Despite earlier speculation that the next Dean of the College could be appointed by today, it now seems that the final selection process will not start for nearly a month.
Sidney Verbs '53, chairman of the search committee to replace Dean of the College John B. Fox Jr. '59, said last month that it way "not inconceivable" that Fox's replacement could be named by today.
But with Commencement activities occupying the entire day today, and with Dean of the Faculty A. Michael Spence leaving tomorrow for a two-week vacation, it is unlikely that the best dean could be named before late June.
Spence said yesterday that when he returns from his vacation, he will begin his own interviews of candidates for the posiotion in hopes of reaching a decision by August. He said it is likely that he will be able to name Fox's successor before the beginning of the next academic year.
Fox announced in February that he would step down as Dean no later than June 1986 Since then, a six-member search committee has considered nearly 50 applications for the position from within and outside the Harvard community.
Of the 50, the committee interviewed six candidates, and this week met with Spence for the first tone to present a report with its recommendations Subject to routine corporation approval, the final decision now tests entirely in Spence's hands.
"The dean may call us up to talk some more," said Verba, "but the decision is up to him. He has to work closely with the [next] dean."
Verba, who had said earlier that the search committee might narrow down the field of six to about two or three, said Spence and the committee discussed all the candidates, not just the six who were interviewed.
Spence said he would stick with the recommendations of the search committee, and only interview those candidates which the committee recommended.
Verba refused to disclose names of specific applicants, but he did say the interview pool contained at least one person from inside and outside Harvard, as well as at least one Black and one woman. There was "at least one of each category in the interview pool," said Verba.
Dean of Admissions L. Fred Jewett '57 and Assistant Dean of the College Marlyn M. Lewis '70--both of whom sources have said are strongly in the running for the position--refused to say whether they had been interviewed by the search committee or if Spence had asked to speak to them.
Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III, and Associate Secretary of the University for Appointments Elizabeth A. Gray--who sources say are also leading contenders for the job--could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Epps and Jewett were both rumored to have been top contenders for the job in 1976 when Fox book over the position from Charles P. Whitlock.
In his 10 years as dean. Fox has served as chairman of the Administrative Board, overseen the operations of the House system, supervised the College's 13 senior tutors and the College's advising and counseling network.
He also acts as chairman of the College's top student-faculty committee the Committee on College Life and the Committee on House Life.
Fox's critics have said that the next dean of the College should be less of an administrator and more of an academic than Fox has been Verba refused to say whether these criticisms of the 6' 9" dean had any bearing on the search committee's recommendations.
Instead, Verba said that applicants were questioned "about their own qualifications, their views on the nature of undergraduate education in general, the nature of Harvard college, and specific issues facing dean of Harvard College."
Spence said he felt the most important thing about the next dean was that he be someone "who really cares deeply about the students of Harvard."
Joel A. Getz contributed in the reporting of this article.
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