Hammonds Doubles Back on Ad Board Report Release

Last March, the Administrative Board Review Committee presented Dean of the College Evelynn M. Hammonds with a report suggesting potential changes to the Ad Board—Harvard College’s primary disciplinary body—and its policies.

Since the committee finished its report eight months ago, the administration has begun to implement changes in the Ad Board’s review process—starting in May, when Hammonds adopted recommendations from the report that did not require a vote of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. These proposals included altering the role of the resident dean and decreasing the number of Ad Board members who attend hearings in which the accused is present.

Then, at the first Faculty meeting of this year, the Faculty unanimously elected to give the 22-member Faculty Council the power to expel a student, instead of requiring the vote of the full Faculty.

But the report itself has not been made available to the College community—leading those outside the administration to question the exact nature of its content and to call for its public release.

In response to a question posed by former Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis ’68 at the final Faculty meeting of the academic year in May, Hammonds informed those in attendance that she would release the report.


But in a meeting with The Crimson last Thursday, Hammonds said that the report, which she commissioned, would not be made public.

“I thought I had said no, but I guess I said yes. I don’t know if I was nervous or what,” Hammonds said.


Although changes to the Ad Board have already begun, professors and Undergraduate Council representatives are still wondering why the entire report has not been released.

Donald H. Pfister, a botany professor and a member of the Ad Board Review Committee, said that the release of the full report would assist future discussions on potential areas of reform.

“I think the intent should be to get the report out,” said Pfister, the former master of Kirkland House. “Whether it’s the original, or a modified version that we can go back over, is not so important to me.”

Lewis said he thinks it would be valuable for the Harvard community to understand the contents of the report before considering future changes, adding that he hoped that some form of the report would be made available before the Faculty was asked to deliberate upon more legislation.

Leaders of the Undergraduate Council’s Student Life Committee, which organizes the Council’s outreach efforts on Ad Board reform, also called for greater transparency from the College administration.

“Obviously we would always like to see things released in the open,” said Student Life Committee Vice Chair Eric N. Hysen ’11, who is also currently running for UC vice president. “[But] more important is the actual substance of the changes.”