By Haley Hadge
University President F. Javier Cevallos accepted a position in the President-in-Residence Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education for Academic Year 2022-23.
Cevallos received a call from the program’s director and said he “thought it was an interesting opportunity.”
According to the Harvard Graduate School of Education website, the program was launched in 2001 by Professor Judith Block McLaughlin.
The goal of the program is “to anchor academic discussions in higher education with real-world experience,” according to the site.
Cevallos said this position will give him a chance “to think, to reflect, and just to see what the last 20 years have meant in terms of my professional career.”
He added he will be able to share his expertise with students who want to be higher education administrators.
In this part-time position, Cevallos will be participating in classes, having office hours with students, and sharing his experiences with them.
Cevallos said he has been in other mentor programs throughout his career and will be able to bring his experience to the Presidents-in-Residence Program.
He said he has participated in the Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI) over the past 18 years of his career.
According to the MLI website, it provides “individuals traditionally underrepresented in the highest ranks of higher education the opportunity to develop skills, gain a philosophical overview and build the network needed to advance to the presidency.”
Cevallos said he has also been involved with the American Council on Education Fellows Program (ACE).
Recently, he has mentored ACE education fellows and has written about his experience in the program.
“Helping people think about higher education and their career path is something that I am really interested in and involved with,” he said.
Cevallos added although he is adept in the role of mentorship, this will place his mentorship in a new “context” – “a class at a higher educational school.”
He will be joined by Amherst College President Carolyn “Biddy” Martin. He said they have not yet had a chance to work together, but “this is going to be a fascinating opportunity for me to get to know her and to learn from her as well.”
Cevallos added they are scheduled to meet in April “to chat, to plan, and anticipate” the fall semester.
He said when he began his career as a professor of Latin American studies, his fieldwork was very literature-heavy.
Because of this, he said he “never thought” his career would lead to the path of becoming an administrator.
“I had tenure, I was promoted to full professor, and all of a sudden, I thought, ‘Let me try something different,’” he said.
Cevallos said he has had many mentors throughout his career. When he made his career shift from faculty to administration, he said he had to “work in different ways” and he is “grateful” to the mentors who helped him navigate that transition.
Having witnessed many sides of education, he said, “I’m really honored to have been asked to do this.”
Following his President-in-Residence position, he said he plans to consult on a part-time basis and wants to help institutions in any way he can.
In preparation for his position in the fall, he said he will “rest, get ready, and just see what happens in the future.”
He added this will be a “really nice way to close my career.”