FAS Council Considers New HBS Degree, Dissolves Asian Studies Council

Harvard Business School
Harvard Business School's Baker Library.
Members of the Faculty Council heard a proposal from the Business School concerning a new Ph.D. program and voted to dissolve the Council on Asian Studies at their biweekly meeting Wednesday afternoon.

The body also approved a plan to change the name of the Neurobiology concentration.

The dissolution and the renaming stem from proposals the Faculty Council—the Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ highest governing body—heard at its previous Feb. 14 meeting. The first proposal advocated the dissolution of the Council on Asian Studies because the Asia Center already carries out most of the duties of the Council. The second sought to rename the Neurobiology concentration to “Neuroscience” in an effort to match the terms used by scientists in the field.

Faculty Council member David L. Howell said both proposals passed without facing any opposition from Council members. The changes will go into effect immediately given neither of the proposals need to go before the larger general Faculty.

The Council also heard from faculty at the Business School, including Dean Nitin Nohria. They presented a proposal to establish a Ph.D. in Business Administration in place of a degree they currently grant, termed "Doctor of Business Administration."

The proposal claims the D.B.A. degree is outdated and does not accurately reflect the work students do in order to achieve the degree.

Howell said he thought there was “pretty strong support” for the proposal from the other Council members.

“The folks of the Business School made a very strong case that the D.B.A. degree has changed so much over time that Harvard really stands out as an outlier,” Howell said. “It's kind of a slight disadvantage to students who get that degree and then go out to the job market because nowadays, when people hear D.B.A., they think of it as kind of an executive education degree rather than a research degree.”

The Council will likely vote on the new Ph.D. program at its next meeting on March 21. The entire Faculty will then hear that proposal at its April meeting.

The next full Faculty meeting is slated for Tuesday, March 6.

—Staff writer Angela N. Fu can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @angelanfu.


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