The Opportunity

Harvard University is one of the world’s preeminent research universities. Founded in 1636, Harvard is the oldest university in North America. The University has grown from nine students with a single faculty master to an enrollment of more than 6,600 undergraduate students and over 14,000 graduate students in the University’s ten graduate and professional schools. An additional 3,000 students are enrolled in one or more courses in the Harvard Extension School. Over 18,000 people work at Harvard, including approximately 2,300 faculty. An additional 10,000 people have faculty appointments in Harvard’s affiliated teaching hospitals.

Harvard’s faculties oversee its twelve schools and colleges. The faculties and their respective academic divisions are: the Faculty of Arts and Sciences; Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; the Faculty of Medicine (including Harvard Medical School and the School of Dental Medicine); the Graduate School of Business Administration; the Graduate School of Design; the Divinity School; the Graduate School of Education; the Harvard Kennedy School of Government; Harvard Law School; the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health; and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

The Position

Role of the Chief of Police for Harvard University

Reporting to the executive vice president, the chief of police oversees the managerial and financial operations of the Harvard University police department (HUPD). The chief also provides oversight to Harvard’s security division, outsourced under an external contract. The selected candidate will be responsible for protecting the university community, its property, and ensuring compliance with state, local and federal law in a manner consistent with the values and expectations of the university. Further, the chief leads a high performing security and public safety function for the university–fully embracing the principles of contemporary public safety and policing, working to ensure the department is a model of public accountability, community orientation, and constitutional policing while upholding Harvard’s mission and values.

The chief will oversee the recruitment, training, and supervision of sworn officers, administrative personnel, and support staff; will incorporate state of the art philosophies, plans and programs to attract and retain a diverse workforce; and will ensure continuing education and skill development for both uniformed and non-uniformed personnel. The next chief will be highly collaborative working with senior leaders on strategic planning efforts associated with safety and security programs, community outreach, customer service, training, and special events. The successful chief will lead the effort to build an atmosphere dedicated to inclusive excellence, mutual respect, understanding, and shared communication among all Harvard affiliates, within the department itself, and with visitors and members of the host communities of Cambridge and Boston.

Additional responsibilities of the chief of police include:

  • Coordinating policing with other functions within the department to ensure that decisions are made and issues are resolved with the benefit of multiple resources and differing perspectives; developing educational and informational outreach programs and initiates as needed to maintain effective community relations and open communication.
  • Designing and implementing policies, practices and training consistent with the needs of a diverse community and the particular aspects of a university-setting with the value the institution places on free expression and support of peaceful demonstration/protest.
  • Developing and implementing programs and services related to the safety and security of students, faculty, staff, and visitors; considering the unique safety/security needs of a residential campus; providing protection for dignitaries and ensuring safety protocols at university and school events.
  • Coordinating and ensuring appropriate deployment of security personnel across the university’s campuses.
  • Ensuring that officers and department members demonstrate behaviors consistent with department policies, the university’s values and goals for the department, and understand and uphold equal opportunity and anti-harassment policies.
  • Coordinating campus responses to public safety emergencies and crisis situations; coordinating response efforts with the university’s emergency management personnel, Crisis Management Team, and local agencies.
  • Illuminating services and responsibilities best performed by other responders within the university and surrounding communities; considering the traditional overlap in safety and mental health issues and collaborating with others to align responsibilities, roles and responses in ways that best serve the needs of the community.
  • Implementing processes and structures which provide for adequate information sharing and communication by the department on its activities, programs, and outreach efforts designed to strengthen the bonds of trust with, and accountability to, the community.
  • Building and maintaining relationships with the Cambridge Police Department, the Boston Police Department, the Cambridge Fire Department, the Boston Fire Department, the Massachusetts State Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other key first response agencies that are frequent collaborators in maintaining the safety and security of the Harvard community and its intellectual and physical property.

History of the Position

This fall, Chief Francis “Bud” Riley will be retiring from the Harvard University Police Department after 25 years of service to the community. Chief Riley is credited with professionalizing the department while also implementing strong community policing practices.

With the news of the chief’s pending retirement, Harvard has engaged in an external review of the HUPD with CP21. This review will inform future changes to the department and provide invaluable information to the incoming chief regarding the community’s needs, concerns, and hopes.

Harvard’s next chief will be the sixth chief of police in Harvard’s long history.

