A timely break

first_imgA timely breakOn 1 May 2001 in Personnel Today With the latest twist in the saga of the Working Time directive, willemployers really have to offer short-term holiday entitlement from dayone?  Stephen Levinson provides sometimely answersCharacters Frances: a solicitor. Bill: her client, an HR director. Scene Frances’ soulless office on a damp spring evening. Her thoughts areturning to the summer and the holiday brochures waiting for her at home whenthe phone rings… F: Hello… B: Hi Frances, Bill here, how are you? F: Nothing so wrong a good holiday would not cure… And you? B: Oh, like that is it? As it happens I want to talk to you aboutholidays so that should cheer you up. F: Going to offer me the director’s villa in Barbados, Bill? Abouttime…you are right, you will cheer me up. B: Is that a lawyer’s urban myth then… all director’s have aCaribbean bolt-hole? It is about something more prosaic… our market researchdivision. We take on a fair number of researchers and managers on short termcontracts and… F: (Butting in quickly) You are going to ask me about the Bectu*case… B: Frances, do you know how irritating that can be, even when you areright? Yes it is about Bectu. I have been asked to find out what can be done. Iunderstand that the European Court has decided that everyone is now entitled tofour weeks holiday from day one. That will put some of our project costs overbudget and we may have to think about recharging customers. Have I got itright? F: Not exactly Bill. The advocate general has proposed that the13-week qualifying period is incompatible with the Working Time directive andunlawful. His opinion will be taken into account by the ECJ but there is noformal decision yet… and the law in the private sector is still that there isno entitlement to holiday pay until thirteen weeks have been worked. B: So how long will that last… the ECJ usually follows the AdvocateGeneral’s opinion, doesn’t it? F: Yes… I think the statistics are that they do that in about 80per cent of cases. It is unclear when the court will give a decision but weshould have it by the summer. B: Just in time for the holiday season then. Do you think we will getthis one into the 20 per cent bracket? F: Not where my money is going, Bill. I think the odds are on the lawchanging. B: Why? F: The case is really part of a very long running saga going back tothe previous government. Do you recall John Major calling all of the WorkingTime legislation “complete nonsense” and the attempt to annul thedirective on the grounds that it had been introduced on a false premise andthat it was really not based on health and safety? B: I can remember that well… the UK lost its case and theregulation was eventually introduced by Labour in 1998. But all that is oldhistory, why is it relevant? F: I think the court takes an integration approach to issues likethis. It will not be keen on the UK having rules for workers that are markedlymore relaxed than the other member states because that upsets the level playingfield that is supposed to exist in a common market. B: You mean we will not be allowed to have a more favourable regimefor employers than other member states? F: Yes, it is only a part of the reasoning but I think that it isinfluential, Bill. B: But Frances, how come a Labour government brought in the 13-weekqualifying rule in the first place? F: The directive says that the measures to be taken by member statesshould be in accordance with conditions laid down by the member states. Boththe last government and the present one seem to have been advised that thisentitled them to provide for a qualifying period. They both wanted to allow forthe “burden on business”. The Conservatives proposed 49 weeks andLabour went for 13 weeks. B: So they both got it wrong. What were the reasons for the advocategeneral’s decision? F: The first point in the argument was that the entitlement to paidholiday was a fundamental social right. B: Who would argue with that? F: Our beloved government for starters. Anyway the advocate generalpointed out that an entitlement to paid holiday is provided for in the EuropeanCharter of Fundamental Rights. B: I thought that was not legally binding? F: Right again, Bill. If you remember, Keith Vaz said it would haveas much importance as something written in The Beano. But it looks now as if hewas quite wrong. B: How so? F: Because the advocate general reasoned that if something is afundamental social right and recognised as such by the Community it cannot becorrect for a member state to have rules that effectively mean that certainworkers are deprived entirely of the right to a paid holiday. Either it isfundamental or it is not. In Bectu most of the members work on contracts thatlast less than 13 weeks and are never entitled to paid annual leave. B: I see, anything else? F: He also pointed out that the effect of the rule was to introduce adistinction between the employment relationships of employees on a fixed termcontract and those working under contracts of unspecified duration. B: Didn’t like that? F: He called it “surreptitious” Bill. He argued that such adistinction was not mentioned in the Directive; cannot be inferred and isparticularly inappropriate when dealing with a fundamental right. B: Who is this man? What did he say the right to make conditions didmean? I cannot say I blame the Government about getting that wrong, the wordsmust mean something. F: Generous of you, Bill. Tizzano is the name and he gave a littlelist or rather approved the list that was suggested by the Commission. B: Good name for what he has done. Go on then, amaze me with yourlist. F: You can provide rules to allow employers to plan holiday periods;to require advance notice; to have a way to calculate a pro rata entitlement ifyou have worked for less than a year, and to set out a minimum period ofemployment before leave can be taken. B: Come again on that last one, did I hear you correctly? F: A requirement of a minimum period of employment before leave canbe taken. B: Oh, I see. You accrue the right from day one but cannot takeholiday until you have worked, say, three months. F: I think that is right. B: What will the overall effect of all of this be, Frances? F: Probably one for you rather than me Bill, but it is bound to havea big impact on agency workers, in a £20bn market. All employers will have toeither absorb the extra costs or pass them on to the customer. Saving expensessuch as holiday costs was one of the things that made using agency workersattractive. B: There are plenty of other advantages, Frances and I suppose itwill be the same for everyone. F: As long as the work cannot be exported outside the EC. But, Billhave I answered your questions? B: Could we get round all this by making all of our researchersself-employed? F: No chance, Bill. The regulations apply to all “workers”,so that is not a runner. B: Looks like I will be stuck with it then. Can I be sued for notpaying it now? F: No, as I said the law has not changed yet. The effect of the ECJ’sdecision will be that the UK will have failed to implement the directive in sofar as it relates to annual holidays. A government employee can sue based onthe directive. B: But our employees will not be able to sue us because we are not anemanation of the State? F: Spot on. But don’t think it will take long for the Government toact. B: Why not? F: Because, in theory, anyone who suffers a loss attributable to theGovernment’s failure to implement the directive can sue the Government andrecover damages for that loss and there must be hundreds of thousands ofworkers who will be in that position. B: That could keep the small claims courts busy. F: Yes it would. So your position is that a liability to giveholidays to workers with less than 13 weeks service will begin when the newregulations are made and not before. B: Thanks Frances, I’d better get back to some contingency planningand you can hit the brochures! F: Bye Bill. Stephen Levinson is a partner with KLegal, the law firm associated withKPMG * Case C-173/99, Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematographic and TheatreUnion v Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (8 February 2001) Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

