President to Return in a Week
Rudenstine Will Resume Full-Time Duties Next Thursday
President Neil L. Rudenstine, on medical leave since late November, will return full-time to his duties next Thursday.
"I feel extremely refreshed, and I am very grateful for the warm wishes so many people have sent during the past several weeks," Rudenstine said in a statement yesterday.
In the statement, Rudenstine said he has been meeting with the provost, various University deans and the vice presidents in preparation for his return.
Yesterday, for example, Dean of the School of Public Health Harvey V. Fineberg said he paid Rudenstine a personal visit.
Most University administrators who have met with Rudenstine say the president looks healthy and energetic.
Vice President for Administration N. Sally Zeckhauser said the president, recently returned from a vacation in the Bahamas, looks tanned and rested.
Provost Albert Carnesale, who has served as acting president in Rudenstine's absence, reiterated in a telephone interview that Rudenstine will make a full-time return to his duties.
"He'll be assuming a full [load] upon returning," Carnesale said.
Rudenstine's first day back will be a "normal day of meetings and review," Vice President for Government, Community and Public Affairs James H. Rowe '73 said in an interview last night.
Carnesale said Rudenstine is being kept up-to-date, and that he has met frequently with the president.
"As you know, I've been working with him for a while," Carnesale said. "He's actively involved in University affairs."
The provost said he did not know what would be on the president's schedule on his first day back.
"Much as I regret having had to take this leave, it has provided a valuable opportunity to reflect on the past three years and to focus on the priorities for the future," Rudenstine said in the statement. "This is in many ways a pivotal time for higher education, and I am confident that our collective efforts will help Harvard to emerge form it as strong as ever."
The University announced on November 28 that Rudenstine would be stepping down for a period of "weeks or months."
The stated reason for the leave was "severe fatigue and exhaustion."
Carnesale, who is serving as dean of the Kennedy School as well as provost, took over immediately as acting president.
The most important achievement of Carnesale's 12-week term was the resolution of the University's policy on ROTC.
In an amendment to Rudenstine's November proposal, Carnesale called for the University to cut all financial ties to ROTC while still allowing students to participate.
Carnesale's February 1 amendment was praised by the faculty. It helped secure approval of the plan by the Corporation, the University's more powerful governing board.
"I am especially grateful to Al Carnesale and many others for having kept Harvard steadily moving forward during this time," Rudenstine said in the statement.
Jonathan N. Axelrod contributed to the reporting of this story.