Opportunities and Challenges of the Role

Earlier this year, the university initiated an external review of the HUPD focusing on the internal practices and procedures of the department as well as its interactions with community members. The university is committed to a thorough re-examination of the role that HUPD performs and to the implementation of any necessary changes to secure the trust, wellbeing, and safety of all members of the Harvard community. The selected candidate will be charged with implementing recommendations emerging from the external review as well as advancing other best practices aimed at ensuring that every member of the campus community is treated at all times with dignity, fairness and full respect, regardless of status/suspected status within the community.

In addition, Harvard is not immune to the demands for policing reforms fueled by the death of George Floyd in May of 2020 by a police officer. These times demand a significant assessment and re-imaging of the role that the HUPD performs in securing the safety and well-being of all members of the Harvard community.

The new chief will encounter the following opportunities and challenges:

  • The HUPD is a large, professional agency with talented, committed officers and staff who are eager to work with new leadership.
  • The chief will need to engage in open conversations with the many constituent groups to foster a better shared understanding of the role of HUPD and then use the information gathered to create new policies and programs to better meet the needs of the diverse sets of campus constituents.
  • The work of the incoming chief will need to be focused on increasing the trust of the varied and diverse institutional stakeholders in the Harvard University police department.
  • The chief will implement a vision for the department that produces a consistently engaged, highly responsive police department that is recognized broadly as committed to the safety and care of the entire university community.
  • Improved consistent and transparent communication efforts both within the HUPD and with the Harvard community will be a hallmark of the department.
  • Harvard is an extremely decentralized, complex organization that will require many conversations and a great deal of time to fully understand.
  • Re-imagining the HUPD in light of the current state of public safety nationally and effectively rebuilding trust and changing the negative perceptions of the HUPD will be important for the new chief.
  • Harvard is a very relational campus and it is expected that the chief of police will be become a valued and trusted member of the Harvard community.
  • The chief will be expected to maintain a high level of engagement and satisfaction among the officers and staff including enhancing efforts regarding officer wellness initiatives.
  • The new chief must be aware of student activism efforts and have a vision to positively and successfully honor and work with students, faculty, and staff in exercising their right to free speech and expressions while balancing these with considerations for the safety of the entire campus.
  • The union contract will be expiring at the end of November 2020 and it is expected that the new chief will be an active participant in the negotiations with the union, as necessary.

Measures of Success

At an appropriate interval after joining Harvard, the following will define initial success for the chief:

  • the trust of the university community has been gained by the chief being involved, visible, and engaged in all aspects of campus life;
  • the unique culture of Harvard, its decentralized nature and all the nuances of the individual schools and their needs is understood and embraced;
  • there has been successful engagement and trust building with diverse campus communities;
  • clear support has been built across all levels of the campus for the HUPD;
  • HUPD is seen by all stakeholders as an integral part of the Harvard community;
  • ways to better communicate with the university community and to proactively share positive news regarding the HUPD have been established;
  • the department has moved forward with new programs, initiatives, and implementation of recommendations from the CP21 report;
  • meaningful working relationships with local police agencies and with community associations and partners have been formed;
  • with consistent, confident leadership the chief has confirmed the credibility of the department and is regarded as an active partner in supporting the educational mission of the university;
  • mutually supportive and collaborative relationships have been developed throughout Harvard with students, faculty, and staff;
  • HUPD continues to operate with a high level of professionalism and competence;
  • clearly outlined vision, goals, and expectations have been shared both within the department and the university community with a plan to articulate progress;
  • an effective recruitment plan that focuses on diversifying the HUPD has been created;
  • organizational strengths and weaknesses, policies and procedures, and strategic planning documents for managing short-term change and long-term development for the department have been reviewed and created;
  • equity and inclusion are included in all recruitment, hiring and training practices;
  • a positive working relationship has been forged with the union.

Qualifications and Characteristics

The successful candidate must possess an undergraduate degree in criminal justice or related field along with 12 years of progressive policing experience, including a minimum of seven years of managerial (supervisory level or at a lieutenant or above) experience, or the equivalent combination of education and experience. Prior law enforcement experience within a higher education environment and a deep understanding of the special dimensions of student life and a campus community are strongly preferred as is a comfort with technology. The next chief will have a demonstrated ability to engage with a broad and diverse range of stakeholders within the university and surrounding communities; a strong background in community-centered law enforcement; proven experience operating in a multi-faceted and diverse organizational structure; experience effectively managing crisis situations; and a record of positive community engagement and public relations.

