Skip to main content

Statement on Report of Harvard Committee on Employment and Contracting Policies

The Harvard Committee on Employment and Contracting Policies, chaired by Professor Lawrence Katz, today released its final report, voted unanimously by the committee. It is a comprehensive and very constructive document that outlines a promising direction for the future.

I welcome the committee’s clear statement that Harvard’s on-campus service workers are “integral contributors to the University’s mission.” As members of our community, they deserve appropriate compensation, quality of work life, and opportunities for education and training. With regard to improving the economic circumstances of the lowest wage service workers on this campus – a goal I support — the committee considered a range of options and concluded that strengthening collective bargaining is the best way to achieve that objective.

I want to express my personal thanks to Professor Katz for his extraordinary leadership in guiding the work of this broadly representative committee to a unanimous conclusion within a very compressed time frame. I also want to thank the members of the committee for their dedication and for the rigor with which they have worked through complex issues. The entire University owes the committee a debt of gratitude.

At the Committee’s request, the University will defer action on specific recommendations until the conclusion of a comment period, which extends through Friday, January 18. In the meantime, I intend to consult with deans, administrators, and others regarding the issues raised and approaches suggested in the report. Following the comment period, we will move promptly to implement appropriate measures.

I encourage anyone who has been concerned with issues relating to compensation for lower-wage workers to read this report with care. Thoughtful comments and suggestions will be welcome. They should be directed to a special email account at, or, by regular mail to: Office of the President, Harvard University, Massachusetts Hall, Cambridge, MA 02138, ATTN: HCECP COMMENTS.