Brilliant scholar. Talented administrator. Fine intellectual. And good with people.
Ask the friends and colleagues of any Harvard presidential candidate still in the running, and they will tell you that theirs fits this description to a tee.
Each of the eight highly regarded men who have emerged from a starting field of hundreds has a fair shot at one of the most influential posts in the realm of education. The names are different but the praise--from faculty and administrators--sounds suspiciously the same.
Earlier this month, Charles P. Slichter Jr. '45, chair of the secretive presidential search committee, revealed a short list of candidates to the Board of Overseers and invited members of the alumni-elected governing body to comment on the eight finalists.
Sources say that search committee members told the overseers they would probably present a final candidate for approval at the Board's next meeting, in April.
And although University spokesperson Peter Costa suggested this week that a decision might be made in mid-March, he did not rule out the possibility of an April announcement.
Until the big day--whether it comes in March or April--the eight-member presidential search committee will undoubtedly be working toward forging a consensus on a single lucky individual.
Indeed, the search committee appears to have stepped up the pace of its activities. In the last several weeks, at least five of the candidates have been interviewed by the committee at meetings in Boston, New York and Chicago.
According to sources close to the selection process, the following candidates are still under consideration:
* Stephen G. Breyer, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit, and former professor at Harvard Law School.
* Gerhard Casper, provost of the University of Chicago and former dean of the university's law school.
* Martin S. Feldstein '61, Baker professor of economics and former chair of the Council of Economic Advisers in Washington, D.C.
* Donald C. Hood, professor of psychology and former vice president of arts and sciences at Columbia University.
* Jeremy R. Knowles, Houghton professor of chemistry and biochemistry and former chair of Harvard's chemistry department.
* Philip Leder '56, Andrus professor of genetics and chair of the genetics department at Harvard Medical School.