After more than a year in office, Dean of the Faculty A. Michael Spence has finally selected his supporting cast, clearing the way for him to turn his attention to a host of other issues confronting the Faculty.
Yesterday's appointments of L. Fred Jewett '57 as dean of the College and Sally Falk Moore and John B. Fox Jr. '59 as deans of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) should allow Spence to devote a greater deal of time to the issues he has said he wants to address--namely junior faculty problems and the computerization of Harvard.
Although he has initiated the establishment of a computer network linking some of the administrative and academic offices, Harvard still lags far behind many of the leading universities in the nation in terms of establishing state-of-the-art computer facilities.
Moreover, while a junior faculty survey conducted last year brought to light several problems facing untenured professors, little has been done with the results.
The three new appointments round out the Spence administration, making it one with an unusual amount of prior experience in running the University. The only novice on the staff is Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education Steven E. Ozment, who since assuming his post last fall has become one of the most outspoken University Hall officials.
While Spence said that he plans to remain closely involved in the running of both the GSAS and the College, administrators contend that he may face trouble maintaining a strong hand over his new staff.
"It appears as though [Spence] does not want to take control," said Peter S. McKinney, acting dean of the GSAS, referring to the appointments of Moore and Fox. "[Spence] will certainly remain very interested in the School, but he has appointed two very strong people," he added.
Moore, a professor of anthropology who also holds a law degree and is currently master of Dunster House, is regarded for "her quiet toughness," Spence said. Fox, who until now has served as dean of the College for 10 years, has proven to be a sure-footed administrator with a penchant for fundraising.
Jewett who has served as dean of admissions and financial aids for the past 13 years, is considered a well-seasoned administrator who is very capable of dealing with people.
In the past, and especially during the tenure of Spence's predecessor, Geyser University Professor Henry Rosovsky, the dean of the Faculty has traditionally run a tight ship and maintained a strong hold over all University Hall operations. And Spence, despite his well-experienced staff, contends that he will maintain strong control over the operation.
"There is a whole agenda of items which must be considered, and I don't plan to bow out. I expect to work very closely with them," Spence said.
Concerning the selection of Jewett, Spence said "you don't need someone who will come and ask advice for all your decisions, but I do expect to spend a fair amount of time with him."
Spence added that he expects to see Jewett address the issue of disciplinary prodedures for student activists involved in a series of on-campus sit-ins and protests in the spring. But, Spence added, "I'll be quite involved in these as well."
"Spence has the power to change the structure of the the [Faculty of Arts and Sciences] budget in the next few years," President Bok said yesterday. "A new dean always has a natural desire to carry out his own agenda. Spence has his own agenda, and even if he didn't have one, you'd still see some change."
As far as the GSAS is concerned, if Spence's agenda does take precedence, fundraising is likely to dominate. In recent years, federal research funding cutbacks have strained graduate student research. The GSAS in recent years has also been plagued by a host of internal problems and was one of the first areas Spence turned his attention to when becoming dean of the Faculty last July 1.
Spence said that he expects the new deans to follow the recommendations of the Strauch report--a study commissioned by Spence last year and completed last spring--which calls for a series of changes in the administrative structure of the GSAS. More specifically, it called for changes such as the establishment of the new two-dean system, methods for fundraising and a possible move in location for the GSAS administrative offices.
Spence said he also hopes to see Fox oversee a program that would help better integrate the GSAS with the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, which is a change also recommended in the Strauch report. He added that while the GSAS "deserves a life of its own, at the administrative level, closer relations with the College are needed."A. MICHAEL SPENCE