Slate Winnowed For Harvard Presidency

The presidential search committee has whittled the list of contenders for the University presidency down to about 30 to 40 candidates, discarding over 450 other nominees, including Vice President Al Gore '69 and President Bill Clinton.

Search committee chair Robert G. Stone Jr. '45 read the short list at the December meeting of the Board of Overseers, members of that body confirm.

Sources familiar with the committee's work say that among its top candidates are:

* Lee C. Bollinger, the president of the University of Michigan and noted First Amendment scholar, who has not taught at Harvard;

* Business School Dean Kim B. Clark '74;

* Provost Harvey V. Fineberg '67;

* Kathleen M. Sullivan, dean of Stanford Law School and former Harvard Law School professor;

* Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers, who left his position as a tenured professor in the Economics Department to join the Clinton administration;

* Harold Varmus, the former National Institute of Health director and currently the CEO of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, who got a masters degree at Harvard.

Members of the Board of Overseers declined to confirm or deny that these names were on the short list they were read.

What they have revealed is that on Sunday, Dec. 10, the Board gathered in the ballroom of the Corporation's headquarters in Loeb House to discuss the search.

As they sat around tables facing each other, search committee chair Robert G. Stone Jr. '45 read the short list aloud.

Sometimes he paused to give brief explanations of the candidates, often explaining the present positions of those candidates not currently at Harvard.

The Board was told to keep the names of those on the list in the strictest confidence.

The Board of Overseers must approve the search committee's choice for president. The Board next meets in February; if the search committee has not made a final selection by that meeting they may have to convene a special meeting to ratify a candidate, as they did in 1991when President Neil L. Rudenstine was appointed.

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