Dean Jeremy Knowles
Dear Dean Knowles,
I have the honor to present my report on Harvard College for the academic year 2000-2001.
This first year of the new millennium, Harvard's 364th, found the College on very solid footing and with much for which we may be both proud and grateful: an ever-accomplished student body, an increasingly diverse and distinguished faculty, a dedicated corps of professional and support staff, and facilities that — while filled to overflowing and heavily used — are among the finest of any college campus. And yet, there remain some areas that I shall discuss below in which we must continue to strive to do better.
The start of a new century leads us, naturally, to look back as well as ahead. Remarkably enough, the major themes sounded by my distant predecessor, L. B. R. Briggs, in his annual report on Harvard College for the academic year 1900–1901, are strikingly similar to several mentioned in these pages. For instance, after providing the customary accounting of the number of students enrolled and graduated, Dean Briggs wrote:
Of the importance of financial aid:
The College is believed to be so wealthy, and the actual amount of money for scholarships is so large, that some parents (who think their own boys as good as anybody's) are offended if their sons get no aid…. All these persons overlook the plain arithmetical truth that, if three hundred men apply for one hundred scholarships, two hundred must fail. …Harvard College might well use twice as many scholarships as it has now.
Scholarships in those days were granted on the basis of ability and achievement as well as need, so the shortage of financial aid money was exacerbated by improvement in the student body:
In the present Sophomore Class alone, twenty-six applicants with grades which a few years ago would have insured scholarships have received none…. In all three classes, between seventy and seventy-five men with such records as a few years ago made college aid a certainty have failed. …[I]t is yet certain that the number of our students with very high records has increased, and that it is a good deal harder to win a scholarship than it used to be.
And of the need for space for students to pursue their extracurricular interests:
To persons interested in the social life of students the most important gift of the academic year, and one of the most important ever received by the University, is the building for the new Harvard Union. …For years the want of such a building has been known to all who believe that occasions in which many hundred members of the University come together for a common purpose are essential to college life and college loyalty. …The Harvard Union …has suitable rooms for committees and societies, …a reading room, a small but constantly growing library, offices for athletics and for the college press, and a large main hall suitable for mass meetings, impromptu concerts, and gatherings of all sorts. Even now, after an existence of a few weeks, it has aroused such united enthusiasm as the University has never known.
The closing of the Union in January 1996 to make way for the Barker Center has — even with the House system, which did not exist in Briggs' day, and Loker Commons — resulted in a net loss of space for student groups, and at a time when the number of these groups and the level of participation in them are at an all-time high.
Also in the academic year 1900–1901, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences debated whether the degree of Bachelor of Arts could be earned in three rather than four years of study. The questions of a hundred years ago are still with us today. Here I quote from the annual report of then Dean of the Faculty, Clement L. Smith.
There exists at present a demand for a three years college course on the part of a large and increasing number of students, of whom a majority — about two-thirds in the last five years — remain in the University for graduate or professional study. It is desirable that the work required of those students should be such that it can be performed in a wholesome and profitable manner, without imposing too great a strain either on the students themselves or on the standard of the courses which they take. At the same time a large majority of our students, from preference or by force of tradition, still adhere to the four years course. Without attempting to foretell the results that may come from any new plan that may be adopted, it is safe to say that, if the three years course is to have a recognized place in our academic scheme, it must exist for some years to come alongside of the four years course. Such being the case, it is highly desirable that each of the two courses should stand, as far as possible, on its own intrinsic merits, neither favored nor discriminated against by technical regulations. Each, in its own way, may be expected to have attractions for the serious-minded student, according to his temperament or his circumstances, — the three years course as one by which, with greater concentration on his studies, he may advance by a year his entrance on professional or special study or into active life; the four years course as affording time for more extended or better digested intellectual work, as well as for the other opportunities and legitimate interests of college life.
That we now contemplate some of the same topics and challenges as did those who administered the College at the turn of the last century, might be regarded by some among us as the ultimate evidence of how slowly change comes to Harvard! But, more sincerely, others of us see in it a faithful adherence to a set of core values and principles designed to ensure the finest quality education and college experience possible for our undergraduates, men and women. Standards and expectations of achievement must be high; access must not be limited by ability to pay; and the space to explore, to learn outside of the classroom and laboratory, and in the company of one's peers, should abound.
In my report last year, I focused on the five-year period from 1995-2000 that was my first term as Dean of Harvard College. This year, I should like to report on a single academic year but with an eye to the past and the future.
