Harvard University President Drew Faust announced today that Chris Gordon, who has helped to oversee the college's expansion into the Allston neighborhood, will step down this summer.
Gordon's resignation as chief operating officer of the Allston Development Group comes six months after Faust said Harvard would halt construction on its $1 billion science complex, the anchor of the university's sweeping expansion across the Charles River, because of Harvard's financial troubles.
The moratorium on further construction in Allston, where Harvard owns about 350 acres, occurred after Harvard's endowment dropped 27 percent amid the recession.
"The work I came here to do will be happening at a slower pace and intensity as announced by President Faust last December, and that reality led to today's announcement," Gordon said in a statement.
Gordon joined Harvard in 2005 to create and lead the Allston Development Group. Since then, the foundation of the science complex has been laid; Harvard has opened an "education portal" where neighborhood children can take classes and receive tutoring; and a neighborhood park behind the public library will soon be complete.
Gordon will stay on teaching courses in real estate development at the Harvard Business School. He will help Katherine Lapp, executive vice president overseeing Harvard's future in Allston, develop a transition plan for management responsibilities of the university's ongoing activities for land there.
In the meantime, the university is exploring other ways to finance the science complex.
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