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A member of Harvard's seven-man Corporation will step down from his post, marking the second departure from the governing body in as many years, Harvard officials said yesterday.
Andrew Heiskell, the 70-year old former chairman of Time Magazine, will retire from the Corporation "within the year," said Geyser University Professor Henry Rosovsky, Harvard's acting president and a member of the Corporation.
Although a replacement for Heiskell will not be named until next year, Rosovsky said in an interview yesterday that he hopes the self-perpetuating governing body will select its first minority or female member.
"It would be a very good thing if we had a woman or minority member," Rosovsky said, but he added, "I don't think that the Corporation searches for people in constituent groups. In a very small group of people it's almost impossible to talk about categories."
No public announcement regarding Heiskell's status on the Corporation had been made since The Crimson reported two years ago that he planned to resign.
Contacted at his residence in New York last night, Heiskell said he "hadn't the faintest idea" when a formal departure date would be set.
The disclosure of Heiskell's resignation from the Corporation comes less than two years after the departure of longtime member Hugh Calkins '45, a Cleveland tax lawyer. A high-ranking Harvard official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that Heiskell's departure had been postponed to prevent two simultaneous vacancies on the Corporation. Rosovsky was chosen a year ago to replace Calkins.
Officials said that Heiskell will leave the Corporation because of age considerations. "There's been a tradition on the Board that if someone gets around 70 years of age, it's a rough measure" of retirement eligibility, said Harvard Treasurer Roderick MacDougall, who is also a member of the Corporation.
The 337-year-old Corporation, formally known as the President and Fellows of Harvard College, is the University's top governing body and the oldest corporation in the Western Hemisphere. Its members, who hold closed-door meetings twice monthly, recently came under pressure from Harvard students, who urged the body to open part of their proceedings to the public.
Search Awaits Bok
Harvard officials said that a search committee to find a replacement for the Heiskell has yet to be convened.
The University is holding off on formallyinitiating the search process "in view of Mr.Bok's absence," MacDougall said. MacDougall saidthe search would proceed at "a leisurely pace."
A search committee is traditionally comprisedof three or more Corporation members includingBok, who is traveling abroad on sabbatical. In thepast, Bok--himself a member of theCorporation--has written to members of the Boardof Overseers and to others in the Universitycommunity soliciting nominations for members.
When Caulkins resignation was announced inFebruary of 1985 Bok said that the searchcommittee for the Cleveland lawyer's replacementwould give special consideration to minority andfemale candidates. Rosovsky, who was named closeto a year later, is the second Jewish member ofthe Corporation.
Rosovsky noted that besides finding a minorityor female member, some impetus had been gatheringto increase the geographical diversity of thebody. The Corporation currently has no Fellowsfrom states west of the Mississippi. One member isfrom Illinois, three are from the New York-areaand four are from the Boston-area.
Other Corporation members reached last nightdeclined to comment on possible successors toHeiskell.
Special consideration is expected to be devotedto nominees with legal backgrounds, observerssaid. At the time of Calkins' resignation, Boksaid the Board would be left "short of legaltalent" and hinted that some extra scrutiny mightbe given to candidates with legal backgrounds.
Bok, a former dean of Harvard Law School and aspecialist in labor law, is the only remaininglawyer on the Corporation, which has traditionallyhad a large number of lawyers among its ranks.Currently, the Corporation also includes twoacademics, Rosovsky and University of Illinoisphysicist Charles P. Slichter '45; twobusinessmen, Gillette Co. Chairman Colman M.Mockler '52 and New York shipping executive RobertG. Stone Jr. '45; and a banker, MacDougall.
Hope I've Been Helpful
During his tenure on the Corporation, Heiskellhas been noted for his efforts to increase thesuccess of fundraising at the University. Heiskellwas named chairman of the Harvard Campaign'scorporate gifts committee which helped raise morethan $356 million in an effort that ended in 1985.
"I hope I have been helpful," said the nativeof Florence, Italy of his work on the Board.
A former president of the Board of Overseers,Heiskell replaced Yale history professor JohnMorton Blum '43 who resigned from the Corporationin October, 1979. Cited for his managementexpertise and for his familiarity with the NewYork business community, Heiskell was selected, inpart, to assist with fundraising in anticipationof Harvard's 350th Anniversary Celebration thisfall. Heiskell is currently chairman of the Boardof Trustees of the New York Public Library.
Characterizing Heiskell as "a very broad-gaugedkind of person," former Corporation member Calkinssaid Heiskell helped streamline the internalprocesses of the Board.
Heiskell never graduated from a Harvard schoolbut earned alumni status through his attendancefor one year at the Business School in 1935.
Heiskell worked his way to the top of Time Inc.after joining Life Magazine in May, 1937 as itsscience and medicine editor
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