2.1. Admissions. The number of applicants to Harvard College in 2000-2001, rose for the tenth consecutive year. Of the record-setting 19,014 who applied for admission to the Class of 2005 (321 more than the year before), 2,110 (or 11.1 percent) were admitted. The percentage who chose to accept our offer of admission, the yield, was 77.6, which, while down slightly from the previous year, continues to be well above that of other selective colleges. Also a record from last year's admissions cycle is the proportion of the entering class who are women: 48 percent.
The objective credentials of the incoming class have risen steadily for many years; it is almost tiresome to repeat the theme. To give a longitudinal snapshot, the following table presents the mean scores (µ) on three measures for the past twenty entering classes. The three measures are the SAT I Verbal score, the SAT I Math score, and the average of the three best SAT II scores (formerly called "Achievement Tests"). Thus each number would have a minimum value of 200 and a maximum of 800.
|Objective Test by
|Verbal SAT I||Math SAT I||SAT II|
The jump in test scores between the classes of 1999 and 2000, particularly visible in the Verbal SAT I score, is largely if not entirely artificial — the result of the College Board's decision to "recenter" test scores.
I have included in this table not just the means, but the standard deviations (σ) of these measures, an indication of the variability or "spread" in the population. As striking as the steady increase in average objective qualifications of the student body is the steady decrease in its dispersion across the possible range. The bell curve has both moved to the right and become more concentrated around its center. The standard deviation of each measure has decreased at a rate averaging more than 1% per year over the time period of the past twenty years. ("Recentering" does not make the standard deviations incomparable across this time period.) Students have, in other words, not only gotten smarter on average — they have gotten significantly more alike in their academic potential. The convergence towards uniformity on this one dimension has occurred over the same time period during which the College population has become more diverse in every other way, and during which the gender ratio has moved close to balanced.
The ever-rising achievements of our incoming students may have many consequences for us; I would note but one at this point. For the students entering in the fall of 1999, 793, or nearly half, were eligible to accept Advanced Standing and to graduate in three years. Only about 5% of Harvard students typically complete their undergraduate degrees in three years, and many of those who do finish early choose to remain in residence for a fourth year in order to complete a Master's degree. The increasing divergence of the size of the eligible pool from the number who actually exercise and persist with the Advanced Standing option results in a great deal of advising during the freshman year about options that are ultimately (and quite properly, in my view) rejected. These developments suggest that the time has come to consider whether the standards for Advanced Standing should be raised, so as to reduce the number of eligible students and to focus the option on those students who are best able to make good use of it.
2.2. Financial Aid. The College's already competitive financial aid program was further enhanced last year, reducing again by $2,000 or more (depending on need) the amount students are expected to contribute to the cost of their education (the so-called "self-help package"). We have also continued our policy of allowing students who obtain scholarships from outside sources to apply the full amount of those awards to help reduce, or in some cases eliminate, the need for loans and/or a job. Nearly seventy percent of undergraduates at Harvard receive some form of financial assistance, and the College expects to disburse almost $100 million in financial aid this year, including scholarships, loans, jobs, and parent loan financing. The average annual aid package this year totals to more than $24,000. It is fair to say that Harvard's policy of need-blind admissions, which is essential to attracting the very best students, combined with our generous aid program would have been unimaginable to Briggs, even if adjusted for the economy of 1900.
2.3. Achievement. The quality of our student body, which by all measures has been increasing steadily since 1900 but especially in more recent decades, remains unsurpassed. The number of applicants last year with a perfect score of 800 on their verbal or math SATs (1,700 and 2,000 respectively) continues an upward trend. Nearly 2,700 were valedictorians of their high school classes. The number of National Merit Scholars (382), National Achievement Scholars (62) — an award that recognizes outstanding African American students, Intel (formerly Westinghouse) Science Contest top-ten winners (4), and USA TODAY 2001 HIGH SCHOOL ALL ACADEMIC First Team winners (20), who enrolled this year alone at Harvard is the largest, in some cases by far, at any one college. In addition, fully half of the 50 U.S. participants of the Center for Excellence in Education's Rickover Scholars program joined Harvard's Class of 2005. Once again last year, Harvard College students won the Putnam mathematics contest, which they have done for 12 of the past 16 years. Four students won Marshall Scholarships, four won Harvard-Cambridge Scholarships, five received Rockefeller Memorial Fellowships, and seven won Gates Millennium Scholarships. On the other hand, last year was the first in the past seventy that no Harvard student won a Rhodes scholarship — a circumstance which, happily, we already know will not recur for this year's senior class.
2.4. Degrees and Concentrations. The number of A.B. degrees conferred last year, 1,693, is roughly the same as in previous years, as was the number of S.B. degrees: 8. The table below indicates the number of degrees awarded by level of honors and gender.
|Cum Laude in Field||223||181||404||1||1||2||224||182||406|
|Magna Cum Laude||262||272||534||0||0||0||262||272||534|
|Magna Cum Laude, Highest||40||30||70||2||0||2||42||30||72|
|Summa Cum Laude||40||36||76||0||0||0||40||36||76|
I am happy to note that the imbalance noted in last year's report in the gender ratio among students awarded the degree summa cum laude has largely vanished in the Class of 2001.
