John T. Dunlop, Lemont University Professor, whose nomination as secretary of Labor was approved by the U.S. Senate last Thursday, said yesterday that he will not ask the university for a leave of absence of "more than two years."
President Bok said yesterday that the University will be "very firm" in enforcing the two-year limit, which would force Dunlop to resign his chair if he chooses to extend his leave into a second Ford administration.
"My personal intentions and desires remain close to Harvard University," Dunlop said. "The fact is that I want to remain a University Professor."
Dunlop, who was nominated by President Ford to succeed Labor Secretary Peter J. Brennan, was dean of the Faculty from July 1970 to January 1973 at Harvard.
Dunlop later served as director of the Cost of Living Council, under former President Richard M. Nixon.
He has taken periodic leaves of absence from Harvard, primarily in connection with his role as a labor lawyer. None of his leaves has exceeded the two-year limit beyond which he would be forced to resign his chair.
The Faculty's two-year limitation on leaves of absence was most recently invoked with Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger '50, who was forced to resign his Government Department chair in January 1971, 24 months after he joined the Nixon administration as a special advisor.
Before he submitted his resignation, Kissinger and the Government Department worked out a special arrangement by which his chair was kept open until the end of Nixon's first term.
Should Dunlop's absence exceed two years, an arrangement similar, to that allowed in Kissinger's case appears unlikely Bok said.
"After two years you have to give up your right to come back," he said yesterday.
However, according to Bok, Dunlop "has given no indication" that his leave will exceed two years. Bok, who called Dunlop "the most qualified individual in the country for the job," said that he was "pleased" with the Senate's approval of Dunlop.
In December 1973, it had been rumored that Dunlop, then serving as dean of the Faculty, might be chosen by Nixon to succeed James Hodgson as Labor secretary.
"I needled him about it, because I Knew he wasn't interested," Bok said at the time. "That isn't the right kind of job for John."