Harvard University Provost Steven Hyman plans to step down in June to return to research and teaching. He will have served in the post for 10 years, which he says is twice as long as he had planned.
A psychiatrist and neuroscientist, Hyman was hired by then-Harvard President Larry Summers in 2001, who wanted him to break down barriers between the university's scientists. Hyman did just that, creating a department of stem cell and regenerative biology that was the university's first department bridging arts and sciences with the medical school. But construction of a multibillion-dollar interdisciplinary science and engineering campus across the river in Allston stalled last year due to the recession, sparking tensions among biologists.
Hyman, 58, said in a letter yesterday to Harvard faculty and staff members that he was ready to move on after a long career as an administrator. Before coming to Harvard, he was director of the National Institute of Mental Health from 1996 to 2001. In July, he will start a 1-year sabbatical at the Broad Institute, the genomics center affiliated with Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Hyman also wants to teach an undergraduate course in neuroscience ethics and policy.