Cross-School Initiatives

The Office of the Provost seeks to facilitate collaboration in a variety of ways, most notably in the form of seed-funding and oversight for certain large-scale, cross-school, faculty-led initiatives (in the tradition of the original five “Interfaculty Initiatives,” established by President Neil Rudenstine in the 1990s—four of which continue operations today: Environment, Ethics, Health Policy, and Mind/Brain/Behavior). Often created to address a pressing social or intellectual need, these University-wide initiatives typically span Harvard’s Faculties in such a way as to necessitate direct reporting to the provost (or joint reporting with a dean). The University reinforces its financial stewardship of these efforts with a close level of Provost’s Office staff engagement.

Over time, an increasing number of School-based programs, centers, and institutes at Harvard have begun to describe themselves using such terms as “collaborative” or “cross-school” or “interfaculty” or even “University-wide,” and the Office of the Provost applauds and encourages all such collaborative ventures. The office does distinguish, however, between two sorts of endeavor: multidisciplinary, cross-school activities that the University helps to fund, on the one hand, and on the other, similar activities that are undertaken with the approval of the University but not its financial sponsorship.

A full list of formal University-wide initiatives can be found below, including several emerging cross-school efforts.

Arts and Culture



Social Sciences