PBHA Board Easily Passes Compromise With College

* Public Service Group Will Remain in Yard Building

Harvard's largest public service organization will keep its home in the corner of the Yard.

Despite the opposition of the group's president, the Board of Trustees of the Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA) voted Wednesday afternoon by a margin of 12 to 2 to approve a compromise that will keep PBHA within the University indefinitely.

The vote, which settled a three-year dispute, came three days after a weekend retreat at which about 60 members of the student cabinet met with PBHA past presidents and Board members-including Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III and Assistant Dean for Public Service Judith H. Kidd-to discuss the group's administrative structure.

PBHA was trying to determine what role, if any, the University should play in hiring an executive director and staff for the organization.

The College and some members of the PBHA student leadership supported a compromise entailing a joint search for an executive director.

Others, including President Roy E. Bahat '98, believed PBHA should insist on the right to hire and pay for its own staff.

In a straw poll, about 40 of 58 cabinet members expressed their support for the compromise.

"The Cabinet asked for a normal relationship with the University that will best support its programs and the Association," read a press release issued yesterday by the Board.

The vote was necessitated by the Wednesday expiration of a temporary compromise approved by the parties in June 1996.

The 1996 compromise-agreed upon for a 15-month trial period-had been set to expire Sept. 1, but was extended 10 days by Epps to allow Board members to consult the student cabinet.

The new agreement, which took effect immediately, extends several key provisions of the 1996 compromise.

First, the Board-composed of students, administrators, alumni and community members-is now the permanent governing body of PBHA.

Second, the administrative head of PBHA-now to be named executive director rather than chief executive officer-will continue to report to Kidd on matters of safety and financial integrity, and to the Board (of which Kidd is a member) on programmatic issues.

The executive director will be selected by a joint search conducted by a small committee, to be designated in late September at the next meeting of the Board.

A Step Forward