Norman R. Smith, assistant dean of the Kennedy School of Government, will leave his post after Commencement to become senior advisor to Mayor Raymond L. Flynn, after several months of work with the mayor's transition team.
Smith's departure will begin a gradual decentralization and expansion of the K-School's student job placement program, which he now runs. Under the new scheme, he faculty will have more input into career placement, which will help provide a better system of "networking" and ultimately increase job prospects, Smith said yesterday.
"K-School jobs differ a lot from other processions, because the students are looking at several different job markets in government." Smith said, adding "Getting employment often involves a lot of politics and networking so faculty connections become more valuable."
In his new position, Smith said he will "try a find a way to draw on the business and financial leadership of the city." He took a have from the K-School from December through January to lead the search for the mayor's top four financial advisors, and has played an active role in the Flynn administration since then. He now spends days at the K-School and afternoons and evenings at the favor's top four financial advisors, and has played an active role in the Flynn administration since then. He now spends days at the K-school and afternoons and evenings at the favor's office.
Smith and Flynn first met at the Graduate School of Education nearly five years ago, when Flynn was studying for a masters defence and their friendship has grown since that time. "I know the Mayor has the highest regard for him," Deputy Press Secretary to the Mayor Bob C. Fennerin said. He added that Flynn chose Smith for his "expertise at long-range planning and administrative planning abilities."
Smith said he will coordinate efforts between the Flynn administration and the K-School's Business and Government Center to make Boston "a national model of government streamlining" and eventually to reduce city expenses through a better business-government partnership.
He called his appointment "a great opportunity to work in government so close to Harvard and the research which has been done" at the Business and Government Center.
"There's something in it for the school" as well. Smith added, saying that K-School students will gain better access to summer jobs and internships with the Flynn administration than they had under Mayor Kevin H. White.
Smith's post as job placement director will expand to include separate positions in alumni administration, student services and job placement. The K-School has been "talking all year about changing and expanding the staff." Smith said, adding that the office has not kept pace with the school's growing enrollment over the past four years.
He said the reorganization will help tie job placement to students' areas of specialization.