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Exits Help Clear Out Radcliffe Structure

By Rosalind S. Helderman and Joyce K. Mcintyre, Crimson Staff Writerss

Despite plans for an unprecedented growth of its research programs, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study is quietly slimming down its central administration in the wake of its Oct. 1 merger with Harvard.

In the past four months, at least five top-level administrators have left Radcliffe Yard, and officials say they will purposely not replace several in hopes of eliminating jobs now handled by Harvard.

"In general I would say that the merger with Harvard makes possible handing over some of our work [to Harvard]," says Acting Dean Mary Maples Dunn. "We've already begun somewhat to reduce some of the administrative costs."

For instance, the merger has made Radcliffe's office for undergraduate programming obsolete. Harvard is now responsible for all female undergraduates.

Thus, when former Assistant Dean of Educational Programming Joanne L. Allen-Willoughby resigned her post this summer to work for the city of Boston, Radcliffe wasn't displeased.

"Sometimes a departure can be fortuitous for both parties, because we don't necessarily need everyone we had when were an independent institution, but also these people are able to find great new positions," says Michael A. Armini, Radcliffe spokesperson.

Willoughby declined to comment on her recent departure from Radcliffe.

As the Harvard Management Corporation takes charge of Radcliffe's newly enlarged $350 million endowment, Radcliffe's finance office also won't be quite as busy.

Radcliffe has decided, for example, not to replace former controller and director of budgets at Radcliffe College Atlas D. Evans, who left the Institute in September.

According to Armini, the communications office has also shrunk in recent years. The office employed 10 and a half full-time staffers in 1996, but now has only 7 and a half such positions.

While Armini says the communications office has merely experienced non-merger related turn-over, his own old job--media relations officer--was eliminated when he was promoted to director of communications this summer.

"The question now is can we continue to do a great job with fewer people?" Armini says. "I think we can. Maybe the days will