Harvard is attempting to nab a Cuban-born specialist in Lain American economics from the Columbia University faculty to fill an endowed chair vacant for several years.
The University has made the tenure offer-which guarantees a lifetime post here--to Carlos Diaz-Alejandro, who is expected to decide before September whether to accept the Economics Department's offer, said department Chairman Jerry Green.
If Diaz-Alejandro decides to leave New York for Cambridge, he will fill the Guttman Professorship of Latin American Affairs, a post last held by Gino Germani, a sociology professor who died about three years ago.
He would also join the small Latin American and Iberian Studies Committee, which recently lost two junior faculty members--Susan L. Cline, assistant professor of History, of History and Literature and of Social Studies; and Assistant Professor of Government Terry Karl--to other universities.
Diaz-Alejandro is out of the country and could not be reached for comment.
Green said the Columbia economist--who was the first choice of a search committee that selected him from "quite a long list that included every Latin America specialist in the world"--is "interested" in the Harvard post. Yet, Green added that "it's hard to say" whether Diaz-Alejandro will decide to come here.
Diaz-Alejandro is best known for having written what many scholars have called "the definitive economic history of Argentina."
"Among economists who do history he's one of the most outstanding," said John Womack Jr. '59, Bliss Professor of Latin American History and Economics. Womack added that instructors of Diaz-Alejandro's qualifications are a rare commodity among North American universities, since most experts in Latin American economic teach in South America