A&H Strategic Planning Process

Photo of harvard Faculty Meeting notes, Nov 1891, discussing creation of academic Divisions

The A&H Strategic Planning Process is a multi-tiered, multi-year initiative to assess the structure of the Division of Arts & Humanities and make sure our departmental organization is best equipped to support the intellectual interests and administrative needs of our community.

The Process will be led by the A&H Strategic Planning Committee:

  • Robin Kelsey, chair, Dean of Arts & Humanities and Shirley Carter Burden Professor of Photography
  • Glenda Carpio, Professor of English and of African and African American Studies and Chair of the Department of English
  • Suzannah Clark, Morton B. Knafel Professor of Music and Director of the Mahindra Humanities Center
  • Phil Deloria, Leverett Saltonstall Professor of History and Chair of the Committee on Degrees in History and Literature
  • Kristie La, G5 in the Department of History of Art & Architecture
  • William Lohier '23, joint concentrator in African and African American Studies and English
  • Melissa McCormick, Professor of Japanese Art and Culture
  • Denise Oberdan, Director of Administration for the Department of Art, Film, and Visual Studies
  • Parimal Patil, Professor of Religion and Indian Philosophy and Chair of the Department of South Asian Studies
  • Matt Saunders, Professor of Art, Film, and Visual Studies
  • Jeffrey Schnapp, Carl A. Pescosolido Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and of Comparative Literature and Faculty Director of metaLAB
  • Raquel Vega-Duran, Senior Lecturer in Peninsular and Transatlantic Film and Literature and Chair of the Committee on Ethnicity, Migration, Rights
  • Emily Warshaw, Director of Administration for the Committee on Theater, Dance & Media

Charge of the A&H Strategic Planning Committee:


To explore possibilities and develop an academic vision for the dynamic future state of the Arts & Humanities at Harvard University, one that honors the rich history of our departments, centers, and programs, while embracing the emerging aspirations of our faculty, students, and staff. This vision will seek to leverage resources to their full extent, fostering notable opportunities for strategic reinvestment in our mission. At the core of the vision will be a structure enabling us to flourish in the coming decades as we continue to pursue and promote the wonders and values of aesthetic and humanistic learning.


The Strategic Planning Committee will advise the Dean of the Arts & Humanities as he charts a path forward for the Division, considering feedback and data gathered from within our community, as well as information drawn from other academic institutions or from the historical records of Harvard University. The Committee will help the Dean weigh the trade-offs between competing possibilities, with an eye toward empowering future generations of students to find in Harvard the liberal arts education they will need to thrive.


A&H Focus Groups

The Division of Arts & Humanities hosted six focus groups for faculty and staff in March 2022, speaking with over 70 members of our A&H community in conversations moderated by nine former departmental Chairs. These small group discussions focused on a series of five questions:

  1. What recent development or emerging interest in the arts and humanities excites you the most? Are there new measures or directions yielding promising results?
  2. As noted in the January Town Hall, our departmental structure was established between 1890 and 1968. In what ways, if any, would you like to see the Arts & Humanities Division respond structurally to the historical changes of recent decades?
  3. What about the present structure would you most like to preserve or reinforce?
  4. If you could work more closely with colleagues in another department, program, or Division, what would that entity be?
  5. In an ideal world, if you could make adjustments to the way you spend your time and energy, what would those adjustments be? What restraints at Harvard frustrate you the most?

While random selection was used to invite faculty and staff to these focus groups, all are welcome to reflect on these questions and send their thoughts, concerns, and questions to the Divisional office at arts-hum@fas.harvard.edu.

Graduate and undergraduate students will be invited to take part in a focus group process in April.