The aim of the class ''Overview of Harvard University Finances'' is to provide Harvard community members with a clearer picture of how Harvard's finances work.
The class is framed by three parts:
- Organizational context
- Financial context
- Higher education industry context
From an organizational perspective, Harvard University is a highly complex organization that includes 12 primary academic units, each of which runs as its own organization and manages its own finances. From a financial context, Harvard University is comparatively wealthy, but it's complicated by multiple factors which include (a) a multitude of stakeholders have claims on its resources (b) there are many restrictions on how resources can be used, and (c) the distribution of wealth throughout Schools and Units is uneven.Finally, from an industry context, the higher education sector is currently experiencing revenue pressures and a high degree of uncertainty; while Harvard University has historically navigated these risks well, it is not immune to these pressures.
The ultimate goal of this class is to better equip community members at every level of the University to make better decisions with the resources we have at our disposal.