is not meant to have, a separate facility for its events and gatherings; philosophically, the Foundation takes its programs where the students are, in the Houses, in the Science Center, in Sanders Theatre, thus stressing the message that all of Harvard belongs equally to all her students.
The Foundation's greatest need today is for larger and better offices; the cramped quarters in the basement of Thayer have the advantage of central location, but not much else. Indeed, it is not too much to say that of all the College offices, the Foundation's are the ones most lacking not only in area, but in dignity. We are actively seeking an alternative space, where the busy activities of both students and staff can take place securely at all hours of the day and night.9 PHILLIPS BROOKS HOUSE
One of the most important recommendations of the Structure report was the creation of the position of Assistant Dean of Harvard College for Public Service and Director of Phillips Brooks House. The first incumbent of this position, Judith Kidd, was hired in 1996, and assumed overall responsibility for Harvard's public service programs. At the same time, pursuant to another recommendation of the Structure report, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences authorized the creation of a new FAS committee, the Standing Committee on Public Service, to provide faculty insight on our public service activities, to consider curricular connections with students' varied public service efforts, and to provide oversight of the Faculty's considerable investments in student public service activities. This committee has been ably led over the past five years by three committed faculty chairs: Theda Skocpol, Professor of Sociology and of Government; Arthur Kleinman, Professor of Anthropology; and Christopher Winship, Professor of Sociology. Both Dean Kidd and I are deeply grateful for the support and guidance these professors have provided.
Under the new administrative structures, public service is flourishing in the College, with at least 2,500 students active in some 140 public service programs under the auspices of 28 different student groups. The largest group, the Phillips Brooks House Association, coordinates 54 student committees and 70 programs in neighborhoods, schools, housing developments, and community centers in Boston, Cambridge, and Chelsea. Other groups are organized around a variety of targeted objectives. To mention just a few groups that have come into existence in recent years, Project HEALTH collaborates with Boston City Hospital to create programs to improve the health of low-income, urban children and their families through direct forms of service to families, through referring them to existing community programs, and by educating them about public health issues; InterCity provides an intensive job training program in web design for inner city residents; the Student Athlete Partnership connects about 60 Harvard athletes to children in Allston and Brighton, as tutors, classroom aides, and after-school program coordinators; and MIHNUET brings live music into area hospitals, nursing homes, and hospices.
Phillips Brooks House produced three publications last year, which document and advocate for students' public service activities: the 1999 Annual Report on Public Service, which documents the variety of programs and resources that are available; the annual directory of student public service organizations and information on how to start and manage a public service project; and Thoughtful Actions: Approaches to Academic Studies and Community Service, published in 2000, which provides excellent examples and advice to students wishing to integrate their social commitment with other parts of their educational experience.10 THE HOUSES
Almost all the Masters' residences are spacious and suitable both for housing a family and for entertaining both students and faculty, all key to making the Masters' difficult jobs doable graciously in the context of their undiminished academic obligations, and now in a time when most Co-Masters are also employed outside the home.
The Houses have been maintained well, though most Houses have worthwhile renovation or space conversion projects that could be taken up to the benefit of undergraduate life, were resources available to undertake them. Every summer about three Houses are taken off-line for significant repairs, while all the others are in use for summer school; the housing stock is thus used quite efficiently, and the Superintendents and the staff of Facilities Maintenance deserve our recognition for what they achieve in the few days for clean-up at the end of the spring and summer terms. In a few decades, however, the Houses will begin to require major systemic upgrades of a kind that cannot happen between June and September; they will have to be taken off-line for longer periods of time, thus displacing the resident student population. Provision for "swing housing," which could perhaps be used for some purpose other than undergraduate residences in the long term, needs to be planned for the future. It will also be necessary, in the coming years, to provide more accommodations accessible by handicapped students; only a few such suites are now available. The costs of such conversions will have to be borne not only in the construction expenses, but in the likely loss of beds from from our total inventory as conversions take place.10.2 The fully residential College. Lowell's dream of a fully residential college has, for all intents and purposes, been achieved. No student is required to be in residence on campus after the end of the freshman year, and yet last year only about 200 of the roughly 5000 upper-class students opted to live off-campus, a residence rate of 96% among those eligible to move off-campus (97% overall). Of the 200 off-campus students, a significant number are either married, and hence ineligible for residence in the Houses, or are older, having returned to complete their degrees after long absences, and may therefore find the residential experience less appealing.
The perception of overcrowding as a result of the addition of almost 100 students in the past three years is quite strong, even though current occupancy levels are not much different from those of ten years ago. I believe that a combination of factors are at work in creating the sense, in some locales, of serious overcrowding. First, the "House cap" figures, the nominal maximum occupancies of each of the residential Houses, have not been examined or adjusted in some time, and were probably not determined most rationally when they were last set. We have undertaken a space survey to adjust all the House cap figures; when this has been done, some Houses will have to accommodate a few more students while others will be able to gain some breathing room, but the overall sense of crowding should become more uniform. At the same time, there is no doubt that longer-term trends in American life are at work; relatively few freshmen now arrive on campus having ever slept, on a regular basis, in the same bedroom with another person. Finally, some effects are largely uncontrollable, without major changes in housing policy. As a part of the basic integrity of the House system, we promise every student returning from a leave of absence a room in his or her own House, provided that the student's housing application is filed by the appropriate deadline in advance of the beginning of the term. Statistical fluctuations on the number of students taking leave or returning from leave cause natural fluctuations in the occupancy of the twelve residential Houses.
All things considered, with the health of the House system (and the high cost of rentals in Cambridge) being what they are, we would be well-served to recognize that with the present housing stock we should be housing about 100 fewer students in the Houses than we now are. Possible ways to achieve this are to increase the housing stock, possibly by acquiring 100 more beds in the DeWolfe complex or a similar building, or to carry out renovations and expansion of existing facilities, especially those, such as the Jordan co-op buildings, that are substandard housing. Another approach, which could be pursued in parallel, would be to cause the size of the registered student body to decrease by 100, not by reducing the number of matriculants but by changing our academic policies to better encourage students to gain the educational benefits of study abroad. In the shorter run, in addition to the recalculation of the House cap figures, we have urged the Masters to look closely at the use of residential space by those who are not students. Some Houses have several rental suites, which are leased to members of the Harvard community. Some, but certainly not all, of these renters participate in House life in a significant way and make a contribution to students' experience here. Of the 69 rental suites in the Houses, in the academic year 1999-2000 only ten were occupied by faculty, regular or visiting, of any rank, who taught our undergraduates in the classroom; 24 were taken by visiting scholars, junior fellows, research fellows, and others with similar titles who had no formal role with undergraduate students. Where a Master determines that a suite would be more beneficially used for student housing than to accommodate a rent-paying member of the community, we have assured the Master that the House will not suffer financially for the loss of rental income.10.4 The House assignment process. In 1995-96, my first academic year as Dean of Harvard College, I carried through the recommendation of the Committee on the Structure of Harvard College and the decision of my predecessor, L. Fred Jewett, that freshmen blocking groups of 16 or fewer should be assigned to the Houses without regard to expressed preferences by students or Masters, but in a fashion left to chance except for the obvious constraint of assigning to each House the precise number of students it should be asked to accommodate. The recommendation followed years of anecdotal observation that under the previous House assignment system, which allowed freshman blocking groups to express a preference of a few Houses over others, some Houses had become too identified by the identities or interests of the students who, for that very reason, were drawn to live in one House rather than another. The geographical separation of the Radcliffe Quadrangle Houses resulted in their having an apparently permanent second-class status in the eyes of students, leaving the Masters of those Houses with an annual task of having to knit into the House community a group of sophomores who had, under the earlier House assignment system, been given the opportunity consider their preferences and to state that they did not wish to be in the Quad.
Five years later, each House is the microcosm of the College as a whole that President Lowell had envisioned when he implemented the residential college system. This happy development has been accompanied by an appropriately rising expectation on everyone's part, both Masters and students, of a level of common support across all twelve residential Houses. For example, it seems that the problems confronting minority populations, such as African American students or gay and lesbian students, are now appreciated as the problems of each of the Houses, and not only the province of the Houses where those groups clustered in disproportionate numbers. I am sure that what has been lost and what has been gained in this transition will be a topic of debate for many years to come. Myths about "the way the Houses used to be" are also very strong, and it has become almost predictable that any proposal for change in the College will be advanced by its proponents as designed to undo the ill effects of "randomization." But what statistical evidence is available to us about the change in housing policy is only encouraging: seniors' mean response to the question "What is your level of satisfaction with your House?" was as shown below:
|Satisfaction with House||3.59||3.63||3.64||3.89|
Women's satisfaction with the Houses does not differ markedly from men's: for the class of 2000, mean satisfaction for men was 3.87, for women 3.92. The standard deviation has shrunk from 1.13 to 1.06 over this period, but it is still clear that the quality of students' House experience varies widely by House, from as low as 3.33 to as high as 4.30. Yet also evident is the power of the Masters to shape students' human experience, independent of Houses' physical attributes which students used to consider so important when called upon to state their preferences: in the most recent survey, none of the Radcliffe Quadrangle Houses had a mean satisfaction of less than 4.0. It is a tribute to all the Masters that they have done so much to create vibrant communities in their Houses, and to make a success of the housing policy they overwhelmingly supported.10.5 Adjustments made to the assignment process. When the new housing policy was implemented, we committed to leaving it unchanged for long enough that its effects could be measured. One problem became evident immediately, however. While the Structure report recommended that the gender ratio of the rising sophomores in each House be controlled, in the initial implementation these ratios were, like all other variables, left to chance. Several Houses accordingly had significant disproportions of men and women in their incoming sophomore classes, and both students and Masters called for controlling the gender ratios; this was done starting with the freshmen of the year 1996-97. Two years later the Masters and the Committee on House Life reviewed the effects of the new housing policy; the major concern that emerged was that the mean "block size" was rising towards its maximum of 16, with the result that certain clusters of like-minded students were so large as to become isolated within the House. With many blocks approaching 16 in size, and Houses receiving an average of about 130 sophomores each year, it also proved to be combinatorially impossible to have the gender ratio of the entering class in each House approximate that of the College as a whole. Accordingly, on recommendation of the Committee on House Life the maximum blocking group size was reduced last year from 16 to 8 students.
No further significant changes to the House assignment policy are anticipated. We are asked, from time to time, to consider Yale's system of random preassignment of students to the Yale Colleges, but would be discouraged by the awkwardness of rearranging assignments to permit rooming groups to form among individuals preassigned to different Colleges who become friends as freshmen. Moreover, it seems that the variation in distance from the freshman dormitories is greater among the Harvard Houses than among the Yale Colleges, making it unlikely that freshmen would as readily dine and participate in the Houses to which they would be moving as sophomores.10.6 Individual House character vs. consistency of service. One of the common cavils against the new House assignment process is that Houses would lose their old individuality. In some ways this has demonstrably not occurred; for example, Cabot House has won the Straus Cup both before and after the change in the assignment process, and has also mounted a successful House Musical, drawing entirely on resident voices, both before and after the change. And not all individual characteristics, to the extent the stereotypes were valid at all, were happy ones; for every House that had the reputation of especially welcoming a particular minority group, there was another House that had the reputation of being particularly unwelcoming of members of that group.
Yet distributing students across the Houses in a uniform fashion does not by itself result in a consistent level of support. A major priority during the past five years has been to develop protocols for ensuring that all the Houses are supportive of the interest of all their students. Some of the measures taken towards this end have been:
While consistency and bland homogeneity may be two sides of the same coin, our overwhelming sense is that both Masters and students appreciate our efforts to make some aspects of the House experience less chancy. In a related initiative, all newly appointed professors in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences are now invited to join one of the Houses; except for a few individuals who had prior connection to a particular House, new faculty are, like students, assigned to the Houses in a uniform fashion, so that no House is likely, in the long run, to be over- or under-represented in its Senior Common Room in any large academic field.10.7 New Masters. The historical success of Harvard's House system and its current appeal among undergraduates are no doubt due in large part to the efforts and dedication of the Masters and Co-Masters. Over the past five years nearly half of the thirteen Masters have left their Masterships, and we have been fortunate, with your help and support, to attract good couples into service. The process for identifying and evaluating Master candidates has been refined over the years, to meet the dual objectives of discretion and taste in evaluating the qualifications of individuals who will, whether appointed or not, remain permanent members of the Harvard community, and giving students, Tutors, and potential Masters the opportunity to meet each other and to learn more about each other before recommendations are brought to you and to the President.
