This week's appointment of L. Fred Jewett '57 as dean of the College will leave a void at the top of the Harvard Admissions Office that could take up to a year to fill, officials said this week.
While Dean of the Faculty A. Michael Spence decides how to replace the outgoing dean of admissions and financial aids, Jewett's top two former assistants will work double duty to pick up the slack that has been left in the wake of Jewett's promotion to the College's top post Jewett assumed office yesterday
However neither Director of Financial Aids James S. Miller nor recently named Director of Admissions Laura G. Fisher said they had been or would be named acting dean. They added that no acting dean would be appointed.
It remains unclear whose name will appear on acceptance letters when they are mailed to the Class of 1990 next December and April.
Spence said that his first concern would be to "make sure that we devise a way of getting through this year," but refused to say when a search committee would be formed to select Jewett's replacement. Spence said he hoped to have a new dean by January, but added that a candidate's availability could prevent a successor from being named until well into next year.
Spence added that if the work becomes too much for the Admissions Office to handle, he might suggest that Jewett return to Byerly Hall to help out temporarily.
Jewett, who said he intends to maintain close ties with the admissions office during his tenure as dean of the College, said he thought the office would be able to function without him, but added "it would be preferable to have somebody there during the winter and spring."
Miller and Fisher said they could not imagine the admissions office without Jewett, but both said they thought the admissions office would survive his absence.
"We'll miss him [Jewett]." Fisher said of the 20-year admissions office veteran, "but I think we can manage."
Fisher added that she thought the loss of Jewett would be felt the most during January and February, when admissions officers stop travelling to secondary schools nationwide and begin reading candidates' applications.
She added that she thought Jewett will be too busy with College matters during those months to return to Byerly, as Spence had suggested.
Miller, a sever-year veteran of the admissions office (two as director of financial aids), said that he thought Jewett's setting of "the tone and tenor of each year's application process" would be sorely missed. He added, however, that he didn't think there would be any visible signs of Jewett's departure in the office's daily operations.
The full admissions and financial aids staff will meet later this month to decide how to divide the additional responsibilities each officer will have to assume to Jewett's absence, Miller added.
Both Fisher and Miller said they were not interested in succeeding Jewett as dean. "I'm happy being director," said Fisher.
Though he said he had no aspirations of becoming dean, Miller suggested that Jewett's replacement be "somebody familiar with the University and Harvard's style of admissions and financial aid."
Fisher, who served six years in the admissions office before being named director of admissions this spring, said she thought the next dean should be "sensitive to the needs of the institution."