Campus & Community

Zipser named Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ dean for faculty affairs

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Nina Zipser, Harvard’s director of institutional research, has been named dean for faculty affairs in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), effective May 27.

In making the announcement, FAS Dean Michael D. Smith, Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, said, “I am very pleased that Nina has agreed to take on this critically important role. She will bring to the position a strong analytical background, administrative skills, and leadership qualities. I look forward to working with her, and I know that members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences will find her to be a supportive and helpful colleague.”

Zipser will take the helm of the Office for Faculty Affairs (formerly the Office for Academic Affairs) as a member of a newly defined leadership team in the FAS. In addition to overseeing policies and procedures related to faculty appointments and promotions, her office will be responsible for data collection and assessment, and will also assist the divisional deans in the affairs of research centers and institutes.

With a Ph.D. from Harvard in 2000, Zipser first distinguished herself as a mathematician. In returning to Harvard, she built — and became the first director of — the University’s institutional research group, which collects and analyzes data for faculty committees, the Harvard administration, and various government agencies. In this role, she has worked with all of Harvard’s Schools and faculties in conducting analyses of a broad range of issues pertaining to both faculty and students, with a particular focus on the FAS and the College. In collaboration with Senior Vice Provost Evelynn Hammonds, Zipser also helped design and analyze the first University-wide faculty survey focused on gender and ethnicity.

Zipser holds a B.A. degree in mathematics from Columbia University and was the recipient of Columbia’s Kellett Fellowship to study at Kings College, Cambridge University in 1994-95. From 2000 to 2002 she was a CLE Moore Mathematics Instructor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she taught calculus and differential equations in addition to conducting postdoctoral research in differential geometry. Following this appointment at MIT, she joined the Boston Consulting Group. She returned to Harvard in 2003.

Zipser will succeed Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Brian Casey, who will leave Harvard on May 30 to become president of DePauw University. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Brian for his many contributions to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and wish him well as he embarks on this new adventure,” Smith said.