Central Administration


Ten Stories That Shaped 2021

At Harvard, 2021 was a year marked by change. The school’s long-awaited return to in-person operations injected new life into a campus that had been left dormant for over a year by Covid-19. And in an unexpected shift, the University announced its intention to divest its endowment from fossil fuels after a decade of public pressure. Separately, faculty controversies — including a federal conviction and a high-profile departure — ignited debates that rippled across academia. Below, The Crimson looks back at the 10 stories that shaped the last year at Harvard.


Harvard Will Reopen Campus Child Care Centers Following Outcry from Parents

Harvard reversed its decision to close campus day care centers during the first three weeks of January on Wednesday after more than 120 families signed onto an open letter calling on the University to continue providing child care services while it moves most operations online.


‘A Wide Range of Experiences’: Harvard Clerical and Technical Workers Incorporate Remote Work

Harvard’s more than 5,000 unionized clerical and technical workers have faced different transitions back to working on campus. Juggling health guidelines as well as employees’ needs and preferences, many departments switched — temporarily or permanently — to hybrid arrangements.


University CFO Says Harvard ‘Moving in the Right Direction,’ Despite Pandemic Costs

Harvard chief financial officer Thomas J. Hollister said the University’s finances are “moving in the right direction” in a Wednesday interview, though he cautioned that officials remain alert in the ever-changing landscape of the Covid-19 pandemic.


Harvard to Host Joint Commencement Ceremony for Classes of 2020, 2021 This Spring

Harvard will host a joint Commencement ceremony for its last two graduating classes this spring, allowing the Classes of 2020 and 2021 to celebrate graduation in person after their exercises were postponed due to the pandemic.


Grad Student Union Strike Disrupts Freshman Parents Weekend

Harvard’s graduate student union picketed freshman parents weekend events Thursday and Friday, including University President Lawrence S. Bacow’s welcoming address and lectures open to visiting parents, to maximize the effects of its three-day strike.


UC Supports Grad Student Union, Subsidizes Printing and Laundry Costs

The Harvard Undergraduate Council passed legislation to officially stand behind Harvard graduate student workers ahead of a potential strike and to extend funds to support financial aid-eligible students’ printing and laundry costs.


Bacow Defends Use of Confidential Committees in Tenure Process Following FAS Review

Just over a week after a review of Harvard’s tenure process found that the use of secretive ad hoc committees “erodes faculty trust” in the system, University President Lawrence S. Bacow defended the school’s use of the committees as a necessary aspect of deliberations.


In Massive Security Oversight, Thousands of Private University Documents Left Vulnerable

A widespread security oversight left at least tens of thousands of Harvard’s administrative files — including sensitive and confidential information on University governance — available for anyone with Harvard credentials to view, edit, download, and share.


Faculty Discuss Campus Covid Situation, Potential Graduate Student Strike

An early September Covid-19 surge led to “nail-biting” moments for administrators, but Harvard has dodged “severe” cases of Covid-19 among vaccinated students this semester, University officials said during a faculty meeting Tuesday.


Bacow Insists Harvard’s Move to End Fossil Fuel Investments is ‘Consistent’ with Past Positions

When University President Lawrence S. Bacow said earlier this month that Harvard would move to end its investments in the fossil fuel industry, the activists who had been pushing him to do so for years celebrated the news as a seismic shift.


Divest Harvard Kicks Off In-Person Semester with Rally Outside University Hall

Roughly 80 student protestors with Divest Harvard — a student organization calling for the University to sell its investments in the fossil fuel industry — staged a “visual waterline” outside University Hall to represent the rally’s focus on rising sea levels.


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