President of Harvard University

President Of Harvard University

President of Harvard University

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The President of Harvard University is the chief administrator of the university. Ex officio the chairman of the Harvard Corporation, he or she is appointed by and is responsible to the other members of that body, who delegate to him or her the day-to-day running of the university. The current incumbent is Drew Gilpin Faust, formerly the dean of Harvard's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

Harvard is a famously decentralized university, noted for the "every tub on its own bottom" independence of its various constituent faculties. They set their own academic standards and manage their own budgets. The president, however, plays an important part in university-wide planning and strategy. He names each faculty's dean (and, since the foundation of the office in 1994, the university's provost), and grants tenure to recommended professors. (He is, however, expected to make such decisions after extensive consultation with faculty members).

Traditionally, as the leader of one of the United States' most prominent universities, Harvard presidents have influenced educational practices nationwide. Charles W. Eliot, for example, originated America's familiar system of a smorgasbord of elective courses available to each student; James B. Conant worked to introduce standardized testing; Derek Bok and Neil L. Rudenstine argued for the continued importance of diversity in higher education.

Recently, however, the job has become...
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