Harvard president to step down next year
The committee appointed one of its own members, Dr. Bako had to review 700 different candidates before deciding on his own.
Dr. Bako was credited with lobbying Congress for more liberal visa policies for international students during the pandemic, for announcing a university-wide climate change initiative, and for examining the university’s ties to slavery. , recently declared a thriving Legacy of Slavery Fund to allow scholars. and students to bring to light Harvard’s ties to slavery for generations to come.
The university has pledged $100 million for an effort to trace the descendants of enslaved people at Harvard, and to create exchange programs between students and faculty members at Harvard with historically black colleges and universities.
Dr. Bako’s tenure at Harvard was not without controversy.
Last year, Cornell West, considered one of the nation’s foremost black philosophers and progressive activists, announced that he had resigned from Harvard Divinity School as a result of a tenure dispute. At the time, Dr. West attacked Harvard, calling it an institution in “decline and decay”. Dr. Bako, who declined to comment on the specifics of the case, citing the secrecy of the process, nevertheless defended the university’s handling of it.
In another highly publicized controversy, three female graduate students filed suit against Harvard this year, accusing the university of ignoring allegations that John Komaroff, a professor of African and African American Studies and Anthropology, abused students. was sexually assaulted.
By the time the case was filed, Dr. Komaroff, who had denied the allegations, had been placed on leave by the university after being found to have engaged in inappropriate verbal conduct – but not found to be responsible for the unwanted sexual contact.
Perhaps Harvard’s biggest challenge, however, involves a lawsuit filed by Students for Fair Admissions, alleging that the university’s race-aware admissions system discriminated against Asian American applicants.