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Harvard's new president tasked with fending off doubt on higher education

WASHINGTON, Feb 12,2018 (BSS/XINHUA) - The U.S. university of Harvard on Sunday named Lawrence Bacow its next president, saying he will lead the school to counter doubts and challenges against higher education.

William Lee, chairman of the presidential search committee, said Bacow was picked "when the singular value of higher education and university research has too often been challenged and called into doubt" and that Bacow will provide "skillful leadership, strategic thinking, and disciplined execution" needed in such times.

Bacow will assume the position on July 1, replacing Drew Faust, who has been in the seat for 11 years as Harvard's first female president.

"The Harvard I have known has always stood for at least three things: the pursuit of truth, an unwavering commitment to excellence, and opportunity," Bacow said, adding that these guiding ideals have never been more important in a divided nation.

Bacow, 66, is a native of Pontiac, Michigan, and son of immigrants. He has attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard, earning a PhD in public policy from the latter.

Bacow now serves as the Hauser Leader-in-Residence at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government's Center for Public Leadership, after serving 10 years as the president of Tufts University.