Despite the backbiting, Youssef Chahed will be well paid by Harvard

Business News yesterday published an article indicating that the former head of government, Youssef Chahed, was to hold courses at the prestigious American university Harvard as a senior research associate, the French translation of Senior Fellow. It was enough to unleash a flood of criticism and insults against us.

The tone was set by the Paris Dauphine academic, Elyes Jouini, who invited us to verify our information. After giving some lessons about the recruiting process at Harvard, he indicated that Youssef Chahed would be recruited under the loosest form of association at Harvard. Mr. Jouini retired less than 24 hours later to pay tribute to us and we thank him.

The concern is not Mr. Jouini, but the whole bunch who took advantage of his publication to attack our newspaper, its journalists and its articles by giving us lots of lessons. Of course ! There were about 135 comments in less than 24 hours. And then there are the papers that have taken over Mr. Jouini to make his publication an article title and tackle Business News in passing. How do all these people feel after Mr. Jouini backtracked by saying that “Business News is probably among those doing the most serious work”? They remind us of the famous Dunning-Kruger theory, also called the overconfidence effect, this cognitive bias whereby the least qualified in a field overestimate their competence and tend to reject the advice given by truly competent people.

Does not matter. What Business News published yesterday is correct and does not suffer from any approximation. To “analyze the raw information,” Business News contacted a source at Harvard University. She returned to the wording of the title “senior research associate” and confirmed that it is not very far from the semantic reality, as far as Chahed’s mission will be to carry out research with a study group and therefore to aggregate them. Our source confirms that there can be confusion with the term “aggregation”, which comes from education in France and therefore from the title agrégé, as there is in France, just as there can sometimes be confusion between bachelors Anglo-Saxons (bac+3) and holders of baccalaureate in France (bac).

In addition, Youssef Chahed has effectively entered into an annual Senior Fellow-in-Residence contract as specified in the Harvard press release, which adds that Doctor Chahed will be in residence at the Kennedy School for the 2022-2023 academic year. The former head of government gets real research, management and conference functions. According to our Harvard source, these tasks involve real research, reflection and supervision. His mission and responsibilities throughout his residency year will be, ” to focus on the economic, security and other political challenges facing the Middle East and North Africa This Senior Fellow status and the admission conditions are mentioned on the university’s website and are also included in the university’s press release.

This is therefore an annual residency position for the entire academic year. The function is not merely ceremonial, but includes work to be done and responsibilities in relation to the university, which can be found here for example for the administrative follower training or here for the assistant director of administration.

As part of his duties, Youssef Chahed will lead a study and research group on development and democratic transitions. In addition to his research work, his mission will also be teaching. The press release specifies that for this purpose he will hold meetings (a priori once every fortnight) with Harvard students and will also be invited to speak at events organized by the university.

Finally, as part of his duties, Youssef Chahed will be resident at the university throughout the academic year 2022-2023.

As such, and as stipulated in the nomenclature of Harvard University, Youssef Chahed will receive remuneration, our source confirms, as stipulated in the university’s rules. According to information on the university’s website, the position attributed to Youssef Chahed generally varies between 56 and 58 in the university’s nomeben.

Youssef Chahed will therefore be well paid within the range described in the table in public access on the university’s website, i.e. between $64,300 annually (minimum position 56) and $138,400 annually (maximum position 58). Finally, at the end of their residency year, Fellows are awarded a certificate from Harvard University.


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