FAS Council Approves Transcript Change for Population Health Sciences Students


The Faculty Council voted in favor of a proposal to add field of study to the transcripts of Ph.D. students in the Population Health Studies program at its biweekly meeting Wednesday afternoon.

The Council’s vote follows a discussion of the proposal from its meeting earlier this month. Director of the School of Public Health’s Population Health Sciences program Lisa Berkman presented the proposal, which allows Ph.D. students in her program to have their fields of studies added to their transcripts.

The program is jointly offered by the School of Public Health and FAS, and students in the program can choose from one of the five fields of study — Environmental Health, Epidemiology, Global Health and Population, Nutrition, and Social and Behavioral Sciences.

The Council — the Faculty of Arts and Sciences’ highest governing body — voted unanimously to support the proposal. Their vote is purely advisory, however, and the proposal will go before the full Faculty at their first meeting in February.


The Council also heard a proposal from Visual and Environmental Studies Department Chair Robb Moss to change the name of his department — which houses classes for the visual arts as well as the “study of the built environment.” Council member Aravinthan D.T. Samuel ’93 said the Council will vote on the motion before it is presented to the entire Faculty sometime next spring.

“There's a move to update the name because Visual and Environmental Studies does not fully capture what the department actually does,” Samuel said. “That I do agree with. There was no opposition to that.”

Vice President for the Harvard Library Sarah E. Thomas also presented a proposal to dissolve the Standing Committee on the Library. The committee’s duties will be picked up by the Faculty Advisory Council, according to Samuel.

“There was zero opposition because it's just a rearrangement,” Samuel said. “It's just getting subsumed in the function of the larger committee.”

Though the standing committee will be dissolved, the Faculty will make a concerted effort to get undergraduate input on Harvard’s libraries, Samuel added.

“That struck me as a great thing. I was an undergraduate here a long time ago, and I loved the libraries,” Samuel said. “The fact that undergraduates are being heard about how the libraries are functioning and how they're used is a fabulous thing.”

The next Council meeting is slated for Jan. 30.

—Staff writer Angela N. Fu can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @angelanfu.

—Staff writer Lucy Wang can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @lucyyloo22.


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