Campus & Community

University Hall rearranged, College expands some offices

3 min read

Many University Hall offices were relocated this summer as part of an effort by Harvard College and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) to better meet the needs of students and faculty. These changes occur as plans take shape for the College to open additional offices in Holyoke Center.

The College will renovate the fourth floor of Holyoke Center in the coming year, opening a suite of offices to serve undergraduates starting in the fall semester of 2009. Most College offices with limited student interaction will remain in University Hall.

“The administrative structure of both FAS and the College has evolved substantially,” says FAS Dean Michael D. Smith. “In particular, several College offices that have expanded to better serve our students are now confined to spaces that no longer meet their needs.”

One such group, the Office for International Programs (OIP), will move temporarily from University Hall to more spacious quarters at 2 Arrow St., relocating to the new student services center in Holyoke Center when construction is complete next summer. The number of students advised and supported by OIP in various ventures abroad has grown enormously in the past several years: Study abroad for Harvard degree credit has increased fourfold in recent years, from 160 students in 2001-02 to 640 students in 2007-08.

“The OIP has grown by leaps and bounds, and we want to make sure they have the room they need to assist the increasing numbers of our students who elect to study abroad,” says College Dean Evelynn M. Hammonds. “I am very excited that in a year’s time we will be able to offer our students a single convenient location in Holyoke Center with one-stop access to the OIP and other College offices.”

Hammonds will spend the coming year weighing which other College services might logically join the OIP in Holyoke Center.

As part of the current moves within University Hall, staff of the Office of Residential Life, the Office of Student Activities, the Harvard Foundation, and the Advising Programs Office — also greatly expanded in recent years — will be grouped on the lowest two levels of University Hall. Students will gain improved access to the Office of Student Activities, which will move into the space vacated by the OIP.

The College’s Office for Administration and Finance will move to 1414 Massachusetts Ave., alongside the FAS Financial Office. This move, in turn, will prompt the Office of Career Services’ On-Campus Recruiting Program, currently at 1414 Massachusetts Ave., to return to 1033 Massachusetts Ave., where recruiting offices were located for several years earlier in this decade.

The new configuration of offices in University Hall is intended to facilitate interactions between the College, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, FAS academic deans, and administrative offices.

In recent months Smith has also reshaped the FAS’s Office of Faculty Affairs (formerly the Office of Academic Affairs) and has recast the role of the dean for administration and finance with the hiring of Brett Sweet. The reallocation of space in University Hall reflects the new priority assigned to these functions within the FAS leadership team.