It is critical that the successful candidate have demonstrated experience and a genuine commitment to working with diverse communities, a focus on social justice, and fostering an inclusive environment based on trust and mutual respect. The next chief must be proficient and comfortable engaging in challenging conversations for the betterment of the department and institution, as well as being adept at designing practices and training consistent with the needs of a diverse community, in particular, aspects of a university-setting such as the value it places on free expression and support of peaceful demonstration/protest.

The chief will have knowledge of, and commitment to, national best practices and community-centered security and law enforcement and both knowledge and experience with effective change management techniques with a proven record of instilling major changes within a complex organization. Strong interpersonal skills; thorough knowledge of security operations, applicable federal and state laws and Clery reporting requirements; and possession of a MPTC (Mass Police Training Committee) certification or the ability to either obtain this certification or provide a waiver are all required of the new chief. Further, it is highly desirable for the successful candidate to have prior experience working in a unionized environment and/or experience working with police reform advocates as well as the successful completion of an advanced, executive leadership training or other evidence of continued professional development.

In addition to the stated qualifications and characteristics, Harvard stakeholders identified the following characteristics as important for the chief of police position (in no particular order):

  • possess a genuinely inclusive leadership style that is confident, approachable, motivational, and transparent with the ability to be firm, clear, and direct;
  • a demonstrated commitment to, and past experiences with, diversity, equity and inclusion efforts both within a department and the broader community;
  • an ability to establish and maintain significant, impactful relationships with a full range of campus constituents, including students, faculty, and staff;
  • a strong work ethic and reliability that inspires trust throughout the department and campus;
  • possess a strong desire to serve as an advocate for, and the positive public face of the HUPD, the staff and their services;
  • have a genuine desire and ability to engage, listen and build trust with diverse campus communities;
  • a highly energetic individual with a strong sense of self and the ability to appropriately infuse humor and enthusiasm into the workplace and campus community;
  • demonstrated cultural competence with a strong belief in the value of diversity in enriching the learning experience and the quality of life on campus;
  • an authentic communicator with the ability to actively listen and effectively take input to inform new policies, programs and/or initiatives;
  • strength and perseverance to overcome obstacles and gain the needed support for the HUPD;
  • the fortitude to make needed changes in all aspects of public safety at Harvard;
  • an open, approachable personality that will command respect, but also inspire trust, compassion, and a strong work ethic in others;
  • highly committed to both professional and personal growth and development as a manager, leader, and public safety expert; deeply committed to the professional development and training of officers and staff;
  • experience working with multiple diverse stakeholder groups and committed, passionate constituents;
  • a willingness to listen and solicit the best ideas from officers, command staff, and departmental leaders;
  • technically savvy with an understanding and appreciation for technology and its uses in campus public safety;
  • a transformative, innovative, and collaborative leader with a readiness to try new ideas, approaches, and technologies;
  • solid experience effectively working with individuals with mental health issues;
  • a commitment to the continual assessment of HUPD and all the department’s endeavors;
  • a strong sense of vision and an ability to translate strategic thinking into operational directives and policy formation;
  • demonstrated experience directing and managing large events and protests;
  • possess unquestionable integrity, excellent interpersonal skills, including conflict management, customer service, and public speaking;
  • maintain a high degree of visibility and engagement throughout the university and surrounding communities;
  • an ability to develop, implement and move forward complex processes, initiatives, and programs involving multiple stakeholders;
  • expertise in related compliance requirements and best practices, including Clery Act, Title IX, responses to alcohol/drug issues, mental health concerns, bias incidents, hate crimes, etc.;
  • a strong supervisor capable of both challenging and appreciating individuals while effectively working to hold all staff accountable.

Overview of the Harvard University Police Department

The HUPD is a full-service police department (comprising a Patrol Division, Criminal Investigation Division, and Dignitary Protection Unit) that includes police officers, detectives, civilian communication dispatchers, and support and administrative personnel.

Core functions of the department include responding to criminal incidents; checking on the well-being of students, faculty, and staff; responding to disturbances; providing escorts; taking reports of lost and stolen property; responding to lockouts; investigating suspicious activity; responding to alarms; and investigating trespassers or unwanted guests.

