Who will be the next leader of Harvard University? Harvard has announced that Lawrence S. Bacow will be the next president of the institution, succeeding Drew Gilpin Faust. Bacow will be the 29th president of Harvard and take over at a time when the United States Department of Justice is investigating the university’s admissions practices. Faust, the first female president of Harvard, decided to step down after 11 years — leading to an exhaustive search for a successor (over 700 candidates were considered). Interestingly, he was on the presidential search committee, before it was decided that he should be in contention for the position. Who knew that the appointment of a Harvard president and a papal conclave could have so much in common?
Profile of Harvard’s Next President
Bacow previously served as president of Tufts University for ten years. He started off as a professor of environmental policy, negotiation, economics, and the intersection of law and public policy at MIT. It’s quite a mouthful, we know. Over the course of 24 years, he would rise to become department chair and the institution’s chancellor before departing to lead the Jumbos at Tufts. He holds an undergraduate degree in economics from MIT, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and an M.P.P. and Ph.D. from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. So he’s somewhat educated. We kid, we kid.
As Anemona Hartocollis reports in a piece entitled “Harvard Chooses Lawrence Bacow as Its Next President” for “The New York Times,” “Speaking to reporters, Mr. Bacow described growing up in Pontiac, Mich., as the son of immigrants. His mother was 19 when she reached the United States on the second Liberty ship carrying refugees from Europe after the war, and was the only member of her family to survive Auschwitz, he said. His father, born in Minsk, was brought to America as a child to escape pogroms…’Where else can one go in one generation from off the boat, with literally nothing, to enjoy the kind of life and opportunity that I and my family have been fortunate to enjoy?’ Mr. Bacow said. ‘It was higher education that made this all possible.'”
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