Bacow spoke after being introduced as Harvard’s 29th president on Sunday afternoon during a news conference at Harvard’s Barker Center. Bacow, who was Tufts president from 2001 to 2011 and previously chancellor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), was appointed Sunday by a vote of the Harvard Corporation, in consultation with the Board of Overseers. His presidency begins July 1.Bacow, a lawyer, economist, and environmental policy expert who served on MIT’s faculty for 24 years, not only knows higher education, but knows Harvard as well. Bacow holds three Harvard degrees — a J.D. and an M.P.P., both earned in 1976, and a Ph.D. in public policy in 1978. He has served on the Corporation since 2011 and has been president-in-residence at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. He’s currently the Hauser Leader-in-Residence at Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership.

“I really see this as an opportunity to not just serve Harvard, but at this particular moment in time, to serve higher education,” Bacow said. “These are tough times, and it’s the first time in my lifetime when people have questioned the value of going to college, have questioned whether it’s a worthy investment for students and their families, questioned whether or not colleges and universities are worthy of our support.”

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