The Graduating
Class of


by the numbers

Favorability Ratings

By Meg P. Bernhard

Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana’s favorability rating has halved since the Class of 2015, which rated him at the end of his first year as College dean. University President Drew G. Faust also dropped in favorability by eight percentage points compared to the Class of 2016.

Forty-two percent of respondents indicated having a favorable view of Khurana, compared to 62 percent from the Class of 2016, while 39 percent had an unfavorable view of him this year. In 2015, 82 percent of surveyed seniors had a favorable view of Khurana.

His declining favorability rating appears to be linked to efforts he and the College have led to pressure single gender social organizations—most notably final clubs—to accept all genders into their membership.

  • Eighty-one percent of people who view Khurana unfavorably also do not support the sanctions that will penalize members of all-male social organizations, starting with the Class of 2021.
  • Fifty-one percent of people who have a favorable view of the Dean of the College also approve of the sanctions.

The majority of current or former members of single-gender social organizations who responded to the survey view Khurana unfavorably.

  • Twenty-nine percent of members of single-gender social organizations have favorable views of Khurana, compared to 59 percent who have an unfavorable view of him.
  • On the other hand, 52 percent of people who have never been members of these organizations have a favorable view of Khurana, and 29 percent of this group holds an unfavorable view of Khurana.

While the majority of seniors do not approve of the penalties on single-gender social organizations, the majority report having an unfavorable view of final clubs.

  • Twenty percent of seniors said they have a favorable view of final clubs, compared to 60 percent who do not.

Thirty-five percent of respondents had a favorable view of Faust—compared to 43 percent of the Class of 2016 who responded to last year’s survey—while 24 percent have an unfavorable opinion of her and 31 percent had no opinion on her.

  • Twenty-nine percent of respondents who were members of single-gender social organizations had a favorable view of Faust.
  • Forty-eight percent of people who approved of the sanctions on single-gender social organizations approved of Faust.

Other Harvard institutions fared better in the eyes of seniors. Sixty-six percent of seniors viewed favorably the years-long overhaul of undergraduate Houses, known as House renewal, while 48 percent of respondents approved of the College’s new Honor Code.

  • Eighty-three percent of people who approve of the Honor Code have never cheated in an academic context at Harvard.
  • Former Undergraduate Council President Shaiba Rather ’17 and Vice President Daniel V. Banks ’17 enjoyed a 37 percent favorability ratings among seniors (38 percent also had no opinion of the two).
  • Forty-four percent of seniors view The Crimson favorably. Twenty-nine percent of seniors view The Crimson unfavorably.
  • Sixteen percent of seniors viewed the Administrative Board favorably, while 27 percent viewed it unfavorably and 45 percent had no opinion.