Transition message from FAS Dean Michael D. Smith

October 28, 2014

Dear members of the FAS community,

I am writing to follow up on Cherry Murray’s announcement that she will step down as dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) on December 31, 2014.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Cherry, who has led SEAS during a period of dramatic growth in the visibility of the School. During her tenure, interest in engineering among our undergraduates has skyrocketed, with the number of students concentrating in engineering and applied sciences more than doubling over that time. New graduate education and research initiatives have been launched in areas of inquiry important for a world-class 21st-century university. The strategic planning process she embarked on with the faculty shortly after her appointment as dean has also set the vision and priorities for an unprecedented Campaign for SEAS that envisions an expanded faculty and a planned expansion of SEAS into Allston, where it will join the Harvard Business School, the Harvard i-lab, and eventually other academic units at the heart of an emerging research innovation campus. Under Cherry’s leadership, engineering has thrived as a part of a Harvard liberal arts and sciences education, and SEAS has become a dynamic connector of faculties that has opened new and promising research opportunities possible only at Harvard.

Please join me in thanking Cherry for her many contributions as dean as she returns to service as a member of the SEAS faculty and continues her global advocacy for policies that advance technology and innovation.

I plan to appoint an interim dean for SEAS, as we prepare to launch an international search for Cherry’s successor. I will share more details as they become available.  

Sincerely yours,

Michael D. Smith
Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences