Professor of Fine Arts T.J. Clark said yesterday he is considering leaving Harvard at the end of the year for the University of California at Berkeley.
If Clark resigns his lifetime post here, he will become the fifth tenured professor this year to leave Harvard for another university.
"I'm considering a proposal from Berkeley," said Clark, who has been a senior faculty member here since 1980. "I'm still in the process of making up my mind. Nothing definite has happened."
Berkeley's history of art department earlier this year asked Clark, an expert on 19th century French art, if he were interested in a lifetime position there, said the department's acting chairman Loren W. Partridge. The Berkeley department approved Clark'snomination, and the offer is currently undergoingthe university's review process, Partridge said.
"We obviously think he is very important to thefield," Partridge said of Clark. Partridge wouldnot discuss the specifics of Berkeley's offer,saying it was still under negotiation.
Clark also declined to discuss the details ofBerkeley's offer or the factors he will weigh inmaking his decision. He said he has had "full andfriendly discussions" with Spence and Fine ArtsChairman Neil Levine about the possibility of hisdeparture.
Spence refused to comment on Clark. Levinecould not be reached yesterday for comment.
But in an interview earlier this week Spencepredicted that there would be a greater turnoveramong Harvard's senior faculty than there has beenin the past. He attributed the increase to therise of the two-career family.
Harvard has had a rash of departures this year.Last semester the former Shattuck Professor ofGovernment James Q. Wilson left for the Universityof California at Los Angeles (UCLA).
This semester three senior professor haveannounced their intentions to leave Harvard.Chairman of the History and Literature DepartmentJohn Brewer will go to UCLA. Chairman of theEnglish Department Joel Porte has accepted a postat Cornell. And Professor of Romance Languages andLiteratures Jean-Marie Apostolides is leaving forStanford.
Clark this spring is teaching the popularLiterature and Arts B-29, "Beginnings of Modernismin the Visual Arts," and Fine Arts 274a, "Cubism:Seminar." Clark, who was educated at CambridgeUniversity and the Courtauld Institute of LondonUniversity, is the author of three books on Frenchart, including "The Painting of Modern Life.