Harvard general counsel Robert Iuliano to lead Gettysburg College

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Robert W. Iuliano, Harvard’s senior vice president, general counsel, and deputy to the president, has been selected as Gettysburg College’s 15th president, the school announced Wednesday.

Iuliano ’83, who returned to Harvard in 1994 and has served five presidents, played a vital role in issues ranging from the legal challenge to diversity in the College admissions process to the return of ROTC to campus, the advent of online education, and inclusion and belonging efforts.

“Bob Iuliano is one of the most talented leaders with whom I have ever been privileged to work,” said Harvard President Larry Bacow. “He cares deeply about students and undergraduate education. He is a gifted teacher and a fabulous leader. He also is incredibly decent, principled, and humble. Gettysburg has chosen well.

“Bob has contributed immeasurably to Harvard during his 25-year career here,” Bacow added. “I have come to rely on Bob’s sage advice during my tenure as both a member of the Corporation and now as president. He is not only a great lawyer; he has become a great friend. I, and all of Harvard, will miss him.”

Among Iuliano’s key contributions is his oversight of the University’s legal strategy, most recently in his leadership of Harvard’s response to the lawsuit challenging the College’s consideration of race in admissions.

He was instrumental in bringing back formal recognition of ROTC on campus after a decades-long absence, negotiating agreements with the Army, Navy, and Air Force after the repeal of the federal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy on sexuality in 2011. He similarly played a formative role in the 2010 review of Harvard’s governing boards, which resulted in the most significant structural changes there since its founding in the middle of the 17th century. Iuliano also assisted the search committee for Harvard’s 28th and 29th presidents.

He has overseen the University Police Department and has managed a number of University initiatives and committees, including efforts to strengthen Title IX regulations as well as the Presidential Task Force on Inclusion and Belonging.

In 2012, Iuliano partnered with the provost and other academic leaders to help launch edX, Harvard’s transformational online learning partnership with MIT, which grew to support more than 1.6 million registrants in 195 countries only two years after launching. Since then, he has led a review of the University’s relationships and responsibilities with nontraditional and nondegree learners, including its online students.

Drew Faust, Harvard president emerita and Arthur Kingsley Porter University Professor, lauded Iuliano’s commitment to higher education and to Harvard, saying his “wisdom, humaneness, and dedication to the mission of higher education have strengthened Harvard over more than two decades. Congratulations to Gettysburg College for its brilliant selection of this remarkable leader and wonderful human being.”