Press Releases

1997 Releases

Dean Harvey V. Fineberg to Become Next Provost of Harvard University

For immediate release: April 03, 1997 

Boston, MA--President Neil L. Rudenstine announced this afternoon that Harvey V. Fineberg, Dean of the Harvard School of Public Health, will become the next Provost of Harvard University.

President Rudenstine's announcement follows:

Members of the Harvard School of Public Health Community,

I am writing to share the excellent news that Harvey V. Fineberg, Dean of the Harvard School of Public Health, has agreed to become the next Provost of the University, effective July 1.

Dean Fineberg is a seasoned and successful academic leader who, for nearly thirteen years, has ably guided the School of Public Health through a time of unprecedented growth and responsiveness to changing health needs. He has worked vigorously to broaden and deepen the School's faculty, to expand and enhance its educational programs, to strengthen its research enterprise, and to promote interdisciplinary forms of learning around several large, encompassing themes. He is himself a highly regarded scholar of health policy, and he has confronted administrative and financial challenges during his deanship with resourcefulness and skill.

Dean Fineberg will bring to his new role an unusually extensive knowledge of Harvard and its different parts. A member of the Harvard community since 1963, he holds four degrees from the University--A.B. '67, M.D. '72, M.P.P. '72, and Ph.D. '80. He not only has served on the Faculty of Public Health for 24 years, but also served concurrently on the Kennedy School faculty for nearly a decade. As Dean of the SPH, he has been a thoughtful and energetic participant in the University-wide academic and campaign planning process, in the evolution of several inter-Faculty initiatives, and in various other matters of cross-School concern. He is also a person of keen judgment, humane outlook, and exceptional collegiality, with a strong devotion to Harvard as a whole, and a talent for bringing people together to work cooperatively on matters of mutual interest.

I am meeting this afternoon with the members of the Faculty of Public Health, not only to announce Harvey Fineberg's appointment as Provost, but also to launch the search for his successor as Dean of the SPH. I am grateful to James Ware, the Frederick Mosteller Professor of Biostatistics and Dean for Academic Affairs at the SPH, who has agreed to serve as the School's Acting Dean starting July 1 and continuing through the end of the search. As in the case of similar searches, I will soon be forming a faculty advisory group to assist me with the process, as well as soliciting advice broadly within the SPH and from the larger Harvard community. Identifying a new Dean will obviously be a matter of great importance for both the School and the University, and it will be one of my main priorities in the months ahead.

Meanwhile, as Al Carnesale completes the final three months of his distinguished tenure at Harvard, we are very fortunate to have someone of Harvey Fineberg's abilities and experience to assume the leadership of the Office of the Provost. I know that Harvey will be counting on the counsel and collaborative efforts of people throughout the Harvard community, and I hope you will join me in welcoming him to his new role.

President Neil Rudenstine


Below please find Dean Fineberg's address to the HSPH Community.

To HSPH, Faculty, Staff, Students, Alumni, and Friends,

President Neil Rudenstine announced today his decision to appoint me as the next Provost at Harvard, starting 1 July 1997. He will begin immediately to search for my successor as Dean of the Faculty of Public Health. After I step down at the end of this academic year, our Dean for Academic Affairs, James Ware, will serve as the Acting Dean of our School.

These nearly thirteen years as Dean of the Faculty of Public Health have been the most gratifying period of my professional life. The public health enterprise has never enjoyed a more prominent position as a means of identifying, comprehending and solving scientific and social problems. Our alumni--as scientists, professionals, analysts and managers working in the public, voluntary and private sectors--are leading the charge to advance health in countries around the globe. The ability and motivation of our students are a constant source of inspiration and hold the promise for even greater progress in the future.

Every day at the School, I am mindful of the invaluable contributions of the hundreds of dedicated staff who make it possible for the faculty and students to teach, to learn, to conduct research, and to carry out all of our programs. No one could have asked for a better group of senior administrators and development staff than I have had as colleagues and friends. It has also been a real pleasure for Mary and me to get to know so many fine people outside of our School who care a great deal about our work, who give us the benefit of their advice, and who so generously support us.

Above all, I have felt privileged to be part of this faculty, who prove on a daily basis that the dream of a healthier world is no idle infatuation, but an attainable goal. What success our School has achieved is due in greatest measure to you, the faculty--to your resourcefulness, talent and accomplishment (as you yourselves have regularly reminded me!). As your dean, I have done my best to give voice, impetus and direction to your aspirations and achievements.

Any period of institutional transition can be trying, especially when it occurs unexpectedly. We are very fortunate at the School to have an individual with the character and experience of Jim Ware to serve as Acting Dean. As the Frederick Mosteller Professor of Biostatistics, Jim has actively pursued his research and teaching while doing an outstanding job as Dean for Academic Affairs. He and I have been working side by side for the past seven years, and I have complete trust in him. My only concern is that Jim will discover shortly after taking over in July just how little he has not already been responsible for doing in the dean's office!

I am grateful to President Rudenstine and to the Corporation for their confidence in appointing me as Harvard's next Provost. I view this new position as an opportunity to extend my own education as well as to serve the university. I especially welcome the prospect of working more closely with Neil Rudenstine, whose values I so admire and with whom it is a joy to be associated. As Provost, I will do my utmost to assist him and the entire university community to make an already great university even stronger and better prepared to fulfill its mission in the future.

Harvey Fineberg
Dean, Harvard School of Public Health

For further information, please contact:

Robin Herman
Office of Communications
Harvard School of Public Health
677 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
Phone: 617-432-4752
Email: rherman@hsph.harvard.edu