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Harvard To Expand Governing Board, Set Term Limits

Harvard University announced Monday that it is doubling the size of its governing board and setting term limits for board members.

In a letter to students and faulty, Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust said that the governing board, known as the "Harvard Corporation," will expand to 13 members from seven. She said the expansion will and add expertise and deepen perspectives to the governing board that critics say has often operated secretively.

"We undertake these changes knowing that one of Harvard's most enduring ideals and essential characteristics is a willingness to adapt and change," Faust write in the letter. "We are confident that the changes it describes will serve Harvard well."

Board members also will have six-year term limits, with the possibility of a six-year extension. Both changes are being made after a yearlong review of the board, Faust said.

The Harvard Corporation came under fire last year from some faculty and alumni for a lack of transparency and the way the board handled the 374-year-old university's finances during the economic crisis.

School officials said the changes announced are first major structural change since the Corporation was founded in 1650.

"This is a historic testament to the strength of the inventiveness of the people who created it," Faust said to WBUR. "Because obviously Harvard has been an extremely successful institution over those 360 years."

This program aired on December 6, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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