Harvard first female president to step down next year
Among the highs of Faust's career was opening Harvard's doors to more low and middle-income students. Source: Shutterstock

Harvard University’s first female head Drew Faust will step down from her role next June after 11 years as president of the Ivy League school, reports Reuters.

From 2007, Faust led the oldest and wealthiest US higher education institution through several controversies and one of the biggest financial crises in recent memory, which took a hard toll on the school’s endowment.

“It has been a privilege beyond words to work with all of you to lead Harvard,” Faust wrote in an e-mail to staff, adding the staff has made the school stronger through better governance, more diversity and seeing growth in both the country and globe.

“The dedication of students, faculty, and staff to the ideal and excellence of Harvard and to the importance of its pursuit of Veritas has made all this possible. I know this commitment will carry Harvard forward, from strength to strength, in the years to come.”

Faust with this year’s commencement speaker, Mark Zuckerberg. Source: Reuters/Brian Snyder

Yet, Faust stressed there is still more work to be done. She outlined a number of challenges for higher education in the future, including dwindling government funds for research and “advancing the work of inclusion and belonging that enables every member of our community to thrive.”

Among the highs of Faust’s career was opening Harvard’s doors to more low and middle-income students as well as starting a capital drive that has raised a record-breaking US$8 billion. According to Inside Higher Ed, Faust also led Harvard into a collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other universities for edX, a platform for online teaching and learning.

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