Ernest R. May, former dean of Harvard College, officially took office yesterday as director of the Kennedy Institute of Politics.
May, who is also a professor of history, has been acting as director unofficially since the beginning of this term. May will continue his additional duties as associate dean of Harvard College until a replacement is named.
May said yesterday that his new position provides a "closer connection" with his teaching and research than his job as dean did.
May has been associated with the Institute as a Planning Committee member and an officer since its opening in 1968.
James S. Henry '2, chairman of the Institute Student Advisory Committee, said yesterday he thought May was "a good choice for the position. Contact with him has been helpful," Henry said there was no student involvement in the selection of director.
Walter S. Isaacson '74, a member of the Student Committee, said that May "has taken a very active interest in the day to day affairs of the Institute." But he added that May has "a cautious attitude" at a time when the Institute needs to change