In 1996 Woody and Hanna Hastings retired as Masters of Pforzheimer (formerly North) House after twenty years of legendary service. The same year, Jurij and Emanuela Striedter stepped down after eight years at Cabot House.
The Hastings were succeeded in Pforzheimer House by James McCarthy, Alexander Agassiz Professor of Biological Oceanography, and Suzanne McCarthy. The Striedters were succeeded in Cabot House by James Ware, Frederick Mosteller Professor of Biostatistics in the School of Public Health, and Janice Ware.
The following year, Daniel Fisher and his wife, Tessa, left the mastership at Dudley House and were succeeded by Everett Mendelsohn, Professor of the History of Science, and his wife, Mary B. Anderson. While little has been said here about Dudley House, since its members are mostly graduate students, it is important to note that it is a very important force in the lives of the small number of nonresident undergraduates who choose to affiliate with it. These are often students with very special needs, being older and having had life experiences that set them apart from the vast majority of their fellow students, and the care of both sets of Masters of Dudley House has been deeply valued and appreciated.
In 1998-99, both Bill and Mary Lee Bossert and John and Judy Dowling announced their plans to leave Lowell and Leverett Houses, respectively. The Bosserts held reign over the lighting of the Yule log and other Lowell traditions for 23 years; the Dowlings led Leverett for 17 years.
In July of 1999, Diana Eck, Professor of Comparative Religion and Indian Studies, and Dorothy Austin became Master and Co-Master of Lowell House. Howard Georgi, Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics, and Ann Georgi became Master and Co-Master of Leverett House.
At end of the academic year 1998-99, after 26 years as Master and Associate Master, Robert and Jana Kiely left Adams House and were succeeded by Judith Palfrey, T. Berry Brazelton Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, and her husband Sean Palfrey.
At the end of the academic year 1999-2000 Lino Pertile, Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures, and his wife Anna Bensted were appointed Masters of Eliot House following the retirement from the Mastership of Stephen Mitchell and Kristine Forsgard. Tom Conley, Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and Professor of Comparative Literature, and his wife Verena Conley were appointed to succeed Donald and Cathleen Pfister, who had been Masters of Kirkland House since 1982.10.8 Allston Burr Senior Tutors. Over the past several years, much effort has been expended on recruiting more experienced Allston Burr Senior Tutors and on training and orienting them. It was the view of the Structure committee that in their roles as the Deans of Students in their Houses, and as those delegated by the Faculty to administer its rules and regulations for the conduct of undergraduates, it was important that Senior Tutors should more closely approximate the profile, in age and experience, of the junior members of the teaching faculty. Your provision, effective last year, to fund the teaching "halves" of suitably qualified Senior Tutor appointees has been very helpful in cementing departmental-House linkages. In 1995 nearly half of the Senior Tutors were graduate students working toward their doctorates; as of the end of the 1999-2000 academic year, each of the Senior Tutors has a PhD and is engaged in classroom instruction of our undergraduates (save for one Acting Senior Tutor and for Thomas A. Dingman, long-serving Associate Dean of Harvard College).
For the academic year 1995-96, John D. Stubbs, Jr. was appointed Senior Tutor in Currier House after Deborah Foster left to become Assistant Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences for Undergraduate Education. Eugene McAfee was appointed Acting Senior Tutor in Lowell House, succeeding Alexandra Barkus, and Dirk Killen was appointed Acting Senior Tutor in Pforzheimer House after Toni Turano left in September to become Assistant Dean of the Faculty for Academic Planning.
