Former ambassador to the Soviet Union Arthur A. Hartman '47 was appointed last weekend president of the Board of Overseers, Harvard's alumni-elected governing board.
Hartman, who will assume the post next year, will serve a one-year term as president, replacing Franklin B. Raines '71. Hartman was unaninimously elected to the position at last weekend's meeting of the Overseers, a source said yesterday.
Hartman served as U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1981 until 1987, when he retired from public service. He also served as ambassador to France from 1977 to 1981. He is currently a consultant for business and foreign policy.
The former ambassador said yesterday he has no specific agenda yet regarding his upcoming term as Overseers president.
But he did say the governing board has taken on several new initiatives this year under Raines that could help bring the University closer together, an oft-mentioned goal of President Neil L. Rudenstine.
These initiatives include evaluating the role of new technology in the University and considering ways to improve pedagogy at Harvard, Hartman said.
"We've been talking to various parts of the University about new forms of teaching, new ways of getting at subject matter," Hartman said.
Overseer and actor John A. Lithgow '67 has also spearheaded a new effort to look at the arts throughout the University. Lithgow chairs a committee examining that issue, Hartman said.
"People feel now...that there ought to be a knitting together [of the University's different schools]," Hartman said.
He said the longstanding policy of "every tub on its own bottom" is no longer considered to be in Harvard's best interests.
"The Overseers can play a role of helping bring together the various parts of the University," he said. "We're all there because we'd like to see the University prosper. This is a difficult time for all universities."