Campus & Community

Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences votes to change the name Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences to School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

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The proposed name change from DEAS to SEAS is a celebration of the renewal and growth engineering and applied sciences has experienced in recent years at Harvard. Pictured is one of the most visible signs of this renaissance: Maxwell Dworkin, home to computer science and electrical engineering. At the same time, the new name would reflect the Lawrence Scientific School. Founded in 1847, the Lawrence School was Harvard’s first major effort to provide a formal, advanced education in science and engineering. (Image courtesy of the Engineering and Applied Sciences Communications Office)

Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) voted today (Dec. 12) to recommend to the Harvard Corporation that the Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences (DEAS) change its name to the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). The School will continue to be a part of FAS. The change in name was recommended by the DEAS Visiting Committee and several other advisory groups, and warmly endorsed by the Corporation.

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Venkatesh Narayanamurti, John A. and Elizabeth S. Armstrong Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences and dean of the Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences, will continue as dean of the new School. “Our research and educational programs must match the changing needs of the times and meet the challenges posed by the future, as we bring Harvard’s engineering and applied sciences to an appropriate scale,” Narayanamurti said. “Our engineering programs will continue to serve Harvard’s undergraduate and graduate students, and be a model of engineering education, research, and practice for the 21st century.”

As a School within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the SEAS will build on the division’s strong interdisciplinary culture, on the Harvard College liberal arts tradition, and on Harvard’s deep strengths in various scientific disciplines and professional schools. As SEAS grows its faculty from the current 70 members to about 100 over the next 10 years, the new name will allow the School to be more competitive in its recruiting efforts.

“I am delighted by this change,” said Jeremy R. Knowles, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. “It affirms the high standing and will increase the visibility of Harvard’s work in engineering and applied sciences, which will continue to foster the interaction-in both teaching and research – with other departments in the FAS.”

The traditions of teaching undergraduates who are concentrating in engineering and applied sciences as well as those who are not, of supporting joint faculty appointments with other departments (particularly in the FAS), and of forging cross-disciplinary research collaborations, will be sustained. Undergraduates in SEAS will continue to be admitted by and enrolled in Harvard College and its graduate students will continue to be enrolled in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

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