As many of you know, William A. Graham announced his intention to step down as dean of the Harvard Divinity School (HDS) at the end of this academic year, following a decade of leadership. As we begin the search for the next dean, I write to describe the search process and invite your thoughts and engagement.
Dean Graham has been a dedicated leader of the Divinity School, helping to build on its important legacy within Harvard while also guiding the significant expansion of its work across religious and cultural divides. I am deeply grateful for his long and varied service to the University — as a scholar, teacher, and dean — and I am pleased that he will remain an active faculty member in the years ahead.
I plan to commence the search immediately, with the goal of identifying a new dean to begin service in the next academic year. To that end, I welcome your thoughts on key opportunities and challenges facing the School, the qualities we should seek in the next dean, and specific individuals whom we should consider. Please submit in confidence any comments, suggestions, or other thoughts you may have to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To assist in the search process, I have asked the following faculty members from the Divinity School and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) with expertise in relevant fields to serve on a faculty search advisory committee:
Davíd Carrasco, HDS and FAS: Neil L. Rudenstine Professor of the Study of Latin America, with a joint appointment with the Department of Anthropology in FAS
Diana Eck, HDS and FAS: Professor of comparative religion and Indian studies and Fredric Wertham Professor of Law and Psychiatry in Society in FAS
Janet Gyatso, HDS: Hershey Professor of Buddhist Studies
David Hempton, HDS: Alonzo L. McDonald Family Professor of Evangelical Theological Studies
Evelyn Higginbotham, FAS: Victor S. Thomas Professor of History, professor of African and African American studies, chair of the Department of African and African American Studies
Amy Hollywood, HDS: Elizabeth H. Monrad Professor of Christian Studies
Karen L. King, HDS: Hollis Professor of Divinity
James Kloppenberg, FAS: Charles Warren Professor of American History
David C. Lamberth, HDS: Professor of philosophy and theology
Peter Machinist, HDS and FAS: Hancock Professor of Hebrew and Other Oriental Languages
Laura S. Nasrallah, HDS: Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity
Stephanie Paulsell, HDS: Houghton Professor of the Practice of Ministry Studies
Malika Zeghal, FAS: Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Professor in Contemporary Islamic Thought and Life
The advisory committee will meet through the academic year until the conclusion of the search, and I thank the members for devoting their time to the important task at hand.
I would also like to thank members of the Divinity School community, with whom I met last week, for sharing their thoughts with me about this important moment for the study of religion at Harvard. I look forward to receiving input from them and the larger Harvard community throughout the search process.