Provost Paul H. Buck yesterday stated that he will resign July 1 to resume his professorship of History. At the same time, it became a virtual certainty that the new President of Harvard would be selected before Commencement, probably by April.
As Provost of the University and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Buck has been in charge of the affairs of the College, the Graduate School, museums, research institutions, and libraries.
After July 1, Buck said, he plans to take a sabbatical leave of absence until September, 1954. Then he will return as professor of History, a position he held before becoming Provost.
End of Team
"President Conant and I acted as a team. Now that team is no more," Buck said last night. "I would prefer to return to teaching."
After President Conant's resignation, Buck was appointed chairman of an Administrative Committee to carry on the President's work until a successor is named.
By accepting Buck's resignation yesterday and granting him the sabbatical, the Corporation indicated it had practically completed its search for a successor to Conant.
The Corporation further strengthened this impression by announcing that the work of the Administrative Committee "will have been completed by Commencement."
Whether the dual job of Provost and Dean will be continued is entirely up to the new President. By changing the University Statutes, the new President could eliminate the double post with its broad responsibility.
Created in 1945
In 1945 Conant created the post so that the Dean of the Faculty could handle the many research institutions and libraries and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences besides the College.
Throughout his career Buck has turned down the presidencies of several colleges, including that of Columbia.
Several years age, Buck implied that he wished to return to his teaching post, but Conant felt his assistance was indispensable. Buck agreed to continue.
Continue as Chairman
Until the new President is chosen, Buel will continue as chairman of the Administrative Committee. Last night, he said he had not made up his mind what he would do during his sabbatical. "I'll probably spend some of the time in Widener," he stated.
When he returns in the next September, he plans to teach American history and complete a trilogy on the history of the post-Civil War South. The first part- "Road to Reunion"-won a Pulitzon Prize in 1938. Shortly thereafter, he began his administrative duties.