Bharat Anand appointed as Harvard’s vice provost for advances in learning

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Bharat Anand (Courtesy: Harvard University)

Indian American Bharat Anand, who is currently a professor at the Harvard Business School, has been appointed as the University’s new vice provost for advances in learning (VPAL).

According to a press release, the Henry R. Byers Professor of Business Administration, will assume his new position as of October, as Peter Bol, the Charles H. Carswell Professor of East Asian Languages, wants to go back to teaching and research; he was in the position since the program’s launch five years ago with efforts to leverage technology to create more effective teaching tools, strategies and resources.

Anand has co-created the HBX, the Harvard Business School digital learning initiative, for which he has been the faculty chair for since 2013 and is now looking forward to the challenge and opportunities of his new University-wide role.

“Harvard has been a hotbed of innovations in pedagogy and learning during the last few years. It’s a good time to take stock of what we’ve learned from these various projects and how this might inform our future efforts, while also recognizing that we are still probably in the early stages of imagining and shaping what the future of higher education will eventually look like. I’m looking forward to working with the many colleagues across the University who care deeply about these questions, and seeing how I can help with those efforts,” Anand is quoted, saying in the press release.

“He is a distinguished scholar of organizational strategy and digital change, and he is an accomplished teacher, having twice received the HBS Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence. Over the years that I have known Bharat, I have been continually impressed by his leadership and strategic insight, his ability to innovate and collaborate, and his deep analytic skills,” Provost Alan Garber said in a statement following the announcement.

The office of the vice provost for advances in learning was established in 2013 to oversee initiatives such as HarvardX, the University’s online learning platform.

HarvardX is Harvard’s contribution to the edX collaboration, in which more than 100 universities, nonprofits, corporations, and international organizations provide free online courses to students around the world.

Today, edX offers 1,900 courses that reach 14 million learners.

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