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A Dynamic Deanship


When Jerome Murphy was appointed dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1992, he already had a long history with the school. This familiarity from his tenures as faculty member and academic dean — as well as his time as a doctoral student before that — made Murphy uniquely positioned for the deanship and allowed him to act swiftly on a number of initiatives.

During a nine-year tenure, Jerry Murphy oversaw a dramatic academic expansion, a strengthened connection to Boston, and a capital campaign that secured the future.

He went about re-evaluating the master’s programs, resulting in the introduction of fields of study in arts, technology, higher education, international education, mind and brain, and school leadership. He also enhanced the student experience at HGSE through a variety of diversity initiatives, as well as the introduction of the Askwith Forums and the Student Research Conference (now the Student Research Symposium). The capital campaign during his tenure was an unprecedented success. The $111 million raised was the largest amount raised at a school of education up until that point, with a large portion earmarked for endowed professorships and financial aid.

From his first day in his new role, Murphy set about strengthening partnerships with Harvard’s neighboring communities of Cambridge and Boston – making visits to local public schools an early priority. This new visibility put the Ed School on a path to forming important ties with school leaders throughout the state with the establishment of the Office of School Partnerships and the creation of The Principals’ Center, a suite of professional education programs designed to support school leaders throughout their career development, both of which still operate today. – Video produced by Elio Pajares, story by Marin Jorgensen

Learn More and Connect

Read a piece by Jerry Murphy, reflecting on his career in Harvard Ed. magazine.

Explore the offerings of The Principals' Center.

Learn more about the Askwith Forums.

Read about the Student Research Conference.

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