After serving as a Fellow of Harvard College for 25 years, Charles P. Slichter '45 announced Wednesday that be will resign from the Harvard Corporation this June.
Slicter's resignation means no academics from outside Harvard will remain on the University's top governing board by the end of the academic year.
"Charles Slichter added the perspective of the academic and scientist to the Corporation," said Corporation member and former Dean of the Faculty Henry Rosovsky. "He was a tremendous upholder of academic values. He fought hard if he ever thought the University was compromising its teaching or research."
The Corporation, the University's most powerful governing board, controls Harvard's basic operations, particularly management and policy concerns. It consists of five Fellows, the University Treasurer and the President.
The other members of the Corporation are President Neil L. Rudenstine, Treasurer D. Ronald Daniel, Robert G. Stone, Jr. '45, Judith Richards Hope, Richard A. Smith '46 and Rosovsky.
Slichter was noted for being the tight-lipped spokesperson for the Corporation when be served as chair of the presidential search committee which appointed Rudenstine in 1992.
A search committee has already been formed to select Slichter's replacement. It includes Daniel as chair, Rosovsky, Stone, Overseers Renee Landers and Thomas Murphy and Rudenstine serving as ex officio.
In a letter obtained by the Crimson and dated November 14, Rudenstine outlined for alumni the qualities the committee looks for in a Corporation member.
"The most important are intelligence, open-mindedness, perspicacity, a wide breadth of experience and knowledge, common sense and good judgment," Rudenstine wrote. "To these should be added a deep concern about higher education in general and Harvard's welfare and progress in
He also added that it is customary for members of the Corporation to hold Harvard degrees.
According to Rosovsky, what made Slichter's original appointment so significant was that he was one of the first two academics appointed to the Corporation in a long time.
"It was a time of turmoil," Rosovsky said of the late 1960s, when Slichter was appointed. "The idea was to put people on the Corporation who knew how universities function from the inside."
Slichter's resignation leaves Rudenstine and Rosovsky as the only remaining members who work at the University. Three business executives and a lawyer make up the rest of the Corporation.
While refusing to say that the committee would specifically look for an academic, Rosovsky did say that he endorsed the idea of having academics on the Corporation.
"I think it's a good idea to have people who understand universities as professionals," he said. "The difficulty is that the Corporation is too small to set aside certain seats for certain kinds of people, but we will keep it in mind."