…in brief

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article This week’s news in briefEffects of terrorism The findings of a new CBI/Mori poll of 250 top executives shows just howdeep the wounds of 11 September are proving to be for British business. Morethan 60 per cent admit that the attacks have damaged business prospects, with athird of companies expecting a serious impact on demand. HSE guide cuts stress The Health and Safety Executive has launched new guidelines to help smallfirms prevent work-related stress. The leaflet, Work-Related Stress: A ShortGuide, uses a question and answer format to provide practical advice on issuesrelating to stress at work. It covers a range of topics including anexplanation of what stress is and what causes it as well as employers’ legalduties over stress.  www.hse.gov.ukManufacturing fall Manufacturing output in the UK last month fell by the largest amount fornearly a decade. Figures from the Office for National Statistics show thatoutput reduced by 1.6 per cent in September, the biggest monthly fall since May1992. There were significant reductions in electrical and optical equipment,paper, printing, publishing, computers and the mobile phone industry.  www.statistics.gov.ukAwards tackle bias The Department for Work and Pensions is urging recruitment consultancies toenter the Age Positive Recruitment Awards of Excellence 2001. The awards, whichtake place later this year, are part of a wider campaign to challengeemployers’ prejudices towards age. For more details call 08457 330360 or [email protected]’ pay resolved A dispute between CHC Scotia and the British Airline Pilots’ Association(Balpa) over the difference in pay between helicopter pilots andbetter-rewarded commercial airline pilots is set to be resolved. The partieshave agreed terms on a revised deal that has been sent to Balpa membersemployed by Scotia with a recommendation that they vote for acceptance.  www.balpa.org.uk …in briefOn 13 Nov 2001 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more

Dixie State Football Prepares For RMAC Media Day Wednesday

first_img Brad James Written by Tags: Alex Lilliard/Denver Broncos/Dixie State Football/Paul Peterson/RMAC Football/Sei-J Lauago/UCHealth Training Center/VA Center FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailDENVER-Wednesday, Dixie State football, in its last season as a Division II program, will participate at Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Media Day at the Denver Broncos’ UCHealth Training Center in Denver.This event will feature all 11 head coaches of RMAC football programs, including Trailblazers head coach Paul Peterson.Peterson will be joined by Dixie State senior tailback Sei-J Lauago and senior linebacker Alex Lillard.The Trailblazers’ representatives will address the media at 10:25 am.Tuesday evening, representatives from all RMAC schools will gather for a community engagement event at the VA Center in Denver. July 22, 2019 /Sports News – Local Dixie State Football Prepares For RMAC Media Day Wednesdaylast_img read more

