Our Work Together

President Alan Garber’s message to the Harvard community earlier this week reflected on the disorienting tension the University recently has faced, recognized Claudine Gay’s service and leadership, and urged us to rededicate ourselves to free inquiry and expression in a climate of inclusion and a spirit of mutual respect.

As the new semester begins, I write to reaffirm my commitment to creating an environment for unparalleled research, teaching, learning, and working at Harvard Business School. To do this will require drawing on the vision explicit in our mission and the principles articulated in our community values. As Alan noted, we must work together, wisely and thoughtfully, to bridge the fissures that have weakened our sense of community—approaching one another in a spirit of goodwill and adopting an eagerness to listen as well as to speak.

Our four working groups on Antisemitism, Islamophobia and Anti-Arabism, Classroom Norms and Culture, and Free Speech and Community Values are already doing important work that will help us. I am grateful for the understanding and empathy for different perspectives as well as the spirit of partnership that has guided their work. The groups have been tasked with identifying actions we might take in the short term and longer-term recommendations. A particular focus is the coming spring, ensuring that we can focus on advancing and deepening the learning environment throughout the semester. In the weeks ahead we will share updates with you on the groups’ efforts.

The turmoil in which Harvard has been enmeshed, including Claudine Gay’s recent resignation, has been a painful period in the University’s history. Many of you have shared your thoughts and perspectives with me during this time—thank you. We can and must find a pathway forward in the months to come, building on the strengths that have been a hallmark of Harvard Business School for many years: resilience, empathy, generosity of spirit, a commitment to excellence, a dedication to one another and our community, and a belief in the importance of educating leaders who make a difference in the world.

I have worked with Claudine and Alan for several years. Claudine outlined an ambitious vision for Harvard in her inauguration speech. I know that many of the ideals she articulated will inspire the work of the University for years to come. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Alan—someone I admire deeply—for his service to the University as Interim President. I hope you will join me in thanking him and, collectively, striving to ensure that Harvard University and Harvard Business School deliver on their promise here on campus and in the world.