World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Harvard Board of Overseers

Article Id: WHEBN0000757545
Reproduction Date:

Title: Harvard Board of Overseers  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Harvard University, President and Fellows of Harvard College, History and traditions of Harvard commencements, Widener Library, Noli me tangere
Collection: Harvard University
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Harvard Board of Overseers

The Harvard Board of Overseers (more formally The Honorable and Reverend the Board of Overseers) is one of Harvard University's two governing boards. Although its function is more consultative and less hands-on than the President and Fellows of Harvard College, the Board of Overseers is sometimes referred to as the "senior" governing board because its formation predates the fellows' 1650 incorporation.

Today there are 30 overseers, all directly elected by alumni; at one point the board was self-perpetuating. Originally the overseers included, ex officio, the public officials and puritan clergy of Cambridge and the neighboring towns (hence the "honorable and reverend" of the title). Today, the President and the Treasurer of Harvard are ex officio members of the Board.

Each year, Harvard alumni elect five new overseers to serve six-year terms. Overseer candidates are nominated by the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA), and those not nominated by the HAA (petition candidates) must gather signatures from Harvard alumni to appear on the ballot.

Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. quipped famously of the election of John F. Kennedy, his son, to the Board in 1957: "Now I know his religion won't keep him out of the White House. If an Irish Catholic can get elected as an Overseer at Harvard, he can get elected to anything."[1]

Contents

  • Functions 1
  • Current Overseers 2
  • Petition candidates 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Functions

According to the Harvard website, the Board of Overseers complements the work of the President and Fellows (also known as the Corporation):[2]

Drawing on the wide-ranging experience and expertise of its members, the Board exerts broad influence over the University’s strategic directions, provides counsel to the University leadership on priorities and plans, and has the power of consent to certain actions of the Corporation. The Board’s chief functions include superintendence of the visitation process, the principal mechanism for periodic external review of the quality and direction of the University’s schools, departments, and selected other programs and activities. The Board carries out this responsibility largely through the operation of more than fifty visiting committees, whose work is overseen by and reported to the Board.

Current Overseers

As of October, 2012, the Overseers are:[3]

Petition candidates

In the late-1980s, a group calling for a withdrawal of Harvard's investments in Apartheid South Africa helped nominate petition candidates for overseer elections. Known as the Harvard-Radcliffe Alumni Against Apartheid (HRAAA), this group supported the first petition candidate to win an overseer's seat.[4] The HRAAA also backed South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu in his successful bid to join the board in 1989.[5] Since Tutu's election in 1989 (and the altering of election rules[6]), no petition candidate has been successful, including Barack Obama, who lost in 1991.[7]

References

  1. ^ Kenneth P. O'Donnell and David F. Powers with Joe McCarthy, "Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye": Memories of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, p. 147, Little Brown and Company, New York, N.Y., 1972, Standard Book Number: 671-78640-7
  2. ^ "Harvard's President and Leadership," harvard.edu, accessed 23 June 2012
  3. ^ "Board of Overseers". Harvard University. n.d. Retrieved September 30, 2012. 
  4. ^ http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=346877
  5. ^ http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=169989
  6. ^ http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=230393
  7. ^ http://harvardmagazine.com/alumni-in-the-news/barack-obama-of-harvard-law-school

External links

  • Harvard University Board of Overseers
  • Central Administration Governance of the University, from Office of the Provost
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 


Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.