Is Hoboken a sanctuary city–or isn’t it?

first_imgDear Editor:Is Hoboken a sanctuary city–or isn’t it? You would think that the answer to this question. would be clear and transparent.In a recent Hoboken Reporter article (1/29/2017) Mayor Dawn Zimmer is quoted as saying “Hoboken has not taken any formal action with respect to sanctuary city status.” She went on to say “However, Hoboken is fully committed to providing for the health and safety of all its residents regardless of their immigration status.”Does this mean that in certain cases local police are not to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement? Does this mean that in “certain cases” Hoboken is a sanctuary city?The president has stated his intention not to provide federal funding to sanctuary cities. With all the federal funding expected by Hoboken for flood control in the future, it seems to this observer that the mayor better think this issue through very carefully.Sincerely,Donald T. Meslerlast_img read more

Fat under fire

first_imgHealth may appear to be the driving force in bakery lately, but the main thing bakers are after when it comes to fats and oils is performance. After all, there is little point in producing pastry with an incredibly low fat content if it’s going to taste like cardboard.The challenge for manufacturers of fats and oils is to reduce the fat content, while maintaining all the same qualities as before. ADM, one of the largest oil-producing companies in the UK, makes up around a third of the total market. Technical director Rob Winwood explains that the world of fats and oils for use in bakery products has changed significantly in recent years, partly due to pressure from consumers for healthier products, as well as an increased demand by supermarkets for them. Issues such as allergies and GM concerns also pose restrictions. “If we look back 10 years, we would probably only see around 4-5% of our products still being produced today,” he says.Legislation has also had some effect on the sector. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has set stricter targets on the levels of fat in products. Broadly speaking, the aims of the FSA, as laid out in its Saturated Fat and Energy Intake Programme, are to reduce the average intake of saturated fat from the current level of 13.3% of food energy to below 11% by 2010 for everyone aged over five. But as Winwood points out, fat cannot suddenly be cut down; it is key to the way products perform.ADM stopped using hydrogenated fat around two years ago and has developed its NovaLipid range of solutions, which includes lower saturated fat and additive-free options. Winwood says the switch to non-hydrogenated fat has been a major change and not without its problems. In most cases, it has been possible to achieve an exact match, he says, but it has not been an easy process and there are still areas where it is almost impossible. “For example, if you want to make a chocolate couverture product, these were traditionally based on hardened palm kernel oil, which is a very strong, tough material and has particularly nice melt-in-the-mouth characteristics,” says Winwood. “The problem is, there is no really good alternative. You can get something that works, but it doesn’t quite do the same thing.”The main criteria for fats and oils are that they perform, agrees David Astles, marketing manager for artisan, BakeMark. He says the drive towards healthier products has been a mixture of baker, consumer and industry demand. “However, the majority of bakers are not as concerned by these issues until they are driven by the consumer, either directly or via the supermarkets, which are now specifying reduced fat and salt levels.”Stephen Bickmore, Vandemoortele’s UK commercial manager, believes that products with lower-fat content and healthier benefits are not really being driven by the craft bakery sector, which lags behind the plant sector. “It’s mainly the industrial bakeries that are asking for these products, because if they’re supplying places like Marks & Spencer, that’s what they’re looking for,” he says.Ingredients manufacturer, Vandemoortele, has long since ditched hydrogenated fats, and now offers a range of reduced-fat and clean-label products. It has also switched from using citric acid to natural alternatives such as lemon juice. “We have a range where we’ve reduced the level of fat in the margarine from 80% down to, potentially, 60%, without losing the quality of the product,” says Bickmore.One of the obstacles to growing the market for lower-fat products, he says, has been the economic climate, resulting in bakers trying to cut costs. Achieving high-quality products with an excellent mouthfeel but with reduced-fat content is possible by adding certain ingredients – fat replacers – but Bickmore explains that the additional cost can put bakers off. “Sometimes there is a cost attached to that kind of quality,” he says, adding that, at the moment, companies are focused on keeping costs down and often don’t have the time or resources to test out all the products available to them.Changing industry standards and consumer tastes will continue to drive NPD in this sector. For example, this November, BakeMark will be launching Melanges, a mixture between margarine and butter, which contains all-natural ingredients. And Vandemoortele is working towards achieving less than 50% fat in its products.”It will also be incumbent on us to advise our customers on how they can revise their formulation, to achieve these lower fat levels,” says ADM’s Winwood, who believes the combination of new products and the education of bakers on how to use them is the key to meeting lower fat targets.There is no denying that consumers and the baking industry alike will continue to demand products with healthier credentials, but maintaining quality will also continue to be high on the agenda.—-=== Palm oil – sustainability issues ===Around 28m of the 95m tonnes of vegetable oil produced per year is palm oil, which can only be produced in certain tropical areas in Asia, Africa and South America. It is an edible plant oil derived from the fruit of the Arecaceae Elaeis oil palm. However, the destruction of rainforests for its production is reported to be having disastrous effects on the eco-system and, on a larger scale, is said to be affecting global warming. ADM has joined a number of other large oil producers in an organisation called the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), which is to work towards ensuring sustainable palm oil production for the future. For more information please visit [http://www.rspo.org].last_img read more

