Still Looking For A Treasurer


The search committee for a new treasurer to manage Harvard's portfolio is still searching, six weeks past its original deadline.

The committee plans to meet again next week, when President Bok says he expects it will rank the remaining candidates for the position -- now pared down to seven or eight from a field originally estimated at as high as 100 people -- in order of preference.

The delay in picking a replacement for George F. Bennett '33, who announced his plans to retire last September, stems from the increasing responsibility of the job without a commensurate increase in its salary and prestige.

Though no official salary limit has been set, Francis H. Burr '35, senior Fellow of the Corporation and a member of the search committee, said last week the treasurer would probably not receive an annual salary higher than President Bok's $70,000 -- about 25 per cent of what a person qualified for the position could make in private business.

Bennett supplements his estimated $20,000 salary with his pay as managing partner in his own investment firm, but the treasurer's position has become a full-time job in recent years.

At the same time, the status of treasurer may be declining. "Years ago it was prestigious to have the Harvard account," one Boston financial manager said Tuesday. "Today it's more prestigious to have money in the bank."

Because of salary considerations and the need for a treasurer with wide financial experience, the new treasurer will probably be prepared for or already in semi-retirement. He will also probably be a Harvard College alumnus, George Putnam '49, chairman of the Board of Overseers and another search committee member, said this week.

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