The following year, 1996-97, four new appointments were made: Margaret Bruzelius, Lecturer on Literature, succeeded Elizabeth Minott at Eliot House; John Gerry, Lecturer on Anthropology, succeeded Rory A. W. Browne at Quincy (Browne was named Associate Secretary to the University that year); Robert Neugeboren, Lecturer on Economics, succeeded Julian Chang at Cabot House; and Marina McCarthy became Acting Senior Tutor in Winthrop House, replacing Gregory Mobley. Also that year, Mark Risinger, who had been Acting Senior Tutor in Kirkland House since January 1995, earned his Ph.D. and became Senior Tutor and Lecturer on Music, and Dirk Killen also received his Ph.D. and became Senior Tutor in Pforzheimer House and Lecturer on History and Literature. Eugene McAfee received his Th.D. and became Senior Tutor in Lowell House and Lecturer in the Study of Religion.
In 1997-98, Associate Professor of the Classics Sarolta Takács became Senior Tutor in John Winthrop House. Mark Bessire was named Acting Senior Tutor in Adams House after Michael Prokopow accepted an assistant professorship at Simon Fraser University. Nathaniel Taylor, Lecturer on History, succeeded Suzi Naiburg as Senior Tutor in Dunster House. And Rena Fonseca, who had served as Senior Tutor in Cabot House some years earlier, succeeded Mary Peckham as Senior Tutor in Mather House, and also became Lecturer on Sanskrit and Indian Studies.
For the academic year 1998-99, there were two new Senior Tutors. David Fithian, who had been Assistant Dean of Freshmen since 1995, succeeded Mark Bessire at Adams House and became Lecturer on Social Studies, and Simon Steele, Lecturer on Astronomy, succeeded John Stubbs, Jr. at Currier House.
There were no changes in the Senior Tutors at the end of the academic year 1998-99. As of July 1, 2000, several changes occurred. Courtney Bickell Lamberth, Lecturer on the Study of Religion, was named Acting Senior Tutor in John Winthrop House for one year while Prof. Takács is on sabbatical leave. Glenn Magid was named Acting Senior Tutor in Leverett House following the end of the term of Judith Murciano-Goroff. And John O'Keefe, Lecturer on History and Literature, was named Senior Tutor in Dunster House after Nathaniel Taylor accepted a visiting assistant professorship at the University of Kentucky.10.9 Resident Tutors. House Tutors are valued and important members of the staff of Harvard College who play a vital role in the residential and educational life of undergraduates. With about 20 Resident Tutors in each of the twelve residential Houses, the College is making a very significant commitment to the oversight, advising, and general care of our undergraduates. As mentioned above, the Masters in cooperation with the Committee on Advising and Counseling have taken steps to develop a common understanding of the expectations on Resident Tutors. The roles and responsibilities of residential tutors fall into three broad areas: "neighborhood" or entryway activities; academic advising; and community involvement. Houses may articulate these roles differently, but they have in common some basic sets of tasks or duties.
There is, however, significant variation among the Houses in the way Tutors understand their roles, in the way those understandings are communicated, and in how effectively Tutors carry them out. While most Masters would accept the notion that resident Tutors are analogous to what other colleges call "resident advisers," it is also important that Tutors' roles as junior scholars in residence not be ignored. The tension between Tutors' roles as staff of the College, and their identity as independent members of an intergenerational residential community, plays out differently in different Houses, and more than once we have discovered that a newly appointed Master has higher expectations for Tutors' responsibilities than the previous Master had articulated at the time the Tutor was originally appointed.