HUPD officers are sworn special Massachusetts State Police officers with deputy sheriff powers giving them the authority to respond to any crime on campus and any “breach of the peace” on city streets in Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston. Officers receive the same academy training as officers from the surrounding municipal jurisdictions. With the exception of certain crimes, such as a homicide, the HUPD has primary jurisdiction over all crimes occurring on campus.

HUPD does not have a formal memorandum of understanding with other local police forces regarding the investigation of alleged criminal incidents, but the department maintains a close working relationship with Cambridge police, Boston police, Massachusetts State Police, and Somerville police coordinating with them at times in order to ensure the most appropriate response to criminal incidents occurring both on campus and the areas immediately adjacent to campus.

Harvard police officers have the authority to enforce state and local laws and Harvard University policies. Harvard security officers do not have the power to arrest.


“The mission of the Harvard University Police Department (HUPD) is to maintain a safe and secure campus by providing quality policing in partnership with the community. The HUPD pursues this mission within the University context of free expression, rigorous inquiry, vast diversity, and pursuit of distinction. The HUPD honors these traditions and seeks success by means that are moral, constitutional, and respectful of individual rights and community interests.”


  • We are professionals in our work.
    We develop and maintain our knowledge and skill through education, training, mentoring, and experience. We are disciplined: we know the right thing to do and do it without having to be told. We perform to the best of our ability.
  • We are loyal to each other and to the Harvard University Police Department.
    We are proud of our profession, our colleagues, and the HUPD. We learn from, share with, and influence our colleagues to maintain the highest professional standards. We strive to strengthen our health and our families, and the HUPD commits itself to assisting us. We provide leadership to each other, the Department, and to Harvard University, especially in times of crisis.
  • We maintain integrity in our lives and our work.
    We are straightforward and direct in our dealings with colleagues and the community. We speak and act with confidence that we are doing the right thing; however, we are always aware of the possibility that we could be mistaken. We seek to be worthy of our colleagues’ and the public’s trust.
  • We are compassionate to the community and people we serve.
    We try to understand the suffering and pain that people experience, even offenders. We treat people with respect and dignity at all times. We strive in our language and behavior to be judicious and calming. We understand, as well, that even force can be used professionally, empathetically, respectfully, and tactfully.
  • We work in partnership with the community.
    We attempt to be open and transparent in our dealings with the community, while maintaining confidentiality when it is required. We work to establish mutual trust between the Department and the community. We work in partnership with individuals, agencies, and the community in solving problems. We reaffirm that in a democracy the police and the community are one.

Leadership of the Division

Katherine N. Lapp, Executive Vice President

As Harvard’s executive vice president, Katie Lapp serves as chief administrative, business, and operating officer. She is responsible for all aspects of the university’s financial, human resources, campus services, campus planning and development, information technology, health services, and law enforcement functions. Katie works closely with Harvard’s senior leadership team to ensure that financial, capital, and operational resources are optimally deployed in support of the university’s teaching and research mission.

She previously served as executive vice president for business operations for the University of California, executive director and chief executive officer for the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), as well as a variety of positions in the criminal justice system of the State and City of New York, including the state’s director of criminal justice and commissioner of the Division of Criminal Justice Services.

Katie received her JD from Hofstra University and her BA in history from Fairfield University.

Institution & Location

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Cambridge embodies the American democratic ideal—a stimulating and accommodating place where future presidents and immigrants study together and where residents strive for higher goals and a richer life. It is also one of the most exciting cities in the world, with a dazzling variety of recreation and culture packed into a very convenient 6.5 square miles.

Over the course of its 350 years of history, Cambridge has welcomed different populations. The result is a rich collection of neighborhoods—many of them might be called “urban villages”—providing attractive housing of every kind, from Colonial mansions to town houses to riverfront high rises, for a wide range of budgets. A powerful sense of history and community serves to tie neighborhoods and families together.

Cambridge is also a “walker’s city,” where most shopping and major cultural attractions are no more than a short walk from home and where a European style café culture makes every afternoon a pleasure.

Few of America’s largest cities offer as much cultural enrichment as Cambridge. There are 12 major museums, such as Harvard’s Fogg Museum and the Museum of Science, featuring a planetarium and a special effects theater. The city also hosts a chamber orchestra, the Cambridge Pro Arte, judged among the world’s best, and the Dance Umbrella, which has premiered works by leading international choreographers like Mark Morris.

