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University of California (U.C.) officials interviewed Provost Albert Carnesale on Tuesday for the vacant chancellorship of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), and sources on the search committee said he and the provost of the University of Pennsylvania are the top two contenders for the job.
Harvard sources confirmed on Tuesday that Carnesale was in California.
When asked in an interview yesterday about his "trip on Tuesday to California," Carnesale said, "I'm not commenting on my calender and I'm certainly not commenting on pending personnel actions at this University or any other."
Sources on the UCLA search committee told the UCLA Daily Bruin that Carnesale, University of Pennsylvania Provost Stanley Chodorow, UCLA Medical School Dean Gerald Levey and UCLA Law School Dean Susan Prager were interviewed behind closed doors Tuesday by U.C. President Richard Atkinson.
Carnesale and Chodorow are said to be the top contenders. However, last night sources on the search committee said that Chodorow was the lead candidate.
Carnesale had canceled his Tuesday appointments, including a campus news conference, with little notice at the beginning of the week. Carnesale could not be reached at home late Tuesday night.
When contacted Tuesday night, University spokesperson Alex Huppe said he did not know the Provost's whereabouts and had not spoken with him that day.
A spokesperson for Atkinson had no comment regarding whether the interview took place or whether the short list published by the Bruin was correct.
"For anybody to say that the search had been narrowed down to a certain number of candidates is totally inaccurate," Terry Colvin, a spokesperson for Atkinson, told the Bruin.
Atkinson is solely responsible for choosing a single candidate to present to the Board of Regents and only receives advice from the search committee. Atkinson is free to chose a candidate not recommended by the search committee or one whom he has not interviewed, though this is not likely, said a UCLA spokesperson.
Earlier this month, the Bruin published a preliminary list of four candidates obtained from a member of the search committee that included Carnesale and UCLA's Prager, but also listed Stanford University Provost Condoleezza Rice and University of Florida President John Lombardi.
The Bruin reported on Wednesday that Rice's and Lombardi's absences from this week's interviews reflected possible cuts made by Atkinson.
The Board of Regents is expected to vote on Atkinson's recommendation at its March 20-21 meeting.
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