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Harvard: Rakesh Khurana Named New Dean at University

Heights Staff

Published: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Updated: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 22:01

Harvard University

This past Wednesday, Harvard College announced that Rakesh Khurana would be named as the school’s new dean. Khurana is a longstanding member of the Harvard community. He is currently the Marvin Bower professor of leadership development at Harvard Business School, a professor of sociology in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS), and co-master of the Cabot House. He earned his Ph.D. through a joint program between Harvard Business School and Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 1998. He has done extensive research on the processes by which elites and leaders are selected, and he has also written about the CEO labor market and business education.

FAS Dean and John H. Finley Jr. Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences Michael D. Smith, who was responsible for alerting the community to Khurana’s appointment, looks forward to what Khurana will bring to the plate as dean. “He brings to the deanship an intimate understanding of the Harvard College experience, a profound commitment to the values of a liberal-arts education, and a warm and compassionate personality that accompanies his belief in the importance of community and an inclusive approach to decision-making,” Smith said, according to Harvard’s official website.

Khurana will be the replacement for former dean Evelynn M. Hammonds, the Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz professor of the history of science, who resigned her position last June after the expiration of her five-year term. Currently filling the position of interim dean is Donald Pfister, the Asa Gray professor of systematic botany, who will serve until July 1 when Khurana takes over.

Boston University

This week, Boston University unveiled a new program that will offer its students the opportunity to obtain both Doctor of Medicine (MD) and Juris Doctor of Law (JD) degrees in a six-year period. The launch of this program will make BU only the second university to offer this type of dual-degree program, following the lead of Yale University.

Students will spend the first three years of the program pursuing a medical curriculum including surgery, pediatrics, and internal medicine. The following two years will be dedicated to the first two years of law school and will also involve some medical clinical experiences in order to maintain students’ skills. The final year will be a mixture of medical and law elective classes that will be focused on an area of their choice. The program will be highly selective, and it will require that each participant is accepted to both the School of Medicine and the School of Law.


Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers have recently devised a new brain-scanning technique that will allow scientists to see where the brain processes visual information. The technique combines two existing technologies, and it will provide a level of accuracy in mapping the flow of visual information from an individual’s eyes through the human brain that has never before been possible.

With this new method, researchers will be able to identify both the location and the timing of human brain activity. Researchers who analyzed images taken with the new technology were able to pinpoint within a millisecond when the brain recognizes and categorizes an object, as well as the location in which these processes occur.

A complete paper describing the findings of the study can be found in the Jan. 26 issue of Nature Neuroscience. Lead author of the paper Radoslaw Cichy is a post-doctorate candidate at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.


Earlier this month, the University of Indonesia released its fourth annual GreenMetric Ranking of World Universities, which evaluates universities around the world based on their campus sustainability and environmentally-friendly university management. Northeastern University’s long-standing commitment to sustainability garnered it the title of No. 1 greenest university in the U.S., and third place among 301 universities from all over the world.

The rankings were determined based on self-reported data in six different categories: energy and climate change, setting and infrastructure, waste management, transportation, education, and water usage. Northeastern has consistently been in the top four on the list since its debut in 2010, when only 95 institutions of higher education were evaluated.

Northeastern President Joseph E. Aoun expressed his excitement about the news via Twitter, writing, “Green. Green. Green. Northeastern is black, red, and green.”

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