Cultural variety extends to the nightlife, too, with nearly 250 restaurants representing every cuisine imaginable, and with clubs for every musical and performance specialty—even poetry “slams” that attract local laureates and Nobel Prize winners alike.

Neighboring Boston, of course, is a center for world-class entertainment of all kinds, including the Red Sox, the Celtics, the Bruins, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops, the Museum of Fine Arts with its prized collection of Impressionists, the Children’s Museum, the Computer Museum, and the “Freedom Trail,” a unique collection of Revolutionary-era landmarks.

Within a few hours of the city there are altogether different kinds of activities—to the north, skiing; to the south, summer getaways on Cape Cod; to the west, the Berkshire Mountains and the music of Tanglewood; to the east, fishing and sailing the Atlantic.

Cambridge has so much more to offer its residents and visitors.

  • Farmers’ markets, street fairs, and festivals around the city throughout the year
  • A public library with nearly 500,000 volumes and six neighborhood branches
  • Three fine hospitals—Cambridge, Youville, and Mt. Auburn—and access to Boston’s medical centers, the best in the world
  • A nine-hole public golf course at Fresh Pond
  • Nearly 60 houses of worship embracing more than 20 religions
  • Twelve public elementary schools, five upper schools, and a comprehensive high school  with curricula tailored to a diverse range of learning styles and interests
  • Public transportation at nearly every corner: six major “T ”stops on both the Red and Green lines, countless bus routes criss-crossing the city, and a commuter rail station
  • Close proximity to Logan International Airport: 10 minutes by car and 30 minutes by subway
  • Youth programs at both the YMCA and the YWCA
  • A centrally located, state-of-the-art seniors center
  • Dedicated bicycle lanes along major routes, including the MinuteMan Bike Path that winds from North Cambridge to Lexington
  • Countless lush green parks and playgrounds, with regulation ball fields, football fields, and tot lots
  • Private and public health clubs to suit every need

Chamber of Commerce link:

Institutional Overview

Harvard University is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States, established in 1636 by vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was named after the College’s first benefactor, the young minister John Harvard of Charlestown, who upon his death in 1638 left his library and half his estate to the institution. A statue of John Harvard stands today in front of University Hall in Harvard Yard and is perhaps the University’s best-known landmark.

Harvard University is devoted to excellence in teaching, learning, and research and to developing leaders in many disciplines who make a difference globally. The university has an enrollment of more than 20,000 degree candidates, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Harvard has more than 360,000 alumni around the world.

Harvard faculty are engaged with teaching and research to push the boundaries of human knowledge. For students who are excited to investigate the biggest issues of the 21st century, Harvard offers an unparalleled student experience and a generous financial aid program, with more than $160 million awarded to more than 70 percent of undergraduate students. The university has 12 degree-granting schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, offering a truly global education.

The House System

The housing system at Harvard is designed to create a full collegiate experience for all four years of undergraduate education. As a first year, students live in one of 17 residence halls in the historic Harvard Yard, a prime location at the very heart of campus, and eat in the majestic and picturesque Annenberg dining hall.

After their first year at Harvard, students are randomly assigned into one of the 12 houses on campus and continue to live there for the remainder of their residential life at Harvard. More than 97 percent of Harvard undergraduates choose to live on campus for all four years, creating a strong campus community and undergraduate experience. A 13th house (Dudley) is designated for use by those students who live off campus, to provide a community and sense of identity similar to that afforded to resident students.

Each house has resident faculty deans, a resident assistant dean, and a staff of tutors and administrators who support between 300 and 400 students. Houses tend to span multiple proximate buildings and include a dining hall, common areas, and recreational and cultural spaces that give them each a distinct character. Many even field their own intramural sports teams or theater ensembles. The houses themselves also have unique histories and traditions that bring students together and help to foster the close and long-lasting ties amongst the residents of each house.


Many of Harvard’s historic buildings, several of which date back to the 18th century, still stand today. Massachusetts Hall (1720), Wadsworth House (1726), and Holden Chapel (1744) are the earliest. Hollis Hall has been a residence hall since it was built in 1763.

