Former provost Albert Carnesale left two weeks ago to become the new chancellor of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). Now graduate students there are worried they might get another Harvard professor, fromer professor of government Douglas A. Hibbs Jr., who resigned from his tenured post at Harvard in Feb. 1985 amidst an allegation of sexual harassment by a student.
Former vice chair of political science at UCLA Barbara Geddes attempted to dispel runmors last night that Hibbs would be offered a position at UCLA, saying it was "highly unlikely" that any offer would be made.
However, earlier this week graduate students at UCLA requested a meeting with Ron Rogowlski, chair of the university's political science department have discussed hiring Hibbs.
According to a professor in the political science department at UCLA, the idea was informally discussed at the end of a recent faculty meeting. Although there was no formal vote on the subject, there has been "a lot of rumor and innuendo," the professor said.
Faculty members at UCLA questioned the benefit of bringing Hibbs to the department.
"Many of us are saying "Why do this," said UCLA Professor of Political Science Frank D. Gilliam. "I do not think it is a good idea."
When he was at Harvard, colleagues praised Hibbs' academic record. He is a nationally-known political theorist who studied how economic conditions are connected to political developments.
Markham Professor of Government H. Douglas Price-one of the few in Harvard's government department who also specialized in quantitative approaches to political science at the time of the incident--praised Hibbs as "a leading authority in his field" in a 1985 interview with The Crimson.
Nevertheless, several faculty members at UCLA said the cost of hiring a scholar with Hibb's history would outweight the benefits.
"The reputational consequence would be exorbitant," said UCLA Professor of Political Science Shanto lyengar.