Liz Cohen to step down as Radcliffe Institute dean

Historians in the News
tags: Liz Cohen, Radcliffe Institute



Lizabeth Cohen, who has led the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study since 2011, has announced she will step down from that post on June 30. Cohen plans to return to teaching and research in Harvard’s Department of History following a year’s sabbatical.

“When I accepted President Drew Faust’s invitation to join Radcliffe in 2011 on an interim basis, I certainly didn’t expect to find myself, nearly seven years later, stepping down as the Institute’s longest-serving dean,” said Cohen in a message to the community. “But I could not be more grateful for the experience. Leading Radcliffe has been — and continues to be — an incredible honor.”

Cohen, an authority on 20th-century American social and political history, spearheaded the institute’s academic and physical renewal, enhanced its role as a premier destination for scholars and learners from the Harvard community and beyond, and helped ensure future funding for its programs and priorities. She expanded the Radcliffe Professorships Program to attract promising new faculty by providing them a place in the institute’s Fellowship Program. She also created opportunities for more undergraduates to engage with Radcliffe’s scholars and experts by broadening the Radcliffe Research Partners program, and she increased research grants to the Schlesinger Library that support the digitization and dissemination of its collections.

As dean, Cohen opened the institute’s doors more widely to the Harvard community and the public. She organized symposia, conferences, and workshops that brought together experts to discuss pressing matters such as climate change, health care, and issues of gender, race and religion, along with the relationship between universities and slavery. She shepherded Radcliffe’s Academic Ventures program, a series of multidisciplinary collaborations with leading thinkers designed to share groundbreaking research and practice. And she was an advocate for Radcliffe’s lectures, conferences, and exhibitions, ensuring that most programs are now livestreamed or videotaped and are posted to the institute’s website. ...




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