Dear Colleagues and Friends,
I am writing to let you know that I will be concluding my service as Provost as of June 30, 2001. Serving in this role these past four years has been a singular privilege, in large part because of the opportunity to work with and come to know so many of you.
As you know, the Provost at Harvard has a close working relationship with the President. The Provost’s role has taken shape during Neil Rudenstine’s presidency, and I believe that its functions can and should be further refined and strengthened in the years ahead, particularly with respect to comprehensive academic, financial, and physical planning and University-wide initiatives.
Meanwhile, I believe that our new President-elect deserves the opportunity and the fullest flexibility to design this important role and relationship in the way he sees fit, from the earliest stages of his tenure. I have spoken with President-elect Summers in this regard, and advised him of my plans. I have also assured him that I will be fully available to him and others to offer my counsel in whatever ways will be most helpful.
For now, I look forward to the remaining three months of my service as Provost, which I intend to be active ones. As of July 1, I plan to take a sabbatical to immerse myself again in my field of policy studies and to consider longer-term plans.
I want to express my gratitude to Neil Rudenstine and to the entire Harvard community for the opportunity to have worked with you on so many worthwhile endeavors. And I want to extend every good wish to Larry Summers as he embarks on what will surely be an exciting future for him and for all of us who care about Harvard.
Harvey V. Fineberg