Concentration statistics for the year 2000-2001 are presented in Appendix I; the numbers differ little from those presented in the previous year's Annual Report.
3.1. Concentration advising. The Faculty Standing Committee on Advising and Counseling five years ago developed, in coordination with the concentrations, a set of standards for academic advising, and has administered a survey every other year to track the performance of the concentrations, and of the College as a whole, in meeting these standards. The administration of the survey to the graduating seniors of the class of 2001 marked the third administration of the survey; previous administrations were to the seniors of the classes of 1997 and 1999. The field-by-field data on the responses to three key questions on the three administrations of the Survey appear in Appendix II.
Overall satisfaction with advising in the concentrations is essentially unchanged from two years ago, at 2.83 or slightly unfavorable on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 high. Two years ago the corresponding number was 2.78. The standard deviation is fairly high at 1.28, indicating a wide variance in the opinions of individual students. By broad disciplinary area, satisfaction is highest in the humanities (3.34), with students in the social sciences (2.67) and the natural sciences (2.66) about equally satisfied with advising. Because of the sensitivity of the data to individual opinion, we here identify only those concentrations with at least 25 respondents to the survey; though the full data set is available, care should be used in interpreting the results for concentrations with only a handful of seniors. Among the larger concentrations, the overall satisfaction with advising was, in increasing order: Applied Mathematics, 2.15 (2.24 in 1999); Economics, 2.26 (2.12 in 1999); Biological Sciences, 2.27 (2.26 in 1999); Government, 2.44 (2.57 in 1999); English and American Literature and Language, 2.50 (2.61 in 1999); Computer Science, 2.59 (2.63 in 1999); Anthropology, 2.77 (2.80 in 1999); Social Studies, 2.80 (3.22 in 1999); Physics, 2.82 (3.47 in 1999); History, 2.82 (2.72 in 1999); Psychology, 2.83 (2.57 in 1999); Biochemical Sciences, 2.90 (3.04 in 1999); Environmental Science and Public Policy, 2.97 (2.60 in 1999); Chemistry, 3.03 (2.75 in 1999); History and Literature, 4.07 (3.69 in 1999); Literature, 4.24 (3.87 in 1999).
Because such a broad measure of satisfaction is subject to individual interpretation about the very meaning of advising, the Committee broke the term down into various functional components, and has asked about these specific areas on each of the surveys. Here are the summary results for certain key questions.
Did the concentration provide a written or oral rationale for concentration requirements? Percent responding favorably in 2001: 68%; percent in 1999: 60%; percent in 1997: 64%.
Did you ever want any kind of academic advice and find yourself unable to get it quickly? Percent responding favorably in 2001: 53%; percent in 1999: 59%; percent in 1997: 54% (These are the percentages responding "no," the favorable response to this question.)
Were your academic interests covered in concentration advising conversations? Percent responding favorably in 2001: 61%; percent in 1999: 59% percent in 1997: 65%.
Were appropriate courses, given your interests and background, covered in concentration advising conversations? Percent responding favorably in 2001: 57%; percent in 1999: 56%; percent in 1997: 62%.
Were concentration requirements and how you planned to satisfy them covered in concentration advising conversations? Percent responding favorably in 2001: 80%; percent in 1999: 77%; percent in 1997: 80%.
Were possible summer and postgraduate plans covered in concentration advising conversations? Percent responding favorably in 2001: 43%, percent in 1999: 43%; percent in 1997: 52%.
Students' satisfaction with their academic experience in their concentration is higher than their satisfaction with advising, at 3.60 (4.04 in the humanities, 3.51 in the social sciences, and 3.39 in the natural sciences). Satisfaction with the academic experience at Harvard is a bit higher, at 3.68, though this figure is down from 3.74 two years ago. Satisfaction with the overall Harvard experience averages 3.87 (standard deviation 0.91), slightly up from 3.85 two years ago.
While the overall improvement in advising across the College has been disappointingly slow, I should also like to note several fields whose leadership should be congratulated for the tangible improvements that have occurred. Increases in overall satisfaction of more than a quarter of a point on the 1-to-5 scale have occurred over the past two years in these five concentrations: Psychology, Environmental Science and Public Policy, Chemistry, History and Literature, and Literature. I should also like to note with optimism the commitment to improvement made by the Head Tutor or Director of Undergraduate Studies in Economics, English, and Psychology; the problems of implementing systematic changes in such large concentrations are quite daunting. English and Psychology are both pursuing imaginative innovations, aided by a restricted fund for the improvement of advising, the generous gift of an alumnus, Paul Josefowitz, AB'74.
