President and Fellows of Harvard College
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The President and Fellows of Harvard College (also called the Harvard Corporation or just the Corporation) is the smaller and more powerful of Harvard University's two governing boards, the other being its Board of Overseers. Together, the two boards exercise institutional roles more commonly consolidated into a board of trustees.
Although the institution it governs has grown into a university of which Harvard College is one component, the corporation's formal title remains "The President and Fellows of Harvard College".
In 1650, at the request of Harvard President Henry Dunster, the Great and General Court of Massachusetts issued the body's charter, making it now the oldest corporation in the Americas. The subsequent Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts confirmed that, despite the change in government due to the American Revolution, the corporation would continue to "have, hold, use, exercise and enjoy" its property and legal privileges.
The corporation was probably originally intended to be a body of the school's resident instructors, similar to the fellows of an Oxbridge college. However, it fell into the now-familiar American model of a governing board—an outside body whose members are not involved in the institution's daily life, which meets periodically to consult with the day-to-day head, the president (whom it appoints). The Corporation is self-perpetuating, appointing new members to fill its own vacancies as they arise.
For most of its history, the Corporation consisted of six fellows in addition to the president. But after the abortive presidency of Lawrence Summers and a large endowment decline in 2008–2009, a year-long governance review was conducted. In December 2010, it announced that the Corporation's "composition, structure, and practices" would be greatly altered: the number of fellows would increase from six to twelve, with prescribed terms of service, and several new committees would endeavor to improve the group's integration with the activities of the University as a whole, especially its long-term planning.
There are currently thirteen members of the Corporation, including the University president, who sets the agenda but does not vote.
|Lawrence Bacow||JD 1976, MPP 1976, PhD 1978||2011||President of Harvard University.|
|Timothy R. Barakett||AB 1987, MBA 1993||2019||former CEO of Atticus Capital|
|Kenneth Chenault||JD 1976||2014||former CEO of American Express|
|Paul Finnegan, Treasurer||AB 1975, MBA 1982||2012||co-CEO of Madison Dearborn Partners|
|Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar||AB 1993||2019||Justice of the Supreme Court of California|
|William F. Lee, Senior Fellow||AB 1972||2010||co-managing partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr|
|Carolyn Martin||PhD 1985 (University of Wisconsin–Madison)||2018||President of Amherst College|
|Karen Mills||AB 1975, MBA 1977||2014||former Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration|
|Diana L. Nelson||AB 1985||2018||chair of Carlson Holdings|
|Penny Pritzker||AB 1981||2018||former United States Secretary of Commerce|
|David Rubenstein||JD 1973 (University of Chicago)||2017||co-CEO of The Carlyle Group|
|Shirley M. Tilghman||LLD 2004 (Honorary)||2017||former president of Princeton University|
|Ted Wells||JD 1976, MBA 1976||2013||partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison|
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- Chait, Richard P.; Daniel, D. Ronald; Lorsch, Jay W.; Rosovsky, Henry (May–June 2006). "Governing Harvard: A Harvard Magazine Roundtable". Harvard Magazine.
- "Chapter V". Massachusetts Constitution.
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- Dixon, Brandon J.; Parker, Claire E. (June 27, 2017). "The Harvard Corporation, Explained". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
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- "Mathews and Wells elected to Harvard Corporation". Harvard Gazette. Harvard University. September 23, 2012. Retrieved August 24, 2020.