Roberts Appointed University Secretary

Lawyer to Work Closely With President

University officials announced yesterday that Michael W. Roberts has been appointed Secretary of the University and Assistant to the President.

Roberts, a veteran of last year's presidential search, has served as acting Secretary of the University for the past nine months. He will continue to coordinate the activities of Harvard's two governing bodies, the Harvard Corporation and the Board of Overseers. He will also work closely with President Neil L. Rudenstine.

In an interview yesterday, Roberts said he fills an "air traffic control function," at the University. He said he hopes to perfect interactions between Rudenstine, the deans, the vice presidents and the governing boards.

Roberts also said he hopes to help Rudenstine "involve the two boards more closely with the day-to-day workings of the University."

Former Resident Tutor


The newly-appointed secretary is 42 years old and a graduate of Dartmouth College. He has a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a master's and Ph.D. from Harvard in English and American Literature.

Robert was a resident tutor in Dunster House from 1974-79. He served as a lawyer for Harvard from 1982 until his appointment as acting secretary.

Exceptional Person'

In a statement, Rudenstine described Roberts as "an exceptional person."

Pound Professor of Law and former Law School Dean James Vorenberg '49 said of Roberts, "He is a wonderfully open and warm person who is totally devoted to the University sity."

Vorenberg, who was master of Dunster when Roberts was a tutor there, said, "He's a wonderful choice. He's smart...he understands the ideals and goals of Harvard.

Roberts worked closely with his predecessor, Robert Shenton, during last year's presidential search. Shenton served for 20 years as Secretary of the University before retiring last summer.

Roberts said it will be a long time before hewill be able to fully replace Shenton.

"The job really has a lot to do withinstitutional memory," he said. "So much of whatis unique about Harvard governance has not reallybeen written down."

Still, Roberts said he is "delighted andexcited" to be named to the job, and is eager tohelp Rudenstine implement his agenda