Lawrence S. Bacow, who directed Harvard University through Pandemia and spent more than 50 years studying, teaching and presiding over three important universities in the Boston area, announced Wednesday that he would resign as president of Harvard El El next summer.

"There is never a good time to leave a job like this, but now it seems correct," Bacow said in a prepared statement. “Through our collective efforts, we have found our path through pandemic. We have worked together to keep Harvard through change and through the storm, and collectively we have made Harvard better and stronger in countless ways. ”

when Bacow resigned as president of the University of Tufts, in 2016, he described a decade as the optimal length of an presidency. “I have often said that 10 years are the correct term for a university president. It is long enough for an individual to have a substantial impact, but not so much, that the institution, or the president feels comfortable. Class = "Popular-ATEM"> Higher Education Blogs | Blog u Learning innovation

Bacow will leave Harvard after a presidential term approximately half of the length, which makes his mandate one of the shortest in the recent history of the university. But that period included two full years of the Covid-19 pandemic, each of which possibly counts as three. (He also spent seven years previous as a member of the Harvard Corporation, the main governing body of the University).

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During that period, the University demanded to block a federal policy that would have prevented international students from living in the US. If their courses were mainly online, since it would inevitably be. "Larry immediately recognized the damage that this would cause not only to individual students but to the entire concept of global education," Bacow's counterpart in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Rafael Reif, said in a statement. "The fact that politics was invested the following week is a testimony of his argument's force."

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Bacow has also led Harvard's effort to defend his affirmative action policy against constitutional challenge. A Federal Court of Appeals in 2020 did not find evidence of discrimination against Asian -American applicants in the defense of Harvard's policy, but many expect the United States Supreme Court to find failures in university policies when you listen to an appeal in the fall.

Among other prominent aspects of Bacow's mandate in Harvard, as covered by Inside Higher ed:

  • The University announced that it would eliminate its investment in fossil fuels. “Climate change is the most consistent threat faced by humanity. In recent months, evidence of the world has been put on the world to come: mass fires that consume entire peoples, unprecedented floods that flood the main urban areas, record heat waves and the drought that devastates food supplies and increases Water shortage, "Bacow wrote." We must now act as citizens, as academics, and as an institution to address this crisis on as many fronts as we have at our disposal. "
  • Harvard promised $ 100 million this spring for Making peace for their historic ties with slavery. "The truth is that slavery played an important role in our institutional history," Bacow wrote. "Slave people worked on our campus supporting our students, teachers and staff, including several several Harvard presidents. The work of enslaved people, both and almost enriched, numerous donors and, ultimately, the institution. ”
  • The university significantly expanded its research
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