3.2. Freshman advising I am delighted that the new initiative to strengthen the Freshman Seminar program is being accompanied by recruitment of faculty as Freshman Advisers. Most faculty who have been freshman advisers have found the experience rewarding and not burdensome, and new students in the College are deeply appreciative of the opportunity for close contact with the core of our teaching faculty.
Last year was an especially challenging and somewhat frustrating year for the Board, because we were asked to investigate a sharply increased number of complaints of sexual assault. Several of these more recent cases have had troubling qualities in common. First, more of the allegations are now coming without any involvement of the police or courts, forcing the Board to hear detailed testimony about sexual acts and their context from a variety of witnesses, and to try to determine, purely on the basis of various students' reports of their memories of events, whether a serious violation of Faculty rules has occurred, one which would be a serious criminal act if it were determined to have occurred in the criminal justice system. The alleged unwanted sexual act itself is most often not witnessed except by the principals, who more often than not had been drinking and admit to having only vague or partial recollections of what happened. The role of alcohol, which is generally considered by the Board in other kinds of cases to be neither exculpatory nor exacerbating, is critical in cases of alleged sexual assault, since sexual intercourse with someone too drunk to assent is considered to be rape. Usually, however, the alleged victim tries earnestly to persuade the Board of how drunk she was, while the alleged assailant brings forward witnesses to attest to her relative sobriety. Of course, it is hard to be confident that the recollections of people who were drinking will be accurate about how drunk they or others were. (We use the female pronoun for the alleged victim and the male pronoun for the alleged assailant, though not every case heard by the Board has been one of alleged assault by a man against a woman.)
Second, some of the allegations are now reaching the stage of formal complaint more than a year after the event is alleged to have occurred — sometimes as the complainant and the alleged assailant are nearing graduation. The long delays, of course, make the evidentiary trail even more difficult to discern than it would be if the incident had been reported promptly. And there is the possibility that we may have to hold up the degree of a student against whom we ultimately take no disciplinary action, because of the late date at which the complaint is lodged. This circumstance illustrates just one of the many ways in which an Ad Board is critically different from a complaint in criminal court: while there is no statute of limitations on charges of rape in the criminal justice system, there is de facto a limitation on the authority of the Ad Board: Once a student has received his degree, the College cannot take action against him.
Third, we have the sense that our process is now so accessible and so confidential that complaints may be pursued even when a complainant has been advised in advance that the Board will almost certainly be unable to reach a conclusion on the basis of the available evidence. We fear, that is, that the process itself could be used by complainants as a form of punishment of the alleged assailant. I would stress that the complaints in such cases may be entirely credible, but not so clearly provable that the Board is able to take action.
And finally, we have a greater sense after last year that in some of the cases being brought to us, it is predictable in advance that the Board will likely be unable to sustain the charge, so that the involved and usually lengthy process of the investigation seems unproductive and needlessly difficult for the students involved. Moreover, as the number of subcommittees needed has increased, it has become less practicable to include senior members of the Board, and both men and women members, on all subcommittees.
Our process probably cannot be improved in such a way that more of the cases being brought to us will be resolvable by the Board. Absent confessions (unlikely now that we, as a matter of course, advise alleged assailants to seek legal counsel), a court finding, and any physical evidence such as might be available in a criminal proceeding, any reasonable standard of fairness will inevitably result in many of these cases being irresolvable. They also tend to be irresolvable in a court of law; I doubt our process is much less effective in adjudicating he-said-she-said complaints, about events to which there were no witnesses other than the principals, than is the criminal justice system. Thus we do not feel that our process is deficient, except in one way: by advising complainants that they may choose to pursue their grievance either through the courts or through the Administrative Board, we seem to suggest to them that the Ad Board can actually resolve the complaints they bring to us under the 1993 Faculty legislation, when we know that to be unlikely.
The result of this is that we have been contemplating ways to assess the quality of the evidence earlier in the process, so that we might avoid a protracted, labor-intensive investigation in those cases in which we have concerns from the start about whether the Board will be able to resolve the complaint. We have continued this year to consider how best to handle cases of sexual misconduct, which includes rape and sexual assault, and eagerly await the recommendations of the faculty committee you appointed last summer to review the Board's processes in such cases as these.
The Board dealt with another very difficult case last year: the case of the students who occupied Massachusetts Hall in an action designed to advance the Living Wage campaign. Reporting the Board's actions in this case would violate the students' rights to confidentiality of their disciplinary records, but I would offer that some of the students have disclosed the Board's decision in their cases to some faculty members, and I have heard from approximately as many faculty who were persuaded that the Board had acted too harshly as that it had acted too leniently.
