January 22, 2014

After Time as Professor, Alumnus to Serve as Next Dean of Harvard College

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Prof. Rakesh Khurana ’89, organizational behavior, Harvard University, will serve as the next dean of Harvard College effective July 1.

Khurana — who earned his undergraduate degree at Cornell — will become the dean of Harvard College, one of two undergraduate schools within the University, after teaching at Harvard Business School since 2000, according to a Harvard press release.

After his time at Cornell, Khurana earned his Ph.D in organizational behavior from Harvard in 1998. He then went on to teach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, before moving to Harvard, according to the press release.

Michael Smith, Faculty of Arts and Sciences dean at Harvard, praised Khurana, describing him as a “distinguished scholar of organizational behavior” in an announcement email to the community.

“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.

Khurana will succeed former dean Evelynn Hammonds, who stepped down in June, the press release said.

Harvard President Drew Faust said in the press release that Khurana “embodies the interconnectedness” of the university.

“His experiences as a graduate student, an award-winning teacher at HBS and the master of an undergraduate House give him a unique perspective on the University, and his deep respect for the liberal-arts model and the residential education will serve him well as he guides Harvard College,” Faust said.

Khurana — who has focused his research on the ways which leaders are selected — said he is honored to have the opportunity to serve Harvard College.

“I’m honored to have this opportunity to serve the College and work with the faculty, students and staff to create a transformative educational experience for our students,” Khurana said in the Harvard press release. “I am convinced that, working together, we will have a significant and positive impact on the College.”