Archive | July, 2012

Setting Back the University

14 Jul

When Harvard encouraged library staff over the age of 55 to take a “Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Package” earlier this year, administrators directed this package at the most knowledgeable and experienced professionals. As a result of Harvard’s cost-cutting measures, 65 out of 280 eligible staff members (33%) have left the university library system forever. These were the people who best knew how Harvard’s libraries operated, having worked for years learning the ins and outs of a highly complex system. In total, the Harvard Library Transition Team, led by Provost Alan Garber, Mary Lee Kennedy, and Helen Shenton, have set back the University by more than 1,460  years. This loss of institutional knowledge is unacceptable.

(For a list of staff who have taken the VERIP and their years of service, click here.)