Drew Gilpin Faust made history on Sunday when she was confirmed as Harvard University’s first female president, but her impact may extend beyond Cambridge and onto the Hilltop.

Georgetown plans to take some cues on educational reforms from Harvard University’s next president, according to University Provost James O’Donnell.

Faust said in a press release that she is planning an extensive academic overhaul that includes an undergraduate curriculum with more variety and a new advising system. Georgetown’s Provost, James O’Donnell, said that Georgetown is also hoping to make educational reforms and may look to Harvard for leadership on those issues.

“We’re looking [at] a lot of work on pedagogy and teacher-related issues,” O’Donnell said. “We do our own business. But we will look at what Harvard does and where it goes. If there are opportunities, we’ll try to seize them.”

O’Donnell, who worked with Faust when they were both faculty members at the University of Pennsylvania from 1981 to 2001, said that he believed Faust was the most qualified candidate for the influential position.

“They chose her because she was the best one for the job,” O’Donnell said. “At the end of the day, you don’t pick someone for this job unless they are the best candidate – a strong leader, collaborative leader [and] a national leader.”

O’Donnell also noted that Faust is already well established in the network of administrators at institutions across America. He said that the top 100 or 150 institutions each have 10 or 15 primary administrators who meet at board meetings and organizations nationwide.

Linda Chao, a freshman economics major at Harvard University, says signs of change have already manifested themselves on campus.

“There’s the curricular reviews and the expansion of the college at Allston and the new science buildings,” Chao said. “Faust already has made an impact on the future of the university because it’s a time of change right now.”

Chao also said Harvard students are aware of the influence their university has on other institutions of higher learning, sometimes to an unsettling extent.

“When the college announced that it was doing away with early action, Princeton immediately followed suit,” Chao said. “I feel like the college is watched very closely. I feel like we’re in a fishbowl or something.”

Jen Nguyen (COL ’09) said that she believes the new Harvard president’s decisions will impact American higher education.

“Any policy she implements under Harvard will definitely have a ripple effect on the Ivy League, depending on how the media spins it,” Nguyen said.

According to a press release, a Harvard committee, which included Georgetown Law Professor and Harvard College Fellow Patricia King, began a presidential search process in the spring of last year.

Faust will officially take over from interim president Derek Bok on July 1.

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