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Help Wanted: Harvard's Top Job

University Advertises in National Media to Fill the Presidency

By Joshua Z. Heller

Do you have a "distinguished and recognized scholarly record and a developed understanding of management"? Are you yearning to start your life over again with a high-stakes career in the exciting world of University management?

Don't give up hope now. Harvard may have a job for you.

Starting this week, the University began advertising for candidates to succeed President Derek C. Bok, who announced last June that he would step down at the end of this academic year.

Harvard spokesperson Peter Costa said yesterday that this is the first time in the modern era that the University has resorted to public ads in an effort to fill its top post. Costa said that the nine members of the search committee hope that the notices will widen the pool of potential candidates.

Broad Ourtreach

"Our goal has been to have the broadest outreach possible," said Costa.

The first of the ads appeared in Sunday's edition of The New York Times, and Costa said that ads are also running in The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Wall St. Journal and The Harvard University Gazette. The committee has spent a total of $6500 on the ads, Costa said.

Ford Professor of Social Sciences David Riesman '31, who is co-writing a book about university president searches, said that in the last two decades public advertising has become standard protocol in searches to fill top administrative posts.

"It is possible that the ads will turn up some viable candidates," Riesman said, explaining that although candidates might not apply directly, they might ask others to nominate them.

One previous applicant for a top University post yesterday expressed skepticism that the Harvard power elite would be friendly to new faces.

Daniel H. Tabak '92, chair of the Undergraduate Council's residential committee, said that he had applied for the post vacated last spring by former Dean of the Faculty A. Michael Spence.

The career move, he said, seemed entirely logical. "I didn't have a summer job and [Bok] didn't have a dean of the Faculty," Tabak explained.

Bok, however saw things differently. Shortly before announcing his resignation, he sent Tabak a letter saying that the the job of dean "would not be suitable to a person of your talents and energy," Tabak said.

Tabak said that, at the moment, he has no plans to apply for Bok's job.

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