Home News Claudine Gay Vision for Harvard: Diversity, Interdisciplinarity, and Collaboration

Claudine Gay Vision for Harvard: Diversity, Interdisciplinarity, and Collaboration

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Claudine Gay became Harvard University’s 30th president on July 1, 2023 – she is both the first person of color and second woman to lead this renowned institution. Prior to taking over as leader, she served as dean of FAS from 2018 – 2023, conducting studies into the political behavior of marginalized groups due to their underrepresentation in democratic institutions. At Harvard she has articulated a vision of an inclusive, vibrant, collaborative community capable of responding effectively to world challenges.

Diversity

Claudine Gay
Claudine Gay

One of Gay’s primary goals as president of Harvard is increasing diversity across faculty, staff and students and cultivating an atmosphere of belonging and inclusion for all. She sees diversity not just as a moral imperative, but as intellectual and institutional one too – enriching learning environments while raising academic standards through more diverse scholarship and teaching practices. Gay has pledged her efforts toward expanding talent pipelines from underrepresented groups while supporting recruitment and retention of diverse faculty/staff as well as creating an atmosphere that respects differences through engagement among colleagues/staff/students/students/students//students//students//students//students//students//engage with all differences through mutual respect/engagement across differences.

Gay has also applauded Harvard’s diversity, particularly at the Harvard Divinity School (HDS), which encompasses over 40 faith traditions as well as those with no particular one. She commended HDS’ mission of creating a world at peace across religious and cultural divides, and its model of reinvention and renewal through deep engagement across difference. According to Gay, HDS shows both learning from diverse experiences alongside people of various backgrounds while serving as a powerful model for the rest of Harvard University.

Interdisciplinarity

Gay has prioritized increasing interdisciplinarity as one of her priorities, both among students and professors. She holds that solutions to some of our most urgent global problems – climate change, inequality and global health in particular – require multidisciplinary perspectives and methods from multiple fields of study to be combined successfully. Therefore, Gay advocates for creating opportunities for students to explore various fields simultaneously while supporting faculty with innovative research projects across disciplines.

Gay has made great note of both her own academic background and interests as well as the diversity of Harvard faculty. She noted how proud she was of a liberal arts education, benefitting from its exposure and access to various disciplines and fields. According to Gay, Harvard faculty are distinguished scholars renowned for being not only experts in their respective domains but also curious and open to learning from one another – qualities essential for expanding frontiers of knowledge and understanding.

Collaboration

Collaboration is another priority for Gay. She emphasizes its value as both an end in itself, creating a sense of shared purpose and collective responsibility among faculty members; furthermore, fostering and rewarding it among professors can increase opportunities for engagement with students, staff, alumni, and external partners – key components in fulfilling Harvard’s mission of service and leadership.

Gay has shown the virtue of collaboration both through her leadership style and actions, as well as Harvard community achievements. She described herself as an inclusive leader who listens and learns from others while working to build consensus and trust; furthermore she noted the collaboration efforts during COVID-19 pandemic, when faculty, staff and students all worked together to adapt and innovate in response to unprecedented challenges; in which it revealed Harvard’s resilience as well as potential contribution towards global recovery and transformation efforts.

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