Although nothing remains of the university’s original 17th-century buildings, brass markers in the middle of Massachusetts Avenue now indicate where the Goffe and Peyntree Houses once stood.

Harvard Hall (1766) stands on the site of a 17th-century building of the same name. The first Harvard Hall burned down one wintry night in 1764, destroying the 5,000-volume college library, then the largest in North America.

Old Stoughton College suffered so much damage from occupation by Continental troops during the Revolution that it had to be torn down in 1781. A new Stoughton Hall (1805), Holworthy Hall (1812), and University Hall (1815) now form the outline of the original Yard.

The College began taking on the aspect of a true university in the 19th century, when a library building (1841), an observatory (1846), a scientific school (1847), a chemistry laboratory (1857), and a natural history museum (1860) were built.

Early in the 20th century the professional schools each acquired a new building: Medicine in 1906, Law in 1907, and Business Administration in 1926. The great central library building, named for Harry Elkins Widener, who perished on the Titanic, dates from 1915. The present Fogg Museum dates from 1927 and the Mallinckrodt chemical laboratory from 1929.

During the presidency of Nathan Marsh Pusey (1953–1971), government subsidy for science enabled the building and renovating of major facilities in the areas of medicine, public health, and the basic and applied sciences.

Diversity and Accessibility

The 20th century saw substantial efforts to open Harvard’s doors to an increasingly broad range of students. President Pusey led fundraising campaigns that increased student financial aid, and his successor, Derek Curtis Bok, conducted a capital campaign that included a $350 million effort to support policies that encouraged the recruitment and appointment of outstanding women and minority scholars to permanent faculty positions.

Neil L. Rudenstine, Harvard’s 26th president (1991–2001), made substantial efforts to keep Harvard’s doors open to outstanding students from across the economic spectrum. Rudenstine is credited, among other things, with guiding the creation of the new Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. He strongly advocated the educational importance of student diversity and helped raise a record $2.6 billion for student financial aid, professorships, building renovation, and educational and research programs.

In July 2001, Lawrence H. Summers (PhD 1982) became Harvard’s 27th president. In addition to a focus on renewing the undergraduate experience, Summers led efforts to reach out to many more undergraduates from low-income families.

Drew Gilpin Faust took office as Harvard’s 28th president on July 1, 2007. Previously, Faust served as founding dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, where she guided the transformation of Radcliffe from a college into a wide-ranging institute for advanced study. Under her leadership, Radcliffe emerged as one of the nation’s foremost centers of scholarly and creative enterprise.


Radcliffe College was founded in 1879 “to furnish instruction and the opportunities of collegiate life to women and to promote their higher education.” From 1879 to 1943, Harvard professors repeated to Radcliffe students the lectures they gave at Harvard.

In 1946, the majority of Harvard courses were made coeducational.

Integration quickened in the 1960s. Harvard degrees were awarded to Radcliffe students for the first time in 1963, and in the same year women were admitted to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. In 1967, the doors of Lamont Library were opened to women.

President Derek Bok took the most dramatic initial steps in integration. In 1975, the two Colleges combined admissions offices, and an equal access admissions policy was adopted.

In 1977, Harvard assumed all responsibility for undergraduate education of women. Radcliffe then devoted increasing attention to cultivation and development of research and postgraduate programs.

On September 14, 1999, the governing bodies of Harvard and Radcliffe completed the merger of the two institutions. Harvard College then created the Ann Radcliffe Trust, “a set of programs for Harvard undergraduates that seeks to raise the awareness of women and women’s issues at Harvard.”

In fall 2006, the Harvard College Women’s Center opened in Harvard Yard. The Center absorbed the Ann Radcliffe Trust and continues outreach work on behalf of undergraduate women. The merger also established the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, which offers non-degree instruction and executive education programs.


The mission of Harvard College is to educate the citizens and citizen-leaders for our society. We do this through our commitment to the transformative power of a liberal arts and sciences education.

Beginning in the classroom with exposure to new ideas, new ways of understanding, and new ways of knowing, students embark on a journey of intellectual transformation. Through a diverse living environment, where students live with people who are studying different topics, who come from different walks of life and have evolving identities, intellectual transformation is deepened and conditions for social transformation are created. From this we hope that students will begin to fashion their lives by gaining a sense of what they want to do with their gifts and talents, assessing their values and interests, and learning how they can best serve the world.