Macphie: sales up, profits fall due to increased costs

first_imgMacphie, the Scottish foods ingredient group, saw its operating profit fall by almost a third because of an increase in raw material and distribution costs – despite an increase in turnover.The company has revealed that its operating profit for the year to March 2011 was £1.4m, down from £2m the year, which was short of the board’s expectations.The company was heavily impacted by soaring costs – including sugar up by 40% in a year and butter prices doubling since 2007 – explained the company. However, despite these massive increases Macphie saw its turnover improve by 6.9% from £41.8m in 2010 to £44.7m for the year to March 2011.Alastair Macphie, chief executive of the group, said: “Despite difficult market conditions, we are seeing an encouraging sales trend, we have a resilient balance sheet and very low borrowings.“Our sales growth is being undermined by the continued downward pressure on margins. We are caught between the pincers of raw material price increases being imposed on us by suppliers and the time delay or resistance in passing these onto the retailers and foodservice customers. Therein lies the challenge.”He added that the results had also been compounded by investing in an upgrade to Macphie’s UHT plant, plus an additional cost to replenish its supply chain.Macphie added: “The eating out of home market continues to grow, which marries with our strategic direction. We do not anticipate 2012 to be in anyway easy, but as demonstrated over the last few years, we will continue to strengthen our market position through new product innovation and improving our communication to customers.” During the year Macphie made its first foray into direct retailing with the launch of its DeviliShh brand of desserts. The company has secured national listings with 223 Waitrose stores and won a string of industry awards including the Marketing Society, The Grocer, Grampian Food Forum and two Great Taste Gold awards.last_img read more

When three is also one

first_imgWhen the Harvard Art Museums’ newly renovated and expanded facility reopens, probably in late 2013, it will better realize the dream of all those — art scholars and admirers alike — who envision Harvard’s dynamic collections operating in perfect tandem.Once the project at 32 Quincy St. is complete, visitors for the first time will be able to experience the University’s three distinct art museums under one roof. The new project will bring together the Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Arthur M. Sackler museums on one site, increasing accessibility to the collections, enhancing curatorial collaboration, and further developing the role of the museums in Harvard’s undergraduate curriculum.“One of the great drivers behind this project has been to bring our three collections, the Fogg, the Busch-Reisinger, and the Sackler, into much greater interaction with one another,” said Thomas W. Lentz, Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director of the Harvard Art Museums. “Bringing them into greater interactivity and greater dialogue will go a long way toward unleashing the vast potentials of this collection as a teaching and learning tool.”But while the museums will be united under one roof and under the Harvard Art Museums umbrella moniker, museum officials are quick to note that each will retain an individual presence in the newly renovated and expanded space.“No one should ever think that the Fogg, the Busch-Reisinger, and the Sackler are going away — they aren’t,” said Lentz. “Each will still have its own distinct identity and its own critical mass. But what we want to do is make the borders between these three museums much more porous.”The new facility will encourage collaboration and interdisciplinary work. It will have increased gallery space, a dedicated study center for each of the three museums, classrooms, seminar rooms, a public education room, and state-of- the-art storage space. The Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies will occupy new space on the upper floors, and a 300-seat auditorium will be located on the lower level.Relocating the Sackler Museum so that it is proximate to the Busch-Reisinger and the Fogg will also accomplish the University’s long-term goal of allowing visitors to experience the Sackler’s celebrated collection of ancient, Asian, Islamic, and later Indian art in direct relation to the Western collections of the Fogg and Busch-Reisinger.Arthur M. Sackler, who died in 1987, was a physician known for pioneering research and was also a committed philanthropist who was passionate about art­, particularly Asian art and its importance on the world stage. In the 1980s, the New York native gave millions to Harvard to create an appropriate setting for its collection of Asian art.The building in which the Sackler is now located is the work of British architect James Stirling, and is one of only five buildings that Stirling completed in the United States during his career. Renowned for his postmodern style, Stirling is considered one of the most influential and innovative architects of the 20th century.But one important feature of the building plan never came to fruition. At the building’s main entrance on Broadway, two massive concrete cylindrical centurions flank the front door. Above them hovers a large square window. Those flourishes were meant as much for function as for flair — Stirling’s original design included a pedestrian passage that would span the busy Broadway below and act as a walkway, gallery space, and a connection to the Fogg. The concrete columns were part of the planned support for this elevated gallery, and the large window was to have been the central entrance to the building. But local opposition in the 1980s put a halt to the plans and the linking of the three museums was never completed.Over the years, visitor numbers have shown that the Sackler, by virtue of its separate location, was being sadly overlooked.“What we found was that far fewer people were going to the Sackler Museum just because it was across the street,” said Daron Manoogian, director of communications for Harvard Art Museums. “When both the Fogg and the Busch-Reisinger were open at 32 Quincy St., the Sackler was receiving about one-fifth the amount of visitors.”In the new configuration, the Sackler will occupy a prominent location at the corner of Broadway and Prescott, and visitors will be able to move seamlessly among the museums, making connections and expanding their visual horizons as was originally intended.Visitor experiences also will be enhanced by some long-awaited amenities. The original entrance to the Fogg on Quincy Street and a new public entrance on Prescott will lead visitors into the central courtyard, where they will find a new café and museum shop. A large central stairway and new elevators will make all five floors of public space easily accessible for all.“The new facility will be a major new platform for the visual arts at Harvard that puts our great collections in greater alignment with the University’s educational mission,” said Lentz.While the renovation and expansion project is under way, the Stirling building is open, displaying a variety of objects drawn from the collections of the three museums. University officials are working with museum officials and members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences to ensure that after the new facility is completed, the Stirling building, which will continue to bear Sackler’s name, remains dedicated to the visual arts.last_img read more

