LINGUIST List 5.581

Sat 28 May 1994

FYI: Harvard Linguistics Department

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. , Harvard Ling. Dept.

Message 1: Harvard Ling. Dept.

Date: Fri, 27 May 94 11:02:02 -0Harvard Ling. Dept.
From: <>
Subject: Harvard Ling. Dept.

To friends and colleagues:

As you probably know, the future of the Harvard Linguistics
Department seemed rather uncertain for a while last year. The
Harvard administration decided to form an ad hoc advisory committee
to investigate whether it might be advisable to dissolve the
department and create a Committee on Linguistics instead. The
advisory committee was chaired by professor Warren Goldfarb (Philo-
sophy) and it basically considered the alternatives to a
department structure, such as an undergraduate degree granting
committee and a graduate degree granting committee. The Goldfarb
committee submitted its report a few weeks ago to professor Jeremy
Knowles, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Based on this
report, the Harvard administration has made a public announcement
which includes the following points:
1. The Harvard Linguistics Department will continue as a
2. The Harvard Linguistics Department will be authorized to
 make two senior appointments within the next 2-3 years
 and "junior appointments as needed".
3. Professor Michael S. Flier (Slavic Languages and Literatures)
 will serve as chairman of the Linguistics Department the
 next three years, beginning July 1, 1994. He will work with
 the Linguistics Department faculty and an outside advisory
 committee to organize the search for the senior appointments.
The faculty and students of the Harvard Linguistics Department are
very happy with this turn of events and grateful to colleagues and
friends within Harvard and at other universities in the United
States and Europe, including professional societies like the
Linguistic Society of America and GLOW (Generative Linguists of the
Old World), who voiced their support when the future of the
Department seemed in doubt.
 Hoskuldur Thrainsson, Visiting Professor
 Harvard Linguistics Department
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