The critical role of the public servant has never been so
apparent in this country as it is today. As this nation comes to
terms with the paradox of being the worlds only remaining
superpower, our leaders need to be well versed on current tools
for public policy management and be familiar with the research and
the solutions being proposed in academia for some of the most vexing
For many years, the Kennedy Schools executive programs have
been working aggressively to address the needs of government officials
as well as leaders in NGOs and those private sector leaders whose
work intersects with the public sector. With this issue, we initiate
a new section focused on the executive programs. We will be highlighting
special courses, featuring alums, and posting upcoming courses.
We hope this section will provide a glimpse into a key component
of our mission.
On another note, this issue of the Bulletin would be incomplete
if it failed to address the fiscal health of the Kennedy School.
Our fiscal constraints have been reported in the media, sometimes
erroneously, so it is important to set the record straight. As many
of you have read, the Kennedy School faced a budget deficit of $5.9
million for fiscal year 20012002. The deficit was the product
of circumstantial and structural problems. The attacks of September
11 caused our executive programs to lose $1.7 million due to the
shutdown in air travel and the reduced participation in the months
after the airways were reopened. During this same time, the Kennedy
School, along with other schools at Harvard, acted to comply with
the Fair Labor and Standards Act, which resulted in making substantial
overtime payments. Ensuring that we engage in fair labor practices
is very important to us. In doing so, however, we added to our deficits.
The structural problems I alluded to are the product of the successes
we have enjoyed in expanding our faculty and enriching our programs
in recent years. The academic results have been impressive. Our
faculty grew in academic breadth and scope, and between 1995 and
2000, faculty publications in refereed journals increased 135 percent.
We also launched an extremely successful and academically rigorous
MPA Program on International Development. However, these accomplishments
necessitated additional space for faculty, which led to subletting
in Harvard Square and a substantive increase in administrative and
technical support for our new endeavors.
Given the slowing of the economy, it was clear to me that we needed
to scale down our expenses while preserving our academic prowess.
I made a strategic decision in the early spring to trim our costs
and begin a scaling back of programs that were important but not
critical to our central mission. Kennedy school administrators worked
overtime to help carry out these plans.
My plan called for reducing our deficit to $2.9 million for the
2003 fiscal year and balancing the budget fully by 2004. The good
news is that we are on track now. According to McKinsey & Co.,
which reviewed the Kennedy School plans for reducing its operating
deficit, barring exceptional circumstances, the Kennedy School should
meet its fiscal goals and perhaps exceed them. With the Kennedy
School back on its feet financially, we can continue to train new
leaders and probe the multitude of policy issues that make this
world so challenging and fascinating.
Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Dean
Photo: Paula Lerner