Catharine Drew Gilpin Faust (born September 18, 1947) is an American historian and was the 28th President of Harvard University, the first woman to serve in that role. Faust is the former dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study; she is Harvard's first president since 1672 without an undergraduate or graduate degree from Harvard and the first to have been raised in the South.
Drew Gilpin Faust
Faust, speaking at the World Economic Forum in 2013
|28th President of Harvard University|
July 1, 2007 – July 1, 2018
|Preceded by||Lawrence Summers|
Derek Bok (acting)
|Succeeded by||Lawrence S. Bacow|
Catharine Drew Gilpin
September 18, 1947
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Charles E. Rosenberg|
|Alma mater||Bryn Mawr College|
University of Pennsylvania
|Profession||College administrator, Academic|
|Thesis||A sacred circle: The social role of the intellectual in the Old South, 1840–1860 (1975)|
|Main interests||Antebellum period and Civil War|
|Notable works||Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War (1996)|
Catharine Drew Gilpin was born in New York City and raised in Clarke County, Virginia, in the Shenandoah Valley. She is the daughter of Catharine Ginna (née Mellick) and McGhee Tyson Gilpin; her father was a Princeton graduate and breeder of thoroughbred horses. Her paternal great-grandfather, Lawrence Tyson, was a U.S. Senator from Tennessee during the 1920s. Faust also has New England ancestry and is a descendant of the Puritan divine Rev. Jonathan Edwards, the third president of Princeton.
She graduated from Concord Academy, Concord, Massachusetts, in 1964. She earned a BA magna cum laude with honors in history from Bryn Mawr College in 1968. She earned an MA in American civilization from the University of Pennsylvania in 1971 and a Ph.D. in 1975, with a dissertation entitled "A Sacred Circle: The Social Role of the Intellectual in the Old South, 1840–1860". In the same year, she joined the University of Pennsylvania faculty as assistant professor of American civilization. A specialist in the history of the South in the antebellum period and Civil War, Faust rose to become Walter Annenberg Professor of History.
|Booknotes interview with Faust on Mothers of Invention, September 1, 1996, C-SPAN|
|Presentation by Faust on This Republic of Suffering, January 9, 2008, C-SPAN|
She is the author of six books, including Mothers of Invention: Women of the Slaveholding South in the American Civil War (1996), for which she won both the Society of American Historians Francis Parkman Prize and the Avery O. Craven Award from the Organization of American Historians in 1997. Her other works include James Henry Hammond and Old South, a biography of James Henry Hammond, Governor of South Carolina from 1842–1844. This Republic of Suffering (2008) was a critically acclaimed exploration of how the United States' understanding of death was shaped by the high losses during the Civil War. It was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award.
On February 8, 2007, The Harvard Crimson reported that Faust had been selected as the next president of the university. Following formal approval by the university's governing boards, her appointment was made official three days later. She is the fifth woman to serve as president of an Ivy League university.
Her appointment followed the departure of Lawrence Summers, who resigned on June 30, 2006, after a series of controversial statements that led to mounting criticism from members of Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Derek Bok, who had served as President of Harvard from 1971–1991, returned to serve as an interim president during the 2006–2007 academic year.
During a press conference on campus, Faust said, "I hope that my own appointment can be one symbol of an opening of opportunities that would have been inconceivable even a generation ago." She also added, "I'm not the woman president of Harvard, I'm the president of Harvard."
On October 12, 2007, Faust delivered her installation address, saying,
A university is not about results in the next quarter; it is not even about who a student has become by graduation. It is about learning that molds a lifetime, learning that transmits the heritage of millennia; learning that shapes the future.
In one of Faust's first initiatives, she significantly increased financial aid offers to students at Harvard College. On December 10, 2007, Faust announced a new policy for middle-class and upper-middle-class students, which limited parental contributions to 10 percent for families making between $100,000 and $180,000 annually, and replaced loans with grants. In announcing the policy, Faust said, “Education is the engine that makes American democracy work.... And it has to work and that means people have to have access.” The new policy expanded on earlier programs that eliminated contributions for families earning less than $60,000 a year and greatly reduced costs for families earning less than $100,000. Similar policies were subsequently adopted by Stanford, Yale, and many other private U.S. universities and colleges.
In addition to promoting access to higher education, Faust has testified before the U.S. Congress to promote increased funding for scientific research and support of junior faculty researchers. She has made it a priority to revitalize the arts at Harvard and integrate them into the daily life of students and staff. Faust has worked to further internationalize the university. In addition, she has been a strong advocate for sustainability and has set an ambitious goal of reducing the university’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2016, including those associated with prospective growth, by 30 percent below Harvard’s 2006 baseline.
In May 2008, Christina Romer, an economics professor at the University of California, Berkeley, was not offered tenure at Harvard despite support from the members of the Harvard Economics Department. At Harvard, the confidential nature of the process includes a panel that consists of outside experts and internal faculty members from outside the department. Faust has declined to discuss press reports related to Romer’s tenure case. Romer was later nominated by President Barack Obama to chair the Council of Economic Advisers. Also in Faust's tenure, Harvard's economics department witnessed an exodus of prominent faculty to Stanford and MIT, including Raj Chetty, Susan Athey, Guido Imbens, Drew Fudenberg, and Nobel Laureate Al Roth.
In the wake of a series of layoffs in June 2009, Faust was criticized for refusing to accept a pay cut that would have saved jobs. In the months preceding the layoffs, various campus groups called upon Faust and other administrators to reduce their salaries as a means of cutting costs campus-wide. Reports on Faust's salary differ: The Boston Globe reports that Faust made $775,043 in the 2007–2008 school year, while the Harvard Crimson reported that Faust made $693,739 in salary and benefits for the 2008–2009 fiscal year. In early 2009, the Harvard Corporation approved salary freezes for the president, deans, senior officers, management staff, and faculty, and offered an early retirement program. The University also undertook an involuntary reduction in staff of 2.4 percent of its employees.
In December 2010, Faust and Stanford University President John L. Hennessy co-wrote an editorial in support of passage of the DREAM Act. The legislation was not passed by the 111th United States Congress.
In 2011, Faust signed an agreement with Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, JD '76, to formally return the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) program to campus after almost 40 years, following the repeal of the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" law in December 2010.
Faust retired as President of Harvard College in June 2018, succeeded by Lawrence Bacow. Just four days after retiring from her position as president, she joined the board of Goldman Sachs. She retains her title as a professor of History at Harvard.
Faust is married to Charles E. Rosenberg, a historian of medicine at Harvard. They have a daughter, Jessica Rosenberg, who is a Harvard graduate and works for the New Yorker. Faust also has a stepdaughter, Leah Rosenberg.
She was previously married to Stephen Faust.
Faust was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1988 and treated that year. She has enjoyed good health since then. She has declined to speak with the media with more details about her diagnosis or treatment.
|2012||American Experience: Death and the Civil War||Herself||Ric Burns|
|2015||The Gettysburg Address||Herself||Sean Conant|