After Almost a Year of Controversy, Harvard Chooses New Dean For its Graduate School of Design

The Architect’s Newspaper has some interesting commentary on the appointment of Mohsen Mostafavi as dean of Harvard’s Graduate School of Design program. Mostafavi, who taught at Harvard in the 90’s and also taught at London’s Architectural Association School of Architecture (AA) and Cornell, succeeds Alan Altshuler after a long struggle to find a replacement. Many at the school believe Altshuler left because he supported former president Larry Summers, the guy who said that “issues of intrinsic aptitude” might explain the underrepresentation of women in science and engineering.

Altshuler’s controversial status, as well as the delicate politics of choosing a successor, caused the search process to drag on for months. The short list reportedly included U.S. academic luminaries Tom Hahrahan of Pratt, Mark Robbins of Syracuse, and, most notably, GSD architecture dean Toshiko Mori, who sources say lobbied hard for the position.

Supposedly Mostafavi brings his own brand of controversy to the position–while at Cornell and the AA, a number of faculty members left after disputes with him.