Harvard Senior Vice President and General Counsel Robert W. Iuliano ’83 has been chosen as the next president of Gettysburg College.
Iuliano — who oversees Harvard’s legal strategy in the midst of multiple high-profile lawsuits — will begin his new role in Gettysburg, Pa. on July 1 after the school’s current president, Janet M. Riggs, retires, according to a statement posted on Gettysburg College’s website.
The Gettysburg College board of trustees unanimously selected Iuliano.
Iuliano told the Harvard Gazette, a University-run publication, that he is “grateful” to Harvard for shaping who he is today.
“It has been a privilege to have served this remarkable institution for the past 25 years,” Iuliano said. “The work has mattered enormously to me, and I have found deep satisfaction in partnering with the faculty, students, and staff who make Harvard what it is and in helping to advance Harvard’s research and educational mission.”
Iuliano graduated from the College in 1983 with a degree in Government before attending University of Virginia Law School. Prior to joining Harvard’s Office of General Counsel in 1994, he worked as an associate at the law firm Choate, Hall & Stewart and later as a federal prosecutor. He became vice president and general counsel in 2003.
Iuliano is departing Harvard at a time when the University is facing a slew of publicly salient and high-stakes lawsuits. His decision to leave the General Counsel’s office comes as many of these suits reach critical junctures.
In his role as general counsel, Iuliano has overseen the University’s legal strategy as a defendant in a lawsuit alleging the College discriminates against Asian-American applicants in its admissions process. The lawsuit was brought by anti-affirmative action group Students for Fair Admissions in 2014. The case’s three-week trial ended in November, and federal Judge Allison D. Burroughs is expected to issue a ruling in the coming months. Some legal experts say this case could climb all the way to the Supreme Court.
Last month, a group of parent organizations for national fraternities and sororities, along with one Harvard fraternity and three students, also filed two lawsuits alleging the College’s 2016 sanctions on single-gender organizations are discriminatory and unconstitutional. The sanctions, which took effect with the Class of 2021, bar members of single-gender final clubs and Greek organizations from holding campus leadership positions, captaining varsity athletic teams, and receiving endorsement for prestigious fellowships like the Rhodes.
Harvard has until Feb. 4 to respond to the federal plaintiffs’ complaint and Feb. 8 to respond to the complaint within state court.
In addition to his administrative responsibilities, Iuliano has also taught courses at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the College during his tenure. This semester, he is teaching Freshman Seminar 70W: "Contemporary Issues in American Higher Education,” which will cover issues like free speech on campus, race in college admissions, and fossil fuel divestment, according to its course listing.
University President Lawrence S. Bacow told the Gazette that Iuliano is a “fabulous leader” and praised Gettysburg College for hiring him.
“Bob Iuliano is one of the most talented leaders with whom I have ever been privileged to work,” Bacow said. “Gettysburg has chosen well.”
Bacow also thanked Iuliano for his service to Harvard and for his personal counsel.
“Bob has contributed immeasurably to Harvard during his 25-year career here,” Bacow said. “I have come to rely on Bob’s sage advice during my tenure as both a member of the Corporation and now as president.”
“He is not only a great lawyer; he has become a great friend,” Bacow added.
Bacow said he will begin a search for Iuliano’s replacement in the coming weeks.
—Staff writer Alexandra A. Chaidez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @a_achaidez.
—Staff writer Aidan F. Ryan can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @AidanRyanNH.