The Public Interest

The State of Harvard

Harvey C. Mansfield, Jr.

Fall 1990

HARVARD is either the best American university or close to it, and according to Henry Rosovsky, two-thirds of the world’s best universities are American. Rosovsky was dean of the faculty of arts and sciences at Harvard from 1973 to 1984, and his deeds of fiscal, administrative, and curricular reform were so widely admired that the presidency of Yale was reportedly, and of course unsuccessfully, dangled before his eyes. At Harvard he was both loved and feared in a way to make one doubt Machiavelli’s maxim that a prince must choose to be one or the other. After leaving the deanship he was made a fellow of the Harvard Corporation, a signal honor.

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