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Search Underway For New Provost

20 Nominations Are In Already

By Maggie S. Tucker

President Neil L. Rudenstine plans to begin evaluating applications for the post of University provost in January, he said in an interview this week.

Rudenstine, who has said he hopes to appoint a provost by the spring, said Harvard will soon begin advertising the job opening in publications around the country. Approximately 20 people have been nominated so far, he said, most of which have come in response to letters he has written.

"We're in motion," Rudenstine said. "We'll probably want to wait through December and see what the rest of the mail produces, and then in January we can sit down and start to evaluate."

In October, the University's governing boards approved the proposal to recreate the position of provost, which last existed during World War II. Rudenstine has said he believes that a provost, as a University-wide academic planning officer, would help the different parts of Harvard work together more closely.

The provost's responsibilities will include coordinating major Harvard initiatives in areas such as information technology and integrating planning between different departments of the central administration.

In addition, the provost will oversee the allocation of central University funds intended to strengthen institution--wide efforts.

The deans of Harvard's schools will be his primary consultants in the evaluation process, Rudenstine said. "Since it's someone who's going to be relating laterally, across the University, it's got to include all the schools," he said.

Rudenstine said he does not expect to receive more than 25 or 30 nominations total. He declined to name any of the current nominees.

Of the candidates so far, Rudenstine said, three or four are from outside the University and the others are from inside.

An official job description printed in yesterday's Harvard Gazette specifies that the provost should be a tenured faculty member with demonstrated administrative experience.

"There will be a strong preference for candidates with a knowledge of Harvard's academic and other programs, including a familiarity with aspects of professional education as well as the basic arts and sciences," the description continues.

Also listed as "essential criteria" in the description are "a broad interest in a wide spectrum of university activities and a capacity to work effectively with a wide variety of individuals and groups."

Rudenstine himself served as provost at Princeton University under then-President William G. Bowen for 10 years. Rudenstine said his own appointment was quite simple. "The president asked me," he said, "Just like that."

However, Rudenstine said Bowen probably consulted a faculty advisory committee first, adding, "I wasn't close to the process.

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