Campus & Community

Skocpol to step down as Graduate School dean

2 min read

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Dean Theda Skocpol announced today (March 27) that she will step down as dean at the end of the academic year. In making the announcement, Skocpol said she has achieved the goals she set when taking the position two years ago, and that “it makes sense for incoming University and FAS leaders to recruit a new GSAS dean as an ongoing member of their future leadership team.”

In a message to the faculty, Jeremy Knowles, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, said, “This is, of course, unwelcome news to those of us who know firsthand of the skilled and energetic leadership she has brought to this role, and of the many improving initiatives that she has launched to strengthen the Graduate School.”

“Theda Skocpol has done a truly remarkable job as dean of the Graduate School,” Derek Bok, Harvard University interim president, said. “Again and again, she has gone beyond the strict requirements of her position to make outstanding contributions to the quality of teaching and other important activities of the University. We all owe her a great debt.”

During her two-year term, Skocpol, Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology, had numerous successes and accomplishments, including ensuring that all advanced Ph.D. students have dissertation support; spreading “best practices” from one graduate program to another; enhancing the capacity to analyze and share financial and tracking data; and establishing the new Graduate Policy Committee to allow faculty leaders from FAS and interfaculty programs to provide policy advice and gain an overall perspective on the challenges and opportunities for graduate education at Harvard. She also served as a member of the University Planning Committee on Science and Engineering and chaired the Task Force on Teaching and Career Development, which recently issued a “Compact to Enhance Teaching and Learning at Harvard.”