That, indeed, suggests the difficulty the Board found in discussing this case at all. The Board is but a subcommittee of the Faculty, and as such, all its decisions are subject to appeal and reversal by the Faculty. A number of faculty members offered me advice on their views of whether and how the students should be disciplined in advance of the Ad Board process, and several Faculty members accompanied the students when they made their personal appearance before the Board. I summarized for the Board the views the Faculty members had expressed on such basic questions as whether ends ever justify means, whether civil disobedience, if just, should be subject to any punitive response, and so on. The Board did the best it could with the advice it received, and came to its own best judgment by the usual voting process. As with all Ad Board decisions, no official explantation can be offered, since different individuals may well have different reasons for voting as they did; the Ad Board makes decisions but does not write opinions. I believe that the Board came to a decision that was probably in the center of the opinion of a sharply polarized Faculty. Any who may feel it came to a decidedly incorrect decision would best guide the Board by asking the Faculty as a whole to instruct it, through discussion and debate. It would be important that any such discussion and debate be about Faculty rules of undergraduate behavior and the appropriate responses to violations of those rules, and that the Board not be asked to apportion its disciplinary judgments according to determinations of moral justice, especially judgments about which the Faculty itself would not have internal consensus.
As I mentioned in my report last year, I have made it a priority during each of my years as Chair of the Administrative Board to appoint one or two senior members of the Faculty who have no other administrative responsibilities in the College to serve as members of the Board for a year. I am extremely grateful to Professors Kathleen Coleman and Jonathan Grindlay, who served last year.
As you know, the Bureau offers a variety of services: individual counseling, peer academic tutoring, group counseling on particular subjects, large workshops on academic skills, and the Reading Course.
5.1. Counseling. The number of students overall counseled in 2000–2001 was 793, almost exactly the same as the previous year's number of 784. But the number of counseling sessions increased significantly: 7,519, nearly 20% more than the figure of 6,343 the previous year. The annual measure of number of sessions per student proportion has been increasing steadily:
|Sessions per student||5.8||6.0||6.5||7.1||8.1||9.5|
No definitive explanation of the source of the increase in sessions per student can be offered, but several possibilities present themselves:
- Students are (as some outside data occasionally suggest) more
disturbed and needing help.
- Students are more sophisticated and feel less stigmatized, and
therefore stay in counseling longer.
- Bureau staff, including trainees, are increasingly doing long-term
therapy, and invite students into more extended contact more
than they used to.
Though overall numbers of students counseled was steady, there was a significant increase of number of College students counseled: 549 (vs. 498 the year before), a 10% increase. A possible source of this increase is greatly expanded and publicized outreach efforts, including the Caring for the Harvard Community program in the fall of 2000 and more sustained outreach to Houses.
5.2. Peer Tutoring. After a steady rise in tutoring over the previous five years, there was a modest decrease in 2000–2001 in the number of students tutored:
The modest dip in number of students tutored mirrors a 12% decrease in requests for tutoring, from 1,318 in 99/00 to 1,160 in 00/01. There has been an improvement in the proportion of requests fulfilled from about two-thirds to about three-fourths (75.7%), due both to greater Front Office efficiency and to the decline in demand. The number of tutors has been stable over three years (267, 266, 268).
5.3. Groups, Workshops, and the Reading Course. The trends in all these offerings can be seen from the following table:
|Sponsored Group Participants||__*||77||76||52||87||87|
|Supervision Group Participants||__*||138||143||165||153||91|
There are two types of groups: sponsored (group counseling on specific issues), and supervision (of peer counseling groups). Sponsored groups show a modest increase in participation in recent years. Supervision groups show a significant decrease in the past year, an indicator of declining student interest in peer counseling, a phenomenon whose sources and consequences will bear investigation if the trend persists.
Workshops are one-time interventions, often to large groups and usually concerning academic skills. WISH (Workshop in Studying at Harvard), is offered to all freshmen during freshman week. It still reaches half the class, despite recent decline in participation. Other workshops (there were 89 of them) had record participation last year.
The decline in the number of students taking the excellent course in reading strategies is regrettable, and bears attention. One senior with whom I talked about his academic struggles at Harvard reported knowing about the Reading Course, and recognizing that it would have helped him in the massive amounts of reading he did during his four years of studies, but feeling that he did not have the time to take the course! We clearly need to strategize better about getting students into this course.