Students, both members of the Advising and Counseling Committee and individuals who have expressed themselves on the Senior Survey or through direct correspondence, have raised the issue of evaluation and reappointment of Tutors. These students have expressed surprise that Houses do not systematically ask students for their opinions of Tutors, in the way that evaluation of faculty teaching is now all but universal, and evaluation of freshman proctors and advisers is also standard. As all Tutors are reappointed annually, it would seem only natural that there would be an annual evaluation process, but until recently at least only one of the Houses has had such a formal process in place for seeking student input. A subcommittee of the Masters is now at work in preparing some form of evaluation that will be standardized across the Houses.11 THE FRESHMAN YEAR
The Dean and Assistant Deans of Freshmen combine for first-year students the roles of Masters, Senior Tutors, and academic advisers for upper-class students. In addition, there are two special challenges to overseeing the freshman year. Students do not yet have academic concentrations, and may alternately be frustrated at what they see as their inability to get specialized advice on their chosen field, and confused as they discover that the field in which they thought they were interested is much different as taught at the college level than it seemed through the glimpses seen in secondary school. Coordinating advising in this environment is not easy, and as mentioned earlier, the Freshman Dean's Office is working to improve students' access to departmental expertise and faculty advising. Also, the freshman deans oversee students' social transition from secondary school students, who for the most part have lived at home and gone to school with other members of their own geographical locale, into members of the complex residential community that is the College, with standards and expectations of its own.
The physical plant in which these tasks must be carried out is not, however, as well endowed as the Houses are with meeting rooms, seminar rooms, places for music practice, etc. The old dormitories have been renovated magnificently, but the renovations could not create common rooms, kitchens, and other homely amenities that are standard in the Houses; and the newest of the dormitories, Canaday, seems to have been designed and built in an environment of austerity. The move of the freshman dining hall to Memorial Hall has been a wonderful success in most ways; there is no place at Harvard where one feels quite so much that one has arrived in a different world. And yet Memorial Hall lacks important resources that the Union had: a private dining room where a few dozen students can dine with a faculty member or a representative of a concentration; a simple space where a freshman theatrical can take place. Thus the freshman experience has been both enriched and depleted by the spatial rearrangements of a few years ago.
Over the past five years, a strong effort has been made to hire as Assistant Deans of Freshmen candidates with advanced degrees and more experience, so that, like the Senior Tutors, they will more fully represent the academic experience of the university. This is an even more difficult task for the position of Assistant Dean of Freshmen than for Senior Tutors, since Assistant Deans of Freshmen are full-time administrative positions, without allocated time for teaching or research; they are not voting members of the Faculty; and the accommodations available to them in the freshman dormitories are, in general, inferior to the quarters of the Senior Tutors in the Houses. Nonetheless, the Assistant Deans hired in the past five years are a strong group. Since 1995, all of the Assistant Deans of Freshmen (Elizabeth Doherty, David Fithian, Eleanor Sparagana, D.E. Lorraine Sterritt, Ian D'Aoust, Philip Bean, Wendy Franz Torrance, and James Mancall) except one (Sarah Birmingham Drummond, M.Div.) have had Ph.Ds. In 1998, D. E. Lorraine Sterritt was appointed Associate Dean of Freshmen; upon her departure to become Dean of Freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania in the spring of 2000, Dr. Rory A. W. Browne succeeded her.12 THE ADMINISTRATION OF HARVARD COLLEGE
The work of the College could not be carried out without the support of a very strong senior staff. Appendix V shows the organization of undergraduate affairs and the set of individuals who work closely with the Dean of Harvard College under present arrangements.
A number of important staff changes have occurred in recent years. During my first year as Dean, following a recommendation of the Structure report, I created a new position, Assistant Dean of Harvard College for Public Service, and appointed Judith Kidd, who had previously been Vice-President for Development (and, for one year, Co-Chief Operating Officer) of CityYear in Boston. Judith also became the Director of Phillips Brooks House and a member of the Board of the Phillips Brooks House Association. Also during the 1995-96 academic year, Associate Dean Marcy Gefter announced her plans to leave the College administration after 16 years to establish an independent consulting practice. Dr. Georgene Herschbach, Registrar of the FAS since 1989 and Co-Master of Currier House from 1981-1986, was named to succeed her, and started officially on July 1, 1996. Thurston A. Smith was named Acting Registrar until a search for Georgene's successor ended with the appointment in January 1997 of Arlene Becella as Registrar. Arlene had previously served as registrar at the University of Arizona and at Boston University.
