Harvard Waits for Falling Plums


If you thought it was tough to get into Harvard, wait till you're 45 and are trying to get a job with the government. The competition for jobs in the Carter administration is intense these days, and it won't let up until the last deputy assistant secretary for subway car development has been named in a high-noon press conference at the Department of Transportation.

Ever since John F. Kennedy '40 cultivated his intellectual image by taking the likes of Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. '38 with him to Washington, Harvard academics have longed for the return of Democratic administration to tinker with national policy.

Some--like Daniel P. Moynihan--simply couldn't wait for the Democratic revival, and signed on with the Republicans. Moynihan has since gone on to better things, but now his soon-to-be-ex-colleagues are sitting on their hands waiting for that phone call from somebody with a Georgia accent.

There now appear to be two distinct groups of Harvard faculty members who lust in their hearts for a little piece of the bureaucratic action.

The first are those who, sometime between Carter's early campaign start in 1974 and his photo-finish victory in November, began writing position papers for him at a rate that boggles the mind.

The second group are those who, on the basis of their past records in government jobs, are sure to be included on the "long lists" for appointive positions.

Three Government professors, Joseph S. Nye Jr., Samuel P. Huntington, and Graham T. Allison '62, are now serving as consultants for Carter's transition team, but none will confess to interest in--or expectations of receiving--government jobs.

Two Law School professors, Alan M. Dershowitz, and Charles M. Harr, also say they are advising the transition team, but again, there seem to be no solid job prospects there either.

Milton Katz '27, Stimson Professor of Law, does appear to have the inside track among the Law School Faculty. Sources said this week that he is in personal contact with Carter.

Katz, who shortly after the election suggested that Massachusetts might not be the great wellspring of talent that it had been in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, said yesterday that the apparent lack of Massachusetts appointees has become a matter of public concern.

But Katz, like most Harvard faculty members, politely declines to comment on his own prospects for a Carter appointment.

The member of the Harvard Faculty with perhaps the best bureaucratic track record is John T. Dunlop, Lamont University Professor and former Secretary of Labor under President Ford.

Dunlop, a seasoned veteran of presidential talent searches, is tightlipped about the prospects of a job in the Carter administration for himself or other Harvard teachers.

"I will not participate in any public discussion of that sort," Dunlop said yesterday.

When asked if he would name other professors who he thought were deserving of Washington posts, Dunlop said, "I'm sure there are many qualified people here, but there are others who will identify them for you and some who perhaps will identify themselves."

Another hot prospect for the Carter head-hunters is apparently Lawrence E. Lynn Jr., professor of Public Policy.

Lynn, who joined the faculty at the Kennedy School of Government only last spring, may soon be leaving for a post at the Office of Management and Budget under Georgia financier Bert Lance.

Lynn recently attended a meeting of Carter's economic advisers at his mother's now-famous Pond House in Plains.

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