The academic year 2000–2001 in Career Services began as a year for which most economists projected continued growth of the economy. The focus of the office during the summer and early fall was on managing the heavy demand for access by recruiters to Harvard students, both College and GSAS. Employer interest in opportunities for on-campus recruiting, information sessions, and educational programs was very strong. Employer and student participation in all of the programmatic options offered by OCS was also continuing to grow. Not only were all of the Career Forum tables taken, but there was a waiting list of 35-40 organizations awaiting a chance to participate. The range of career fairs offered grew to include an International Work, Volunteer, and Study Abroad Fair, a Summer Fair, and a Small Business Fair, each of which was well received by both students and potential employers.
By the end of the spring term, the market had changed dramatically. The economy had taken a serious downturn, particularly among employers who are traditional consumers of Harvard graduates through on-campus recruiting, including investment banking, consulting, and technology (the dot-coms were disappearing and the large software and hardware manufacturers were pulling back). The late spring and summer were spent working with students who had placed too much emphasis on the on-campus program, with students and employers who were engaged in renegotiating or rescinding offers, and in assisting students entering the market for the first time (perhaps after completing their senior theses) to confront a market that was much softer than they had anticipated. All of the career counselors and library staff experienced interest in their program offerings and increased demand from students for assistance in making contact with alumni/æ for networking purposes.
|Fr, So, Jr
|Types of Industries
The news in these tables is the significant increase in use of the recruiting program by alumni/æ and underclassmen, and these clienteles place a real burden on OCS counselors. Availability of OCS services to alumni/æ in particular is currently not widely advertised, and runs the risk of swamping the office in a time of economic recession. Note, however, that the table above counts all students participating in recruiting. A part of the increase in participation by alumni/æ and underclassmen may be due to the use of OCS's eRecruiting system as a research tool. For example, of the 839 underclassmen who signed up for recruiting access, only 584 (70%) applied for interviews.
One further comment on alumni/æ use of OCS services. As the numbers increase, so is the friction due to the fact that OCS is an FAS agency and (except for special arrangements) open only to FAS alumni/æ. This restriction runs in conflict with the fact that Harvard alumni/æ wishing to use OCS services are those alumni/æ, from whatever Faculty, who are interested in careers or jobs about which OCS knows. So an MD (or even a graduating medical student) wanting a career in the biotechnology industry, or in an executive branch of the drug industry, is not well served by resources at HMS, and may seek help from OCS instead. I believe it would be an intelligent application of the principle of institutional unity to recognize, in our funding model, that we have an interest in treating Harvard alumni/æ as just that, and not as HMS alumni/æ, HLS alumni/æ, or FAS alumni/æ.
Data from the on-campus recruiting program show several interesting trends. Again this year almost half of the graduating class registered to participate in on campus recruiting (799 seniors). This number has been constant for the past two years and suggests an upper limit of seniors interested in accessing this service. However, the number of College alumni/æ using the service increased from 80 to 222 individuals. In addition, the program experienced an increase from 80 to 108 GSAS candidates. Perhaps most dramatic was the increase among undergraduates participating in interviews for internships. Among this group the increase was from 491 to 839 students. This last change is most likely a reflection of the combined interest among students in securing a "professional summer internship" and employers attempting to increase their effectiveness in recruiting underclass students. Many recruiting companies project that in the coming years they will accomplish up to 80% of their hiring of college graduates from among their interns rather than through open interviewing of seniors. If this trend continues it will place additional burdens on underclass students to "know what they want to do after graduation" earlier in their academic careers.
Most OCS counselors had the same or an increased load of student counseling and group sessions; the slight overall decline in students counseled reflects temporary staff leaves at critical times last year. The most significant information to be seen in these data is the continued growth of counseling sessions with alumni/æ. The number of College alumni/æ seen increased from 1067 to 1162 resulting in an increase in alumni appointments from 17% to 19% of the total individual appointments. If this trend continues it will erode the availability of services to undergraduates.
The pre-medical advising by our full-time pre-med adviser, LeeAnn Michaelson, reflects another change that is occurring in how OCS relates to the students and alumni/æ it serves. Of 1,125 individual pre-medical advising sessions, 290 or 26% were with alumni/æ. Only about a quarter of all the advising sessions were traditional, scheduled, in-person interviews: 563 (50%) were e-mail conferences, 273 (24%) were individual counseling sessions at OCS, 108 (10%) were phone appointments, and 181 (16%) were walk-in sessions, resume reviews, or mock interviews. The number of pre-med advising sessions increased by 43% over the previous year. Increased use of e-mail certainly has contributed to the larger number of advising sessions, even though only e-mails and telephone conversations lasting at least fifteen minutes were logged for these statistical purposes.