Harvard College sets the standard for residential liberal arts and sciences education. We have committed to creating and sustaining the conditions that enable all Harvard College students to experience an unparalleled educational journey that is intellectually, socially, and personally transformative.


Lawrence S. Bacow, President of Harvard

Lawrence S. Bacow is the 29th President of Harvard University.

Bacow was the Hauser Leader-in-Residence at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Center for Public Leadership and served as a member of the Harvard Corporation, the university’s principal governing board. One of the most widely experienced leaders in American higher education, known for his commitment to expanding student opportunity, catalyzing academic innovation, and encouraging universities’ civic engagement and service to society, Bacow is the former President of Tufts University and past Chancellor and Chair of the Faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

As President of Tufts from 2001 to 2011, Bacow advanced the university’s commitment to excellence in teaching, research, and public service and fostered collaboration across the university’s eight schools. Under his leadership, Tufts pursued initiatives to enhance the undergraduate experience, deepen graduate and professional education and research in critical fields, broaden international engagement, and promote active citizenship among members of the university community.

While at Tufts, Bacow emerged as a nationally recognized champion of expanding access to higher education through need-based student aid, while also advocating vigorously for federal support of university-based research. He worked to engender novel connections across academic disciplines and among Tufts’ wide array of schools and helped craft a new partnership between the university and its principal teaching hospital, Tufts Medical Center. Bacow convened an international conference of higher education leaders in 2005 to initiate the Talloires Network, a global association of colleges and universities committed to strengthening the civic roles and social responsibilities of higher education. He launched Tufts’ Office of Institutional Diversity and highlighted inclusion as a cornerstone of the university’s excellence. He also strengthened relations between Tufts and its host communities and expanded outreach to alumni, parents, and friends. While guiding Tufts through the global financial crisis of 2008-09 and its aftermath, he brought to fruition the most ambitious fundraising campaign in the university’s history.

Before his time at Tufts, Bacow spent 24 years on the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he held the Lee and Geraldine Martin Professorship of Environmental Studies. He served as the elected Chair of the Faculty (1995-97) and then as Chancellor (1998-2001), one of the institute’s most senior academic officers. As Chancellor, he guided the institute’s efforts in undergraduate education, graduate education, research initiatives, international and industrial partnerships, and strategic planning, while playing an integral role in reviewing faculty appointments and promotions across MIT. Early in his career, he held visiting professorships at universities in Israel, Italy, Chile, and the Netherlands.

With academic interests that range across environmental policy, bargaining and negotiation, economics, law, and public policy, Bacow emerged as a widely recognized expert on non-adjudicatory approaches to the resolution of environmental disputes. He was co-director of MIT’s Consortium on Global Environmental Challenges and played a key role in launching and leading both the MIT Center for Environmental Initiatives and the MIT Center for Real Estate. He was also associated with the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. He is the author or co-author of four books and numerous scholarly articles on topics related to environmental policy, economics, land use law, negotiation, and occupational health and safety. At Tufts, he held faculty appointments in five academic departments: Urban and Environmental Policy, Economics, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Public Health, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

In recent years, he has turned his scholarly focus to higher education and leadership. From 2011 to 2014, he served as President-in-Residence in the Higher Education Program at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. Since 2014, he has served as the Hauser Leader-in-Residence at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Center for Public Leadership. He has devoted his time to advising many new and aspiring higher education leaders, mentoring students interested in careers in education, teaching in executive education programs, and writing and speaking on salient topics in higher education – innovations in learning, academic freedom, the economics of universities, the impact of digital technologies, and university governance and leadership, among others.

Bacow is a senior advisor to Ithaka S+R, a nonprofit organization devoted to innovation in higher education, and was one of the authors of its major 2012 study of online learning systems in U.S. higher education. He has recently served as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Lincoln Project on preserving and strengthening the nation’s public research universities (2014-16), as well as the White House Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (2010-15). In 2017, he was Clark Kerr Lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley. A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he has received seven honorary degrees.

While president of Tufts, Bacow served as chair of the council of presidents of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, chair of the executive committee of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts, and a member of the executive committee of the American Council of Education’s board of directors.

Since July 2011, Bacow has served as a member of the Harvard Corporation, the university’s principal governing board. He chairs the Corporation’s finance committee and is past chair of both the Corporation’s committee on facilities and capital planning and the governing boards’ joint committee on inspection.