In September 1996, I also appointed Karen Avery as Assistant Dean of Harvard College for Coeducation, a position previously held by Virginia Mackay-Smith, who continued on as Assistant Dean in other capacities (including as Secretary of the Administrative Board) until the end of the academic year, when she left to pursue other interests. Before joining the Dean's office full-time in April 1997, Karen completed her work in the Admissions Office where she started in 1989 after serving as a Senior Adviser to freshmen and as an assistant in the President's office at Radcliffe College.
After the arrival of Arlene Becella in January 1997, Thurston Smith became Senior Associate Registrar and, later that spring, Secretary of the Administrative Board of Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges.
In December 1998, Archie C. Epps, III, announced that after four decades at Harvard he would step down as Dean of Students at the end of the 1998-99 academic year. Archie graciously agreed to stay on in a consulting role for three more years as Senior Associate Dean. Rather than continuing the title of Dean of Students, a role that as conventionally understood is actually played by the Allston Burr Senior Tutors in the Houses and the Assistant Deans of Freshmen, I created a new Associate Dean of the College position with primary responsibility for extracurricular activities. After a search that included input from students, David Illingworth '71 agreed in May 1999 to become the new Associate Dean as of July 1. Previously Associate Director of Financial Aid, David had served in Admissions and Financial Aid for 18 years.
Julia Fox has assumed varied and important roles in the Dean's office over the past several years, and now works full-time in three capacities: as Director of the Parents Association, as Coordinator of the Transfer and Visiting Students Program, and with Dean Avery on programs in support of women undergraduates.13 WOMEN UNDERGRADUATES
Perhaps no part of the College administration has changed as much during the past five years as its support and programming on behalf of women students. When, per the 1977 Agreement with Harvard University, Radcliffe College delegated to Harvard "all responsibility for undergraduate education and for the management and administration of undergraduate affairs," Harvard created a half-time position of Assistant Dean of Harvard College for Coeducation. This individual initially had responsibility for implementing the transfer of responsibility, and over time became the guardian of Harvard's commitment to equal opportunity for women and men in the classroom, in the residential system, and in its support services. When I became Dean in the summer of 1995, the then Assistant Dean for Coeducation, Virginia Mackay-Smith, devoted most of her decanal role (she also held a half-time position as Secretary of the Administrative Board) to efforts to prevent sexual assault and sexual harassment, and to supporting and advising undergraduate students, almost always women, who brought informal or formal complaints of sexual assault, harassment, or discrimination. This work was, and is, of critical importance, and has been carried out professionally and compassionately. Defining the "Coeducation" role in this way had the effect, however, of seeming to focus the College's view of its women students around the problems to which they were differentially subject.
When Dean Mackay-Smith left Harvard at the end of 1996-97, I appointed Karen Avery as full-time assistant dean, both to carry on the prevention and response roles and to develop and execute a new set of programs, aimed at highlighting and celebrating the achievements of women both inside the Harvard community in the world at large, at raising the visibility of women's issues on campus, at encouraging leadership by women undergraduates, and at providing opportunities for contact and connections between women undergraduates, alumnae, and women leaders at Harvard or visiting Harvard. Initially dubbed the "Harvard College Women's Initiative" and funded through the gift of Maisie K. Houghton '62 and James R. Houghton '58, these efforts were institutionalized at the time of the 1999 Radcliffe Agreement in the form of the Ann Radcliffe Trust, of which Dean Avery became the Director. Programs supported or administered by the Trust now include the annual Harvard College Women's Leadership Awards, established through he generosity of Terrie Fried Bloom '75, the Amy Smith Berylson '75 lecture, the Harvard College Science Mentors program (established by the gift of Karen Gordon Mills '75), and many panels, symposia, and meetings, some carried out through the efforts of student groups such as Women in Science at Harvard-Radcliffe. The Ann Radcliffe Trust is overseen by a student-faculty Advisory Committee, and has also implemented a grants program, funding worthy student initiatives consistent with the Trust's objectives. In the past two years the staff of the Trust has been enhanced by the addition of a full-time staff assistant and the able assistance of Julia Fox, who also carries other responsibilities in the dean's office.14 CONCLUSION
A number of other challenges and opportunities have arisen over the past five years, including several that were not anticipated. Among the matters that have occupied us have been coordination between the residential and the health care system, in situations where a student may be too unwell to take care of himself or herself in residence, but too well to require or to be willing to accept hospitalization; appropriate counseling, medical, and disciplinary response to student drinking, distinguishing appropriately between students under and over 21, and between serious abusers and others; developing appropriate methods of prevention and response to street crimes against our students, and burglaries of student rooms; development of technology support for College operations of a variety of specialized offices, such as the Bureau of Study Counsel, the Office of Career Services, and the Phillips Brooks House; representing the interests of Harvard and its students, in the Dean's capacity as representative to the Ivy Policy Committee, in the complex world of Ivy League athletics; and dealing appropriately with Final Clubs, fraternities, and sororities, which operate outside the College's structure of formal recognition and regulation but operate nonetheless, sometimes dangerously, and consist entirely of Harvard students. Perhaps I shall return to some of these subjects in a future report.