7.1. Crowding. For each of the past few years the number of students in residence in the Houses has grown. As I explained in my Opening-of-Term letter to students this year, this circumstance results not from admitting more students — indeed the size of the freshman class has been unchanged for many years, and the number of transfer matriculants has been reduced in each of the past two years. Instead, the crowding seems to have arisen as a result of a combination of factors — fewer students studying abroad or taking voluntary leaves of absence, more students returning from leaves of absence, and the attractiveness of the residential Houses over other local real estate options. Efforts are underway to address the crowding, which, by the luck of the draw, has hit different Houses differently. We are actively encouraging the conversion of non-student apartments to student rooms where that shift would, in net, improve undergraduate life. We are also trying to equalize the crowding across the residential system by assessing the possibility of changing the number of students assigned to each House. Nascent thinking about changes in Study Abroad policies, undertaken purely for educational reasons, may also at some point result in fewer students being resident in Cambridge. Finally, we are looking for space near campus where the "overflow" could be housed as long as the current imbalance lasts. I would note, however, that patterns in leave-taking and the attractiveness of off campus life are cyclical, so there is no need to consider building an additional residential House.
7.2. New Masters. After fifteen years as Master of Quincy House, Michael Shinagel, Dean of the Division of Continuing Education, and Co-Master Marjorie North, stepped down in the spring of 2001. Succeeding them are Professor Robert Kirshner '70, Clowes Professor of Science in the Department of Astronomy, and Jayne Loader. Professor Kirshner teaches the Core course, Science A-35, "Matter in the Universe." The Master and Co-Master of Dunster House, Karel and Hetty Liem, also stepped down at the end of last year. Karel, who served as Master of Dunster for 12 years, is Bigelow Professor of Ichthyology. Succeeding the Liem's are Roger B. Porter, IBM Professor of Business and Government in the Kennedy School of Government, and Ann Porter, who is a civic leader and community volunteer. Professor Porter teaches the popular undergraduate course Government 1540, "The American Presidency." I am grateful to these distinguished and busy couples for making this important commitment to the lives of undergraduates.
7.3. New Allston Burr Senior Tutors. At the end of the 2000-2001 academic year there was a large turnover of Senior Tutors. In Adams House, Dr. Michael Rodriguez, Lecturer in Psychology, succeeded Dr. David Fithian who is now full-time Assistant Dean of Harvard College and Secretary of the Administrative Board. In Kirkland House, Dr. Timothy Harte, Lecturer in Slavic Languages and Literatures, succeeded Dr. Mark Risinger, who left to pursue a singing career in opera. In Leverett House, Dr. Catherine Shapiro, Lecturer in Government, joined us from a faculty position at Dartmouth College, replacing Mr. Glenn Magid, who returned to his doctoral studies. In Lowell House, Dr. Marshall Poe, Lecturer in History and Literature, succeeded Dr. Eugene McAfee, who relocated to Scotland to be Assistant Minister of St. Giles' Cathedral. In Pforzheimer House, Dr. Melinda Gray, Lecturer on Literature, succeeded Dr. Dirk Killen, who became Assistant Dean and Academic Coordinator at Washington University in St. Louis. In Quincy House, Dr. Maria Trumpler, Lecturer on the History of Science, joined us from Middlebury College, where she was Dean of Ross Commons, and from a faculty position at Yale, succeeding Dr. John Gerry, now Assistant Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and Acting Senior Tutor Mark Haefele, who returned to his role as Assistant Senior Tutor. Finally, in Winthrop House, Dr. Courtney Bickel Lamberth moved from acting to regular status, replacing Professor Sarolta Takács, who took up a tenured professorship of the Classics at Rutgers.
The majority of Harvard students are involved in one or more significant extracurricular commitments. As students on financial aid are expected to earn some of the cost of their education, paid work is often a significant activity in addition to academic activities and other extracurricular commitments. Music, theatre, community service, publications, religious activities, and House activities are often as memorable to alumni/æ, years after leaving Harvard, as are their classes. For many students at Harvard, they provide healthy balance to intense academic programs and an opportunity to pursue excellence in directions unrelated to their studies or to their intended career.
Given that some activities require quite large commitments of time, it is sensible to ask whether the demands are excessive. This question is particularly relevant for activities that have official institutional sponsorship and that are directed by Harvard staff and carried out in Harvard's name — varsity intercollegiate athletics in particular. The following table presents seniors' self-reported time commitments to a variety of activities. The first two rows are the time consumed in varsity athletics by recruited and non-recruited varsity athletes, respectively. (By Ivy rules, certain matriculating students have been designated as "recruited athletes" at the time of admission; their numbers are subject to League-wide regulations. Our athletic teams are, however, open to all qualified participants; such "walk-ons" are the "not recruited" athletes. Once one participates in a varsity sport, one remains an "athlete" for Ivy purposes even if one subsequently stops playing, and in fact most "not recruited" athletes only participate in a sport for a season or two.)
