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Deputy Provost Harris To Obama Administration

As we hinted at yesterday, David Harris will be leaving Cornell next month. As the Sun reports:

Deputy Provost David Harris has been appointed to a new position in the Obama Administration and will vacate his Cornell post on Mar. 19, he confirmed to The Sun Friday.

Harris will serve as the deputy assistant secretary for human services policy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the Department of Health and Human Services.

The Office of Human Services policy “focuses on welfare, poverty, service delivery issues, data for research, policies affecting children, youth, and families, and economic matters affecting the [HHS], according to its website.

Harris will specifically be working on improving the effectiveness of the federal government's anti-poverty programs, no doubt due to his interest in the persistence of poverty among minority groups. It's an interesting time to be in the field, as the Obama administration has recently started publishing new definitions of poverty.

This is certainly an excellent opportunity for Harris, but no doubt a significant blow to the University. By all accounts, Harris was held in high esteem both in Ithaca and across academia. And he has spearheaded the University's goal to strengthen and unify its fragmented social science units. So his leadership would have been welcome as the 'Reimagining' project moves towards its implementation phase.

We'll hopefully be featuring a conversation with Harris before he begins in D.C., but until then, readers can read our two-part interview with him from two years ago.

Matthew Nagowski | Posted on March 12, 2010 (#)

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