In its Feb. 5 editorial, the Editorial Board says that the professional backgrounds of Harvard’s newest Corporation members is counter to the direction it would like to see from the University’s highest governing body.
I write to express my deep admiration for the expertise Kenneth C. Frazier and Joseph Y. Bae ’94 have developed throughout their long careers as business leaders. I have confidence that they will use this expertise to make a positive difference at Harvard.
Mr. Frazier served as CEO and chairman of Merck & Co. and lead independent director at Exxon Mobil Corporation. These firms are huge contributors to the U.S. economy and provide people around the world with life changing medicines and the energy critical to everyday life.
Similarly, Mr. Bae serves as co-CEO of KKR — a firm providing financial services important to our nation’s economic success. His background clearly demonstrates his deep expertise in the financial sector.
The Editorial Board also takes a critical tone regarding the Corporation’s composition of business leaders.
In contrast, I have confidence in the business backgrounds of the Corporation’s members and take heart in the stable composition of the Corporation, which ensures steady governance for the University. These capable professionals’ service to Harvard — for which they are not paid — ensures the University’s continued existence for the benefit of Harvard’s teachers, researchers, and students like me. For that, I am grateful.
- Ian M. Moore ’26, Crimson Editorial editor
I was surprised to read the Editorial Board’s recent editorial arguing that funds donated to Harvard are well-spent.
The Board explicitly opposed the renaming of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences after Kenneth C. Griffin ’89, who had by then had given over $500 million, including $125 million directed to financial aid. The Board argued that though the donation might do some good at Harvard, it was “not as much as the improvement in social mobility that donations to community colleges and historically Black colleges and universities provide.” A dissent was even written titled “Don’t Donate to Harvard.” Now that donors are actually voting with their feet, the Board seems to have waffled.
The Board seems so uncomfortable experiencing the consequences of policies it supports that it abandons these views entirely when they come to a head as we are seeing now.
It is easy to show commitment to values until they begin to have a real effect. Being anti-police is fine until you feel unsafe and want the yard closed. Steadfast support of academic integrity means excusing the offenders from consequences when “bad actors” begin to agree with you. And being anti-donor is great until donors stop donating. Hopefully the Board will be able to pull itself out of this trap and return to the nuanced and honest analyses of campus events.
- Ivor K. Zimmerman ’23, former Crimson Editorial editor