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In its first public statement about what qualities Harvard's next chief executive should have, the presidential search commmittee yesterday said it will look for a first-rate scholar with administrative experience.
The brief statement, issued through University spokesperson Peter Costa, contained no surprises in painting a picture of a prospective Harvard president accomplished in a number of areas.
"The Corporation has not issued a set of required prerequisites for the new president, but he or she should have a distinguished intellect and be a recognized scholar," the statement said. "The president also must be a strong leader, and have a keen sense of management and a deep concern for Harvard and for higher education."
The nine-member committee said Harvard's new leader should use the office to address national education issues. "The president should possess imagination, vision and the eloquence to express those qualities to the University and to the world," it said.
According to the statement, the search committee will select a successor to President Derek C. Bok by February or March.
"It is the search committee's intention to complete its work by late winter or early spring in order to permit the new president to assume office in July," the committee said.
The Corporation, Harvard's seven-member chief governing board, named the search committee after Bok announced his impending resignation last June. It is composed of six Corporation members and three representatives of the alumni-elected Board of Overseers.
The committee is reportedly wrapping up its long list of 50 to 100 candidates for the presidency. Sources have said it will contain a number of figures from academia, philanthropy and politics.
In its statement, the committee made a point of saying that Harvard's past presidents have typically held diplomas with the University's name on them.
"The president of Harvard need not have a Harvard degree, although it has been customary throughout the centuries for the president to hold one," it said.
Costa said in an interview that the search committee is currently in the process of mailing out more than 200,000 letters to memebers of the Harvard community and educators across the country to solicit their opinions about the search.
He said the committee members will read the letters personally, and will most likely respond.
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