Pfarewell Pforzheimer: Faculty Deans Harrington and Durant to Step Down in 2023 After 10-Year Tenure


Pforzheimer House Faculty Deans Anne Harrington ’82 and John R. Durant will step down at the end of the 2022-2023 academic year after a 10-year tenure, the pair announced in an email to house residents Monday.

Harrington, a professor and director of undergraduate studies in the History of Science, and Durant, the director of the MIT Museum and an adjunct professor at MIT, assumed their positions in the 2013-2014 school year. The two described their transition out of the roles as “bittersweet.”

“The opportunity to lead a House at Harvard College is one of the greatest privileges available to a faculty member,” the faculty deans wrote in the email. “Faculty Deans agree at the outset to accept this privilege for a period of time, and to then pass it forward. Our time has now come to pass our leadership role onto a successor.”

In the emailed announcement, the deans said their tenure has been a “profoundly meaningful journey.”


“I hope it is clear: you are not just ‘students’ to us, and this is not just a ‘job’ for us – you are part of our pfamily, and we will carry your love and memories of our time together forward forever,” they wrote.

The search process for the house’s next deans will begin in the coming days, according to Harrington and Durant’s email. During the process, Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana solicits interest from tenured faculty, assembles a search committee to conduct interviews with house residents, and consults with University administrators before selecting the next faculty deans.

“The College will be putting a process into place to find new and wonderful Faculty Deans for Pfoho, and you will all have an opportunity to help shape that process and participate in the selection,” Harrington and Durant wrote.

“But just know, pfriends, how blessed we feel to have been able to live alongside and with you in this role all these years,” they added. “You have given us an excuse to play, given us a window into your lives, and taught us so much about what community can really mean, and that it can never be taken for granted. For all of that, our gratitude is endless.”

—Staff writer Vivi E. Lu can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @vivielu_.

—Staff writer Leah J. Teichholtz can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @LeahTeichholtz.