Education: Catbird Shift

Harvard picks a new dean

The post of dean of the faculty of arts and sciences at Harvard University is the academic equivalent of James Thurber's catbird seat. Besides overseeing the undergraduate colleges, the dean is in charge of some of the nation's most distinguished graduate programs. In addition, he can capitalize on Harvard's enormous influence over other American colleges and universities. After Dean Henry Rosovsky introduced a "core curriculum" in 1979 for Harvard undergraduates, many other liberal arts colleges rushed to alter their programs. Thus it was of far more than parochial interest when...

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