Michael Shinagel served as dean of the Division of Continuing Education and University Extension at Harvard from 1975 to 2013. When he retired in 2013, he was acknowledged as the longest-serving dean in the history of Harvard University. The Division of Continuing Education consisted of the Harvard Extension School, the Harvard Summer School, the Harvard Institute for Learning in Retirement, and the Institute for English Language Programs. These academic units enrolled more than 20,000 students annually and generated $75 million in revenues.
Over the years, he led a team of Harvard Extension School faculty to deliver executive seminars on such topics as strategic planning, information technology, total quality management, leadership, and conflict resolution. This Harvard team has taught successful seminars in Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Cypress, Ecuador, Israel, Peru, Uruguay, and the Caribbean.
He served as chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Indian Computer Academy in Bangalore (1990–93) and served on the Board of Directors of the Harvard Cooperative Society in Cambridge for 22 years, 15 of which as vice-chair (1992–2014). He was editor of the Continuing Higher Education Review and publisher of the Harvard Review. He is a recipient of the Nolte Award for Extraordinary Leadership from the University Professional and Continuing Education Association and the Special Recognition Award from the Association for Continuing Higher Education.
Dr. Shinagel is a distinguished service lecturer in Extension at Harvard University. He is a recipient of the Petra T. Shattuck Excellence in Teaching Award from Harvard Extension School.