I would close by mentioning but one general challenge: communication with our students and their families --- seeing that they have the information they need so that students can make good decisions, and see that those to whom students are most likely to turn for information and advice are themselves as wise and as well-informed as possible.
The College has a well-developed system of handbooks, brochures, and other manuals that contain rules, policies, advice, and other information. The College, the Faculty, and the departments have all put a great deal of effort into putting information on our web sites and keeping those web sites up to date. Although these efforts barely match the expectations of our students and their families, to intermittent observers of the Harvard scene the increase in published information can be striking; a freshman parent who is also an alumnus mentioned to me that this change was one of the major differences between his son's Harvard and the one he had attended. The College also has an extensive network of advisers, proctors, tutors, deans, and Masters, so that no student is ever very far away from an "authority figure" who probably knows, or can find out, the truth about some regulation or rumor. Many of us spend time each day responding to electronic mail inquiries, either from the student press or from individual students; the quotations from me in the Crimson constitute only a small amount of my daily communications with members of the student press, on and off the record, concerning Harvard policies and practices, and it is a rare student e-mail to me that does not get a response the same day.
We provide information not in order to tell students what to do, but so that they will be as well prepared as possible to recognize opportunities, to use Harvard to best advantage, and to take responsibility for their decisions. In spite of our best efforts, a certain level of ignorance, or misinformation, seems to be inevitable. Where we can we try to correct the more significant misunderstandings, remembering that repetition is essential not just for emphasis but because a quarter of the student body is newly arrived every year. Perhaps the most frustrating misconceptions are those that are strongly in the culture and are not wholly wrong, but are at least as wrong as they are right; it is hard to know how to refute a generalization picked up as common wisdom and then confirmed by one or two personal experiences. The most worrying generalities are those relating to student-faculty interaction and the nature of the academic experience.
We have implemented or planned various efforts to provide better information in forms that will be taken more seriously. Some of our ideas are pragmatic, such as plans for better web sites and a reorganization and rewrite of the "Handbook for Students" so that it presents a more appealing face and usable format. We have already issued several new publications: a booklet for parents of rising sophomores, to explain to them the structure of the House system and the arrangements for advising after the freshman year; a brochure encouraging students to take leaves of absence, assuring students and parents that time away from Harvard almost always results in students returning with renewed energy and sense of purpose; and, starting in the fall of 1999, an annual letter from the Dean welcoming undergraduates back to Harvard in the fall, presenting news such as staffing changes, new policies, or construction projects which may impact life in the College. We have also assumed full editorial control over the Parents Newsletter. Some of our initiatives have been programmatic or policy changes, developed in coordination with student colleagues; for example, we undertook last year to encourage all FAS faculty to take any number of meals in the Houses and the freshman dining hall gratis when accompanied by a student. But most of all, we want to work to ensure that we all see ourselves in a role of service and support to students, with the objective of creating opportunities for them and solving their problems, and that the students with whom we come in contact see and understand us in that way, even when we have to deny their requests or to deliver bad news. Our students are a great resource; they have come through the eye of the needle to arrive at Harvard, and we owe them the best education we can provide.