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Arlene F. Becella was named Registrar of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences after an extensive, sixmonth search, Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis '68 announced yesterday.
Becella comes to Harvard after serving for more than three years as registrar at the University of Arizona, where she oversaw the records of the school's 38,000 students.
At Harvard, she will supervise the records of approximately 11,500 undergraduate and graduate students, maintain enrollment records and schedule classes and exams.
Becella is highly praised by her former co-workers in Arizona who describe her as friendly, accessible and witty.
"I have worked with lots of people...but I can't say I've ever worked with anybody any better than she was," said Mary A. Clark, who was an administrative assistant under Becella.
"She did things for the registrar's office that had needed to be done for years," Clark said.
One of Becella's many projects at Arizona was the computerization of the class registration system. She also assisted in a five year, $10 million project to renovate the university's classrooms.
Becella takes the post formerly held by Georgene B. Herschbach, who left the office last spring to become Associate Dean of the College.
After Herschbach left, a selection committee chaired by William Wright-Swadel, director of the Office of Career Services, was appointed to find her replacement.
Approximately 80 candidates originally applied for the position.
"We wanted a candidate who demonstrated sensitivity to students and student's needs and [balanced] that with faculty and administrative needs," said Wright-Swadel.
Lewis admired Becella's leadership skills, describing her as "intelligent and engaging."
"She has a very strong reputation for collaboration," Lewis said. "She had been registrar at two universities bigger than [FAS]...so we know that she will work well in this complex environment."
Becella said she has yet to formulate specific plans for her role at Harvard.
"What I want to do at Harvard is meet faculty and students and staff and just listen and start to figure out what improvements we can make," Becella said.
Thurston A. Smith has been serving as Acting Registrar since Herschbach stepped down and will continue to do so until Becella assumes responsibilities on January 2, 1997.
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