Ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer making gift to support computer science at Harvard

Harvard University is announcing that former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is supporting an initiative to significantly expand its computer science studies.

Ballmer is joining Harvard President Drew Faust and Cherry Murray, dean of its School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, on Thursday to announce further details.

Ballmer said in a statement that computer science "is the operating system for innovation at Harvard."

The university says the support from Ballmer will allow it to increase faculty in the program by 50 percent. The SEAS is the newest of Harvard's 12 degree-granting schools, expanding from a division in 2007.

Ballmer earned a bachelor's degree at Harvard College in 1977, and joined classmate Bill Gates at Microsoft in its early years. He led the company from 2000 to 2014. He owns the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers.