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New President to Face Restructured University

By David N. Hollander

With President Pusey's resignation effective June 1971, the University faces simultaneously two huge decisions: the choice of a new President and the restructuring of the bureaucracy over which he will preside.

Yesterday's announcement said the Corporation "will welcome suggestions of all interested persons-faculty, students, alumni, employees and others concerned with Harvard." Details are to be announced shortly.


Everybody, of course, is eager to take part in the choice of the new President. Some universities (such as Columbia) have created faculty student-alumni search committees. But some Harvard Faculty members have objected privately that such committees actually narrow the range of available information.

The Faculty last week passed a resolution asking that its Council be consulted in the choice; the Overseers reportedly feel they have had too small a role in the University in recent years, and they are determined that their voice will be stronger this time.

Two professors were recently named to the Corporation, and some members of the community are counting on them to emphasize academic considerations in choosing the new President.

Most observers praise Pusey's management, especially his choices of deans, his fund-raising successes, his efforts to keep the University as free as possible of the federal government, and his courageous stand against Sen. Joseph McCarthy in the early 1950's.

But the feeling is widespread that Pusey has become an anachronism. His frosty image, it is felt, does not fit the highly-politicized University that now exists. Even conservative Faculty members tend to share that view; Pusey has had difficulties with the

Calming Effect
Faculty since he arrived in 1953.

Because of Pusey's isolation, he has become the target of much critical energy which might have more profitably been concentrated on substantive issues in the University. Several professors said last night they hope the retirement announcement will have a "calming effect" and redirect the Faculty's energy.

But the pressing issue of restructure complicates the whole situation.

President Pusey had strongly resisted plans for sweeping restructure of the Presidency (such as the creation of a Provost's office to oversee academic affairs).

Pusey believes in the power of his office, and did not wish to have his options limited. Another reason-perhaps just as important-was his firm belief that his successor must not be doomed to ineffectuality by a diffuse administrative structure.

Yet members of the Faculty and the Board of Overseers are known to feel strongly that the President's job is just too big to be handled well. Such power concentrated in the hands of one man can be disastrous, they feel, and they frequently cite Pusey's isolation last April as an example of the disasters which can result.

Almost everyone agrees that men must be added to the archaic administrative structure of the President's office-the question is how that is to be done. The stage is set for a gigantic and important guessing-game in University politics.

Some influential University figures feel that it is essential to split the President's powers now by University legislation. Tell candidates for the Presidency that the job will be limited in the future, they urge. Give the new President a take-it-or-leave-it restructured Administration.

A second group feels that the kind of men Harvard would want as President would "leave it" -refuse such a circumscribed job. It is impossible to prescribe the intimate inner structure of an administration in advance, they say.

The President of the United States distributes power as he chooses (within the broad confines of the Cabinet system); he is able to set up new posts such as those President, Nixon created for Daniel P. Moynihan and Henry A. Kissinger, or he can retain the power for himself. The President of Harvard must have the same options, the second group insists.

Early Choice

Proponents of the second view are hopeful now that a President may be chosen within the next year. By next Spring, they hope, the President-designate could come to agreement with the restructuring committees as to how his office would be reshaped.

Pusey's resignation-several months earlier than most observers expected-may have been timed with this aspect of restructuring in mind. As one high University administrator said last night, Pusey must have felt "he was doing a great service to his successor" by giving him a chance to be looked over by a search committee before a new Administrative structure takes effect.

Some Faculty members who generally favor the idea of having a University Provost (and perhaps still another major officer to conduct fund-raising campaigns) feel that if the new President were acceptable in general-and to many this means an image closer to Kingman Brewster than to Nathan Pusey-it would not be necessary that the President's office be formally split.

So the University is likely to be at odds with itself during the next year over the closely-linked issues of restructuring and choosing a new President. One group will apparently fight to remake the office of the President and present restructuring to candidates as a fait accompli. Another group may try to put off the creation of new administrative posts until the new President can take part in the negotiations. Pusey's powerful voice will presumably side with the second group.

And everyone even remotely connected with Harvard will meanwhile be pushing for the kind of man he wants as the chief officer of the nation's oldest University.

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