The University's search for a new dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences ended this week when Dean Rosovsky nominated Edward L. Keenan '57, professor of History, for the post currently occupied by acting dean Peter S. McKinney.
Keenan's nomination follows a longstanding pattern of putting academics into the largely administrative position, but no one seems to doubt Keenan's qualifications on either count.
A specialist in medieval Russian history, Keenan is currently director of the Russian Research Center, a post he plans to abandon when he takes his new job July 1, pending confirmation--usually rubber-stamped--by the Corporation and the Board of Overseers in the coming month.
The only conceivable stain on Keenan's record is the postion he has held since September 1975 on the Board of Governors of Reza Shah Kabir University, the national university of Iran at Teheran, but Keenan said Monday he will drop that position if it conflicts with his work at the GSAS.
Most people involved with the GSAS reacted favorably to the Keenan appointment. "We looked for somebody who was not necessarily an ultra-liberal, but for an efficient administrator. We believe that a lot of the problems with minority admissions at the GSAS lie in efficiency problems," Michael Harris, a spokesman for the GSAS Task Force on minority recruitment and admissions, said.
Panayote Dimitras, a member of the GSAS Student Panel of Electors, noted Monday that Keenan was not of the panel's first choices, but "I feel more positive now than I did then about his potential as a dean," he said this week.
"I think he will be helpful to students, and right now I feel that although we were not overwhelmingly happy with the choice, I am quite confident about what we can achieve together," Dimitras said.
The Keenan appointment preserves the all-white, all-male circle of deans who head University schools, but as Harris, whose committee searched for an acceptable minority candidate, noted, "essentially we found that the pool was too small, and regret fully we had to admit that we had no one to recommend now."
McKinney will return to his original post as administrative dean of the GSAS.