The "row %" figures give a sense of the intensity of the activity, since they indicate what percentage of those participating in the activity at all spend a given amount of time on it. The last column indicates what proportion of the senior class participated in the activity at all. For example, almost eighty percent (49% + 29%) of recruited varsity athletes spent more than twenty hours per week on their sport; that entire group constituted about 9% of the class.
These numbers will be considered by the Faculty Standing Committee on Athletic Sports. They support the widespread impression that many varsity sports demand an excessive time commitment on the part of the students participating in them. I expect that this finding will inform discussions of League-wide restrictions and reforms.
Other findings are cheerier. The majority of our students participate in sports at some level, at least recreational or intramural. Nearly 40% are involved in music or the arts, and almost 60% are involved in public service activities at some level. More students spend amounts of time that are arguably excessive on publications, arts, theatre, and music than on varsity athletics, but the majority of students involved in those activities participate at a much less intense level of commitment. We are well to be reminded how many students are involved in paid work, but should be pleased that so many (a third of all students) are engaged in paid work which they classify as of an academic nature. With such levels of activity, it is no wonder that our resources for publications, performances, athletic activities, etc. are so severely strapped. Even meeting spaces for student groups are at a premium, since most of the Yard classrooms are used by DCE in the evenings.
# row %
# row %
# row %
# row %
# row %
Varsity, not recruited
|All varsity||4 2%||3 1%||77 30%||115 45%||55 22%||16%|
Final clubs, etc.
Paid work, academic
P'd w'rk, comm. srv.
Paid work other
Pressure on spaces for practice and performance activities, and even simple desks, file cabinets, and meetings for student groups, continue to be a significant worry. Plans are underway for a major renovation of the Hasty Pudding Theatre for undergraduate use; the project will be costly, and will preserve and enhance a venerable landmark, but will not solve all problems by any means. The possible loss of both the Agassiz Theatre and the Riemann Dance Center already loom on the horizon as potential catastrophes for the College. A new show goes up in Agassiz almost every week, a schedule that leaves too little time for set construction, lighting, final rehearsals, and performances. The Riemann Dance Center is in use for the greater part of every day and every evening, and there is no other floor at Harvard of adequate size to support its activities (except possibly the Loeb mainstage). The agreement between Harvard University and Radcliffe College that resulted in the creation of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study provides that both Agassiz and Riemann will be transferred to the Institute in 2004; that transition date, which once was only vaguely alarming, now seems increasingly a threat to major student activities.
I continue to be grateful for the work and dedication of a very strong senior staff. Appendix V includes a chart showing the organization of undergraduate affairs and the set of individuals who work closely with the Dean of Harvard College under present arrangements.
Last year, there were only a few changes in staff. Thurston Smith, who served Harvard long and well, most recently as Senior Associate Registrar and Secretary of the Administrative Board, retired in June 2001. He has since resettled in Sonoma County, California, and talks of writing a novel. In anticipation of Thurston's retirement, I appointed David B. Fithian in October 2000 to serve as Secretary of the Administrative Board, and to hold a newly created third position of Assistant Dean of Harvard College. The structure of the College Dean's office now includes the Dean, three associate deans, and three assistant deans. David has also assumed Thurston's role as Special Assistant to the Dean of Harvard College on matters related to gay and lesbian students. Prior to this appointment, David served as Allston Burr Senior Tutor in Adams House and Lecturer in Social Studies, and before that as Assistant Dean of Freshmen.
I am also pleased to report the appointment of Jack Megan as the new Director of the Office for the Arts, effective July 1, 2001. Jack succeeds Myra Mayman, the founding director of the office for nearly three decades. He comes to Harvard with extensive experience in arts administration. He served as director of development of the Santa Fe (New Mexico) Music Festival from 1984–86, and joined the administration of the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1988, ultimately becoming the school's executive director of finance, development and operations. He has also served the Boston-based Fidelity Foundation in a grant-making capacity and as an independent consultant to local non-profits. As of July 1, 2001, the Director of the Office for the Arts, reports to the Dean of Harvard College, and I am delighted that Jack is now part of our team.
Finally, Archie C. Epps, III, who after retiring at the end of 1998–99 was serving in a part-time consulting role as Senior Associate Dean of Harvard College, last summer drew to a close his very long and faithful service to Harvard. Archie will be missed by many here and all of us are indebted to his fine stewardship of many generations of Harvard student groups, organizations, and individuals.
This completes my report for the year 2000–2001. I welcome the energy of President Summers as he joins us in our continued efforts to create a College that is as great as the students who have come here to learn and to grow and the faculty who teach and guide them.
Harry R. Lewis
Gordon McKay Professor
of Computer Science
Dean of Harvard College