Harvard University has announced that Lawrence S. Bacow, J.D.-M.P.P., Ph.D., will serve as the school’s 29th president.
Elected by the Corporation, Harvard’s senior governing board, with the consent of the Board of Overseers, Bacow’s resume includes serving as president emeritus of Tufts University, chancellor emeritus of MIT, and a member of the Harvard Corporation ever since 2011.
The election comes out 11 years to the day since the 2007 election that gave the job to Drew Gilpin Faust, Harvard’s first woman leader. Faust has previously announced her decision to step down towards the end of the academic year, with the search to find her replacement ongoing since last June.
The announcement was made at a meeting in the Thompson Room of Barker Center starting at3:15.
What is being said about the news?
According to Harvard Magazine, William F. Lee, a senior fellow of the Corporation, released the following statement:
“Larry Bacow is one of the most accomplished, admired, insightful, and effective leaders in American higher education. This is a pivotal moment for higher education—one full of extraordinary possibilities to pursue new knowledge, enhance education, and serve society, but also a time when the singular value of higher education and university research has too often been challenged and called into doubt. Such a time calls for skillful leadership, strategic thinking, and disciplined execution. Larry will provide just that.”
“He will bring to the task not only wide experience, deep expertise, and an intimate familiarity with Harvard’s opportunities and challenges, but also a passionate commitment to helping universities, and everyone within them, serve the larger world. He is ideally positioned to hit the ground running and keep Harvard moving ambitiously forward.”
For his part, Bacow gave the following response thanking the school for appointing him to the new position:
“I am humbled and honored by the opportunity to lead this remarkable institution—and to succeed Drew Faust, whom I have been privileged to count as a friend and an inspiration since we met over a decade ago.”
“The Harvard I have known has always stood for at least three things: the pursuit of truth, an unwavering commitment to excellence, and opportunity. In a nation divided, these guiding ideals have never been more important. We should never shy away from nor be apologetic about affirming our commitment to making the world a better place through our teaching and scholarship and our commitment to truth, excellence, and opportunity for all. And we should always recognize that, for all of our progress toward realizing these ideals over decades and centuries, there is much more we can learn, more we can contribute, more we can do better.”