The provost serves as Harvard’s chief academic officer, working with the President to oversee academic policies and activities university-wide. The Office of the Provost [view organizational chart] works closely with the University’s academic and administrative leaders to: foster interfaculty collaboration; improve Harvard’s performance in building a diverse pipeline of scholars and in developing scholars at all stages of the academic career ladder; advance university-wide approaches to compliance and research policy; support University cultural and artistic entities and projects; oversee and coordinate the University’s international activities; support faculty, students, and academic professionals in advancing innovations in teaching and learning; and oversee activities pertaining to intellectual property, technology transfer, research collaborations with industry, and trademark licensing. The deputy, vice, associate, and assistant provosts, together with the provost’s administrative and operations staff, support the provost in carrying out these responsibilities. 


The Office of the Provost aims to support Harvard’s academic mission by:

Fostering coordination and collaboration across the University and removing barriers to success

Harvard is deservedly known for its extraordinary breadth of excellence.  Harvard’s schools have achieved success while operating with a great deal of independence.  “Every tub on its own bottom” is a formula designed to ensure that each “tub” achieves excellence, and the record of success is remarkable. Within this context, the University also recognizes that many of today’s most pressing problems extend beyond the boundaries of any school, and that collaboration across institutional boundaries is more important than ever. The Office of the Provost leads efforts to facilitate close collaboration among the diverse components of the University, fostering both efficiency and innovation throughout.  

Promoting a culture of experimentation in learning, teaching and research across the University

Conscious risk-taking is not a departure from Harvard’s history; as an institution, it has embraced change at key moments, often with great effect.  Harvard has led the way in research and pedagogical innovation, demonstrating that the greatest rewards often come from experimentation that moves forward in the face of misgivings and vocal criticism. Offering financial support, appropriate advising, and support networks, the Office of the Provost encourages students, faculty and staff to take risks in the pursuit of new approaches and new insights. By doing so, we cultivate resilience, flexibility, and resourcefulness, and strengthen a culture that nurtures ambitious innovation.

Ensuring that the University has the intellectual, administrative, and material resources needed to support its academic mission

Harvard has long possessed enviable academic and financial resources, but its most important resources have been, and remain, its people. Ongoing success requires not only building upon existing resources, but ensuring that our physical resources meet our future needs, and that we maintain our ability to attract extraordinary faculty, students, and staff. The Office of the Provost works closely with the University’s leadership and the wider Harvard community to ensure that the University sustains a position of financial strength that supports its ongoing academic success.