Departmental chairs in the Social Sciences division met with two members of a Faculty presidential search advisory committee on Thursday, according to several chairs of Social Science departments.
The committee—led by Arts and Humanities Dean Robin Kelsey, who attended Thursday’s meeting, along with Biology professor Hopi Hoekstra—was formed in August. It will work with the search committee that will ultimately pick current University President Drew G. Faust’s successor.
While the chairs from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences discussed their preferences for a presidential candidate, they agreed from the outset not to bring up names of specific candidates for the job, according to Gary Urton, chair of the Anthropology department.
“This is such a high profile search, and anyone whose name is mentioned is going to be someone well-known, and if the name is put out there in the open it could cause all sorts of concern,” he said.
Urton said that the Trump presidency and diversity were among the issues the professors said are crucial for the search committee to consider.
Since Trump took office in January, Faust has stepped up her lobbying efforts, meeting with members of Congress about undocumented students at Harvard, federal support for research funding, and a hypothetical tax on University endowments. And, while Faust was the first female president in Harvard’s history, the school has yet to have a President who is not white.
Urton said that some of his colleagues at the meeting raised the…