Drew Faust: Harvard's New Leader Rejects Labels, Saying She'll Be a President, Not a 'Woman President'





In her first public address as Harvard University's new president, Drew Gilpin Faust said she intends to break down barriers between disciplines and schools while pressing for more collaboration at the university, setting an example she hopes will ripple throughout higher education.

"I can imagine no higher calling and no more exciting adventure than to serve as president of Harvard," she said, while reading from prepared remarks at a news conference held here on Sunday.

Ms. Faust, 59, dean of Harvard's Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study since 2001 and a history professor (see article), was elected president on Sunday by Harvard's primary governing board, the six-member Harvard Corporation, and with the unanimous approval of the university's Board of Overseers, which has 29 members. She will take office July 1.

Since her presumed appointment was leaked to the news media late last week, Ms. Faust has been praised by members of both boards as well as faculty members for her reputation as a scholar, and as a well-liked consensus builder while she was running the Radcliffe Institute, among the smallest of Harvard's 11 schools.

However, the biggest buzz around Ms. Faust has been about what she is not: a man, the recipient of a Harvard degree, and anything like Lawrence H. Summers, the university's former president who announced last February that he would resign....



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