Harvard Law School dean John Manning appointed interim provost

Meanwhile, John Goldberg will be the interim dean of HLS

Harvard Law School dean John Manning appointed interim provost

Harvard University has named John F. Manning, the current dean of Harvard Law School (HLS), as the interim provost starting March 14, while John Goldberg, the Carter Professor of General Jurisprudence, will be the interim dean of HLS.

The strategic move was disclosed by interim president Alan M. Garber ’76, as the University continues to emphasize its commitment to academic freedom, civil discourse, and the exploration of institutional neutrality.

Manning, who has temporarily stepped down from his role as dean, is entrusted with overseeing University-wide academic priorities, including launching several pivotal initiatives to foster an atmosphere conducive to open inquiry and respectful dialogue. This appointment follows Garber’s transition to interim president earlier this year after Claudine Gay, the 30th president of Harvard University, resigned.

“An outstanding dean and eminent scholar of public law, John is also a valued colleague and a trusted adviser to me and other leaders around the University,” Garber said. “He is an ideal individual to advance several key University initiatives, including forthcoming efforts to explore institutional neutrality and how best to nurture an atmosphere of open inquiry, respectful dialogue, and academic freedom essential to academic excellence.”

Manning expressed his gratitude for the opportunity, stating, “I am grateful to interim President Garber for the opportunity to serve Harvard as interim provost. Harvard enabled me, as a first-gen student, to live a life that neither my parents nor theirs could have dreamed of. It feels so important at this critical time for those who love this institution to be there to help.”

During his tenure as dean, Manning was known for his dedication to fostering open and respectful discourse amidst a polarized educational landscape. He initiated several programs at HLS aimed at encouraging meaningful conversations across differing viewpoints, including a module on "difficult conversations" for first-year students and the establishment of the HLS Rappaport Forum.

Under Manning’s leadership, HLS has expanded access to legal education and supported students pursuing public-interest careers. These efforts include increased financial aid, the launch of prelaw pipeline programs for underrepresented backgrounds, and the introduction of the Harvard Law School Online initiative.

Goldberg, set to become the interim dean, has closely collaborated with Manning on various initiatives, including curricular reform and the school’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Garber commended Goldberg for his thoughtful counsel and looked forward to a closer collaboration.

“A member of the faculty since 2008, John is admired as much for his integrity, generosity, and compassion as for his extraordinary intellect, rigorous academic work, and broad institutional service,” Garber said. “I have benefited from John’s thoughtful counsel through his participation on the Provost’s Advisory Committee and look forward to collaborating with him more closely.”

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