The public spotlight has hardly ever illuminated Harvey Brooks, but the dean of the Division of Engineering and Applied Physics has been a behind-the-scenes power in two Harvard administrations and several national ones as well.
Brooks, who is also McKay Professor of Applied Physics, said this week he would end his decade and a half tenancy as an administrator to devote more time to teaching, research, and public service activities which he has pursued all along.
The 58 year-old scientist is an assistant to Dean Rosovsky and is widely regarded as one of the University's most skilled administrators. He serves as vice chairman of the Faculty Council, masterminding the parliamentary business of the Faculty.
When President Bok needed someone to handle faculty politics after former Dean John T. Dunlop abruptly departed for Washington, he appointed Brooks as Chairman of the Faculty Council --a title that the Dean of the Faculty normally holds splitting the duties of the office with former Acting Dean Franklin L. Ford.
Brooks shares something else with Dunlop a penchant for commuting back and forth to Washington. Brooks is president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and serves on a variety of government groups, in clouding a commission dealing with scientific and technological cooperation with the Soviet Union.
The decision to leave the deanship was made two and one-half years ago, Brooks said last Monday but he stayed on because "it wasn't convenient to the University" for him to leave then.
Bok also took Brook's advice and created a committee to examine the teaching and research priorities in the Division.
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