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Matina S. Horner will soon become Radcliffe's youngest president, and it looks like the 32-year-old assistant professor of Clinical Psychology and mother of three children will have her work cut out for her.
Determined to fulfill her current commitments to advisees and doctoral candidates. Horner also plans to continue teaching courses on alternate years and to conduct research in the field of achievement-related motivation in women.
"The idea of a teacher-researcher-administrator is a new one." Horner said yesterday. "I hope that through this job I will be able to bring to bear the perspectives of all the different groups in the University--students, faculty, and administrators alike."
Horner, who will be a dean of the University as well as President of Radcliffe because of the "non-merger merger" ratified last Spring, emphasizes that she does not want to be considered merely as "the dean of women at Harvard." "Just being dean of women would give me a funny perspective on the problems of the whole student body," she said in an interview Tuesday.
Although she has refused to give her position on a number of University and University-related issues because "I haven't really had time to study all the issues involved," Horner did set a long-range goal for her administration.
"My experience at teaching has convinced me of the basic, intrinsic curiosity of young people," she said following the official announcement of her appointment Monday. "I want to seek an environment that won't inhibit but will foster this 'need to know'."
Horner said Thursday that she has not yet set specific priorities for her presidency, but that "I think the thing that will always guide me in establishing priorities is the idea of what a great university is supposed to represent. I will have to see how my decisions fit in with those priorities."
As President of Radcliffe, Horner will be in charge of the remaining Radcliffe facilities which include the Schlesinger Library, the Radcliffe Institute, the Fund Office, the Graduate Career Planning Office, and the Agassiz Theater.
But apart from her activities at Harvard. Horner also has family duties to share with her husband, physicist Joseph L. Horner. "It's just incredible," one of her women students remarked recently. "Every day she goes home to her children after working all morning, then comes back in the afternoon and does more work. She's phenomenal."
And so she will have to be if she is to live up to the mamoth set of commitments and responsibilities with which she is now faced. Nevertheless, nearly everyone who knows Horner has expressed their delight at her appointment and their confidence in her ability to do the job. It could be that the University is now witnessing the birth of a new kind of administrator, one who is in her own life intimately involved with wide ranges of community interests and concerns.
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