Dean of Admissions and Financial Aids L. Fred Jewett '57 has been named dean of Harvard College.
Jewett succeeds John B. Fox Jr. '59, who in February announced his desire to step down and who yesterday was appointed administrative dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (see accompanying story). Jewett will assume the duties of the College's top administrator on Thursday.
Dean of the Faculty A. Michael Spence made the announcement yesterday, more than a month before the next meeting of Harvard's Governing Boards, which still must approve Spence's selection. However, Spence said that he already had consulted Board members about his choice so that he could make the announcement this summer.
The selection of Jewett, who has worked for the University since receiving his Master's in Business Administration from the Business School in 1960, brings to an end a five-month search for a successor to Fox.
As the College's top administrator, Jewett will oversee the non-academic lives of more than 6000 undergraduates. In addition, the will, Mass., native will chair the Administrative Board, as well as the student-faculty Committee on College Life and Committee on House Life.
Jewett's first task in his new post will be to review the controversial Committee on Rights and Responsibilities, which this year heard the cases of students involved in two recent anti-apartheid protests.
Jewett will inherit a job that also will require him to oversee the completion of a $27 million renovation project to two Radcliffe Quadrangle Houses, monitor the development of the Harvard Foundation, an organization set up to coordinate the affairs of minority students at Harvard, and constantly respond to an upsurge in student protests against University investments in South Africa.
About his choice, Spence said that "Fred is very bright. He's very attached to the College, he's an experienced administrator, and he has a way of working with people that's comfortable."
Jewett said that in his 13 years as dean of admissions, he was proud that his office had been able to maintain need-blind admissions, and that accessibility to the College had been guaranteed to people of both sexes and all socio-economic backgrounds.
"The integration and merger of Harvard and Radcliffe has certainly gone as well or better than I had anticipated," Jewett said.
He added that his move from Byerly Hall to University Hall will allow him to "make Harvard the place we [at the admissions office] say it is to incoming freshmen."
Jewett said yesterday that his primary objective as dean of the College will be to "enable students to make use of the facilities and resources available to them." He added that he is anxious to help as many students as possible "find their niche in the College."
The new dean also said that in addition to maintaining the strength of the House system and working closely with the 13 Masters, he hopes to be both open and accessible to students of the College.
He said he would be trying to "consult with students on a variety of issues," both in and "outside the formal office-hour structure," and by continuing to "live in, or very near the College to work with students."
Critics of Fox have said that the 6-ft., 9-in, administrator did not have enough contact with students in his 10 years as dean of the College.
They also have said that there is an inherent problem in the job description of dean of the College, pointing out that though he oversees the House system. House Masters answer to the dean of the Faculty.
"I hope that conflict is not inherent in the system," said Jewett, who added that he did not think any change in the job's duties was necessary.
"I'm not a person who thinks change needs to take place for the sake of change."
He added that he had no plans to shake up the College staff, at least for a while. He said he would take time "to get to know some of the people currently working in the College office, but I'm not starting out with any sense that there needs to be any change."
The selection of Jewett brings to an end a selection process that started back in February, when a search committee began accepting applications from more than 50 candidates for the job. Of the 50, the committee interviewed six or seven, and presented its recommendations to Spence.
Spence said in the past month he re-interviewed three or four of the candidates on his own before making his final choice.
Spence revealed publicly for the first time yesterday that Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III was one of the leading candidates for the job. It had been widely held that Epps and jewett--both of whom were strong runners when Fox took over from Charles P. Whitlock in 1976--were the top contenders for the job, but neither had confirmed that he had been interviewed by Spence.
"Archie was a leading candidate for the job. It's just too bad he was in such a strong field," said Spence.
Epps, who has seen five deans of the College come and go, said he will stay on as dean of students.
"I wish Dean Jewett the very best in the job and will do what I can to aid in the transition," said Epps.
Epps also said that he would not consider succeeding Jewett as dean of admissions, though he did not say whether the position had been offered to him.
"My talents lie in things that are public," said Epps, who added that he would continue his efforts to improve student-faculty contact. "I hope to use my experience to the benefit of undergraduates--the people whom I think are one of the most important groups at Harvard.