Bacow was raised in Pontiac, Michigan, by parents who were both immigrants, and whom he saw as embodiments of the American dream. Interested in math and science from an early age, he attended college at MIT, where he received his S.B. in economics and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He went on to earn three degrees from Harvard: a J.D. from Harvard Law School, an M.P.P. from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a Ph.D. in public policy from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Bacow is an avid runner, sailor, and skier. He launched the President’s Marathon Challenge at Tufts to raise funds in support of health and nutrition research, and he has completed five marathons. He was a member of the varsity sailing team at MIT, and the Sailing Pavilion at Tufts is named for him and his wife, Adele Fleet Bacow, an urban planner and graduate of Wellesley College and MIT. He met Adele on his first day of orientation at Harvard Law School. In 2012, Tufts recognized her with the Hosea Ballou Medal, an honor bestowed only 17 times since 1939 for exceptional service to the university.

Link to the organizational chart for the university’s central administration:

Academic Programs and Faculty

With 2,300 faculty members and more than 10,400 academic appointments in affiliated teaching hospitals, Harvard is known for global leadership in education, and the Harvard faculty is composed of men and women who are world-class scholars. Faculty members are passionate and curious individuals who continue their own research while teaching at Harvard. They come from across the country and all over the world, bringing with them a diverse wealth of knowledge.

Almost all Harvard College courses are designed, taught and overseen by Harvard faculty, and virtually all Fine Arts and Sciences faculty are required to teach as part of their duties. The faculty is highly accessible, and Harvard College class sizes are on average below 40 students, with over half the courses being offered each semester enrolling 10 or fewer students. This allows for a closer student-professor relationship and contributes to the sense of community on campus. Professors also make themselves available to students outside of the classroom, even beyond office hours, such as meeting in the dining hall or before or after class. The faculty at Harvard make a point of connecting with their students to create a fulfilling academic experience.


With an enduring dedication to the pursuit of excellence, Harvard University offers unparalleled student experiences across a broad spectrum of academic environments.

  • Faculty of Arts and Sciences
  • Harvard College
  • Continuing Education
  • Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
  • Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
  • Business School
  • Dental School
  • Design School
  • Divinity School
  • Kennedy School of Government
  • Law School
  • Medical School
  • Radcliffe Institute
  • School of Education
  • Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Harvard also has extensive, world-class online learning opportunities, from podcasts and lectures to fully interactive courses and programs.

The Student Body

Harvard University has around 22,000 students across the College, graduate, and professional schools located in Cambridge and Boston. When people refer to Harvard students, often they mean the subset of roughly 6,700 students who attend Harvard College, the undergraduate college of Harvard University.

  • Harvard College: 6,699
  • Graduate and professional students: 13,120
  • Harvard Extension School: 16,193
  • Total: 36,012 students

These numbers reflect student enrollment for the 2017–18 academic year.

Harvard College’s diverse student population makes it hard to describe the typical student and even harder to describe the quintessential Harvard student experience. Students come from all 50 states and from over 80 countries; from cities, suburbs, small towns, and farms; from public, private and parochial schools; from every ethnic and religious background; and from across the economic spectrum. Based on longstanding tradition and an extensive financial aid program, Harvard is committed to making educational opportunity accessible to all, with over 60 percent of the undergraduate population receiving financial aid.

With over 400 official student organizations including extracurricular, co-curricular and athletic opportunities in addition to academics, Harvard students are active around and beyond campus. Whether in Harvard Stadium playing on the field or cheering on The Harvard Crimson, volunteering through organizations like Phillips Brooks House Association, fostering entrepreneurial activities in the Harvard innovation lab, writing or editing at The Harvard Crimson or The Harvard Lampoon, or researching in one of the many labs, Harvard students are continuously learning.

Demographics for the class of 2021:

  • 16.5% are from New England
  • 21.4% are from the Mid Atlantic
  • 18.8% are from the South
  • 11.7% are from the Midwest and Central states
  • 18.9% are from the Pacific and Mountain states
  • 12.7% are international or from U.S. territories

Benefits Overview

Harvard offers comprehensive benefits as part of a competitive total rewards package. Visit the website for a total compensation summary for administrative and professional staff.


Application & Nomination

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Heather J. Larabee at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the Harvard University website at

Harvard University is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.