Harvard's Drew Gilpin Faust to step down as president next yearHistorians in the News
tags: Harvard, Drew Gilpin Faust
● HNN's coverage of Drew Gilpin Faust's career as president of Harvard
● Harvard’s Departing Leader Pushed the University to Grapple With Its Past (Chronicle of Higher Ed)
Drew Gilpin Faust, the first woman to serve as Harvard’s president, announced Wednesday that she would step down next year after 11 years of service, a period in which she oversaw ambitious fund-raising, expansion of academic programs and increases in student and faculty diversity.
Dr. Faust, a well-liked historian known for her scholarship on the American South, was appointed in 2007 after a turbulent period in which her predecessor, Lawrence H. Summers, an economist and former Treasury secretary, had alienated significant portions of the faculty.
The gracious Dr. Faust, in some ways an unlikely choice to lead the university because she did not attend Harvard, was viewed as the antidote to Dr. Summers’s pugnacious style. Moreover, the selection of a woman — after Dr. Summers’s controversial suggestion that women might lack an aptitude for science and math — appeared to usher in a new era.
Indeed, she is credited with strides in increasing the university’s ethnic and economic diversity, partly by expanding its financial-aid program.
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