With nature in mind

first_imgThis is part of a series about Harvard’s deep connections with Asia.SHANGHAI — A manmade stream that draws from Shanghai’s Huangpu River takes in water so polluted it shouldn’t be touched. The stream slows the water, aerates it, and filters it through vegetation, until it emerges clean enough that people can swim in it.The project, called Houtan Park, runs a mile along the riverbank through what was once an urban brownfield, a former industrial site and scar on the urban landscape that is similar to many others in cities around the world.The park, toured by Harvard President Drew Faust during a visit in 2010, is the brainchild of Kongjian Yu, a Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) alumnus, dean of architecture and landscape architecture at Peking University, and design critic in landscape architecture and urban design at the GSD. His environmental approach to landscape architecture has won him international acclaim.Yu, who leads a team that teaches an annual GSD design studio focusing on the problems presented by China’s rapid urbanization, espouses a philosophy that would have planners consider the environment first.His environmental bent extends beyond today’s drumbeat to protect nature to encompass a more utilitarian focus. Undisturbed, nature provides many services, he says, and it only makes sense to appreciate what nature already gives us and encompass those factors into design before deciding what to change.This is a break from traditional design, which can obliterate the natural world and then be forced to add back environmental services such as storm water drainage and erosion control by building more expensive, manmade systems. By considering nature first, Yu believes, not only can some of those systems be provided more cheaply, but in a more environmentally friendly fashion as well.In a book published last year on Yu’s work, author William Saunders called Yu “a major (if not the major) progressive force in contemporary landscape architecture,” continuing, “He addresses the greatest need of our time: transforming human interaction with the Earth from something suicidally indifferent to natural forces into something that responds to those forces with respect and cooperation.”The approach taken at Houtan Park, for example, uses natural processes to clean water so polluted it is unsafe for swimming and unable to support aquatic life. By the time the water filters its way through environmentally sensitive Houtan Park, however, it has improved from a level-five designation to a level-three — still not drinkable, but safe for swimming and for watering plants.The park, designed through Yu’s firm Turenscape, is a model for a vast nation where 75 percent of the surface water is polluted.“This is only a demonstration,” Yu said. “A park cannot only be beautiful, it can be functional. … We should consider the landscape as infrastructure that can provide free services.”Stephen Ervin, the GSD’s assistant dean for information technology, taught Yu in the early ’90s and now is part of the team teaching the design studio with Yu. Since Yu is not resident on campus during the semester and has duties at Peking University, the team approach is critical to the studio’s success. In addition to Yu and Ervin, the studio includes Adrian Blackwell, visiting assistant professor of landscape architecture and urban planning and design. Yu visits several times a semester, and keeps in touch electronically at other times. He also leads an annual field trip of students from his GSD studio and from Peking University.In past years, the studios have tackled design problems near Beijing stemming from the city’s rapid growth. At the end of each semester, the students’ ideas are presented to city leaders, though Ervin stressed that the presentations are a result of an academic exercise emphasizing visionary and out-of-the-box ideas, not a contracted service, and so they may or may not contain immediately useful elements. This year, the dozen students in the class joined Yu and Peking University students in Guangzhou, a city of 13 million on the Pearl River.Once there, students toured an ancient, 3,000-acre orchard that has survived urbanization and whose future is being considered by city leaders.“Students’ proposals in these studios have to consider and integrate a huge range of factors, just as Yu’s professional work does, from the form of urban buildings and transportation systems to natural hydrological systems, cultural practices, and aesthetics,” Ervin said. “These are impossibly complicated problems to which there is no right answer.”Heather Dunbar, a student in the studio, said she wasn’t prepared for the sheer scale of Guangzhou, though she had a sense that she might have been looking at an example of what a more urbanized world will one day look like.“We just have no idea of the scale of urbanism” there, Dunbar said. “This area is one of the most urbanized areas in the world. This is the future.”Mike O’Neill, another student in the class, is drafting a proposal to preserve the green space but increase population density around it, using the orchard as a resource to relieve the pressures of urban life for nearby residents. He cited Yu’s philosophy in saying city leaders should consider the environmental services the orchard already provides before they move ahead with planning.“We think there’s a lot of potential. It’s a resource Guangzhou should not squander,” O’Neill said.last_img read more

Richard Pipes, 94

first_imgAt a Meeting of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences on December 4, 2018, the following tribute to the life and service of the late Richard Edgar Pipes was placed upon the permanent records of the Faculty.Richard Edgar Pipes died on May 17, 2018. A Harvard Ph.D., he spent his entire academic career at the university, teaching Russian and Soviet history from 1958 until his retirement in 1996. After a two-year tenure as director of East European and Soviet Affairs at the National Security Council (1981–82), he returned to Harvard and continued to work regularly in Widener Library after his formal retirement. Although he dubbed himself a “non-belonger,” Harvard was the place to which he belonged for most of his long and dramatic life.A refugee from Nazi rule, Pipes was born to an assimilated Jewish family in Poland on July 11, 1923. He spoke German at home and Polish on the streets of Warsaw. In 1939, his father used governmental and diplomatic connections to smuggle his family out of Nazi-occupied Warsaw to Italy and then the United States. Most members of his family who stayed behind perished in Nazi concentration camps. Richard Pipes called himself a refugee from the Holocaust. He became an American citizen in 1943 while serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps.Pipes came to Harvard after undergraduate study at Cornell where the Army had sent him to learn Russian, thereby launching his career as one of the nation’s foremost Russian specialists. His Harvard doctoral dissertation on the formation of the Soviet Union, defended in 1950 and turned into a book in 1954, remains an important history of the creation of the Soviet multi-national state — a subject all but ignored by mainstream academia at the time but crucial to explaining the Soviet collapse of 1991, which Pipes had both long predicted and strongly desired. A contrarian by nature, Pipes questioned received wisdom on Russian and Soviet history, starting his revolt against established historiography by contesting the interpretation of his Ph.D. supervisor Michael Karpovich, who regarded Russia as a “normal” European state that had temporarily lost its way during the Revolution of 1917. Pipes became one of the chief representatives of the “totalitarian school” in Western historiography of the U.S.S.R.Pipes sought the origins of Soviet totalitarianism in Russia’s medieval and early modern past. In his opinion, elaborated in his 1974 bestseller, “Russia under the Old Regime,” the lack of individual liberties and rights of property ownership under the tsars had distinguished Russia from the West from the very beginning. His view of the Russian Revolution, presented in his 1990 study under that title and in his subsequent book, “Russia under the Bolshevik Regime” (1994), was equally controversial, for he described the Bolsheviks as a conspiratorial clique hungry for power, rather than as well-intentioned idealists, and the October Revolution as a political coup. Pipes viewed history as a humanistic endeavor and saw himself as a writer. He ultimately produced over two dozen books.In 1970, Senator Henry Jackson invited Richard Pipes to testify before Congress about U.S.-Soviet relations, which initiated his second career as a public intellectual and policy analyst. He wrote numerous essays in publications such as Commentary expounding his understanding of the Soviet Union as an oppressive and aggressive state. In 1976, he led a group of experts on the Soviet Union who questioned the conclusions of their CIA counterparts about Soviet foreign-policy intentions and capabilities. Dubbed Team B to distinguish Pipes and his fellow experts from the CIA’s Team A, the group argued that the Soviet Union’s strategic doctrine was not defensive, as the CIA analysts suggested, but offensive. Pipes continued his advocacy of a robust American response to the Soviet challenge as the Russia and Eastern Europe expert in the National Security Council and the de facto chief adviser to President Ronald Reagan on the Soviet Union (1981–83). He considered détente a mistaken policy that allowed the Soviets to strengthen their nuclear capabilities. Pipes supplied intellectual authority and academic legitimacy to endorse Reagan’s belief that communism, as an economically ineffective and immoral system, would ultimately be defeated by the democratic West.A frequent target of Soviet propagandistic attacks during the Cold War years, Pipes was hailed after the collapse of the Soviet Union as one of the few historians who had predicted its eventual demise, both as a cynical regime based on a failed ideology and as a multi-ethnic empire based on domination. Boris Yeltsin’s young advisers saw him as an analyst who identified the faults of the system they were eager to dismantle. Ironically, Pipes was also highly esteemed by some of Vladimir Putin’s advisers, who found his works about Russia’s historical divergence from the West a source of inspiration and justification for Russia’s separate path and new wave of authoritarianism.Richard Pipes gave his memoirs  a Latin title, “Vixi” — I have lived. He had indeed lived to the fullest. “I felt and feel to this day that I have been spared not to waste my life on self-indulgence or self-aggrandizement but to spread a moral message by showing, using examples from history, how evil ideas lead to evil consequences,” he wrote in “Vixi” (2003), referring to his escape from Nazi rule. Pipes has been justly identified by a biographer as one of the five founders of Russian historical studies in the United States. Distinguished by his gentlemanly style, Pipes trained more than 60 Ph.D. students, insisting on deep immersion in primary sources and clarity in writing but not agreement with his own interpretations. At Harvard he directed the Russian Research Center and was among the founders of the Ukrainian Research Institute. He stayed in Cambridge after retirement, with no slackening of his activity in the field, as evidenced by the 11 books he had published thereafter.Richard Pipes is survived by his wife of 71 years, Irene Roth Pipes; two sons, Daniel Pipes and Steven Pipes; and four grandchildren. He will be missed by all who were fortunate enough to appreciate the depth of his intellect and the strength of his moral convictions.Respectfully submitted,Timothy ColtonTerry MartinSerhii Plokhii, Chairlast_img read more

Initiative on legacy of slavery at Harvard picks up steam

first_img New University-wide initiative will deepen the exploration of Harvard’s historical ties to enslavement Amid a national reckoning on race, Harvard is pressing forward with efforts to examine its historic ties to slavery and their lasting effects. New and expanded programming, grant-funded research, and subcommittees led by scholars from across the University are being launched by Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery, the presidential initiative anchored at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.“As I’ve said before, we can’t dismantle what we do not understand, and we can’t understand the contemporary injustice we face unless we reckon honestly with our history,” said Radcliffe Dean Tomiko Brown-Nagin, who is directing the initiative. “This moment of profound pain and of passionate activism is showing us why it is so important to confront the roots of racism and racial inequality in this country.”The initiative, announced by Harvard President Larry Bacow in 2019, has roots in a 2007 seminar led by Sven Beckert, Laird Bell Professor of History. Through detailed research, Beckert and a team of students found that enslaved people worked on Harvard’s campus as early as 1639 and in the homes of three Harvard presidents; that they included Africans and Native peoples; that prominent University alumni and benefactors derived their wealth from the labor of enslaved workers on plantations in the South and the Caribbean; that donations derived from slave-related industries persisted until the Civil War; and that Harvard Professor Louis Agassiz was a key proponent of influential scientific racist theories, among other discoveries.The program will explore the University’s ties to slavery in greater detail through four subcommittees focused on the history of enslavement on and around Harvard’s campus; the University’s curriculum; links between Harvard, Antigua, and Caribbean nations; and the complex legacies of racism in medical education and experimentation. It will also build on the efforts of President Emerita Drew Faust and use Harvard’s vast intellectual resources to examine the roots of racial inequality at Harvard and beyond, as well as explore ways to help move the country forward, Brown-Nagin said.“The racial injustice that Americans are faced with today is inextricable from the subject of slavery, and it is very much a part of what we’re thinking about and studying,” said Brown-Nagin. “By mobilizing Harvard’s faculty, students, and staff, and by actively engaging our broad community, we will shine a light on a difficult past that still shadows us today, and we will chart a brighter and more equitable path forward.”,Hosting timely discussions will be key to that process.The initiative launched a number of virtual presentations in response to protests this spring over the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and the spread of the deadly coronavirus.  Scholars, along with thousands of viewers, convened over Zoom to discuss racial and economic inequities in policing, mass incarceration, health care, education, and the economy.And along the way connections were made to the nation’s original sin. In recent weeks, Brown-Nagin led a conversation with the founder of the 1619 project, Nikole Hannah Jones, and Harvard’s Tiya Miles moderated a discussion titled “The Enduring Legacy of Slavery and Racism in the North.”Miles, a member of the faculty committee guiding the effort, said she, along with her co-chairs of the subcommittee on campus and community, will focus on developing recommendations for “materializing the [initiative’s] research and findings on our streets, in our neighborhoods, and on our campus.”“We aim to create opportunities for meaningful engagement that will address this difficult history and enrich all of our lives with the remembrance of Black and Native American enslaved people who contributed to the building of this University, the city of Cambridge, and surrounding estates and towns — not by choice, but by force,” said Miles, a professor of history at Harvard and Radcliffe Alumnae Professor who plans to engage with students, community members, staff members, and descendants of enslaved people to further the work.“As members of this intellectual community, it is our duty to draw as near as we can to the truth and to share what we find with as many people as possible,” said Miles. “By addressing Harvard’s relationship to slavery, we recognize an important facet of our University’s history, which is in many ways interconnected with the history of the country and the world. This endeavor furthers knowledge of the past and our present, allowing us to chart more informed and just futures.”,For Brown-Nagin, much of the initiative’s strength lies in its ability to bring a range of perspectives to bear on Harvard’s history and legacy of slavery. Fourteen experts representing each of Harvard’s professional Schools and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences will help lead the program.“It’s important the steering committee reflects all Schools, all units of the University, because this history is relevant to every part of the institution,” said Brown-Nagin, who is also a legal historian, expert in constitutional law and education law policy, and Daniel P.S. Paul Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School. “The fields of law, policy, medicine, religion, education, public health, business, design, and the range of disciplines represented in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences — all of these approaches, methodologies, and perspectives on slavery and its legacy are important to pursuing this research in a deep and meaningful way.”Martha Minow, the 300th Anniversary University Professor and a member of the faculty committee, is helping lead a subcommittee focused on curriculum. She said that she and her co-chairs along with graduate student researchers are consulting with students, faculty, and staff “about the kinds of resources they would like to see, for use in settings ranging from orientation in the individual Schools and programs to elective courses.”“We hope to develop plans for creating and sustaining concerted work, useful across the University,” said Minow, “so every member of the community and visitors to the community can come to know and learn more about the legacies of slavery at Harvard.” “As members of this intellectual community, it is our duty to draw as near as we can to the truth and to share what we find with as many people as possible.” — Tiya Miles Probing how colleges benefited from slavery A renewed focus on slavery Throughout the coming year the Radcliffe-based initiative will continue to feature a range of virtual conferences, discussions, and public programs. It will also fund novel research and creative work by Harvard faculty and students. Current grant-funded projects include a study of how slavery and capitalism conditioned Harvard’s expansion into a research university in the late 19th century; an examination of how Mather House came to be named after Increase Mather, an owner of enslaved peoples; research involving the role of slavery in the development of various economic tools utilized in undergraduate economics courses at Harvard; and a study of Harvard’s ties to the modern prison industry.The work, said Brown-Nagin, “needs to be understood as an area of research and inquiry for students as well as scholars,” and is “part of a broad and deep educational experience.”The committee also plans to produce a report during the 2021–22 academic year outlining Harvard’s ties to slavery in greater detail, along with a list of recommendations. But in a recent email to members of the Radcliffe community, Brown-Nagin emphasized that the critical work of the initiative will continue long after the report is completed.“The legacies of slavery and racism that shadow our society and our University reflect a complex history,” she wrote. “These dynamics did not emerge overnight, nor will they be quickly disentangled.” Faculty of Arts and Sciences unveils anti-racism agenda Radcliffe conference draws historians, scholars to shed light on troubling past while pondering future Related Gay restarts cluster hire, announces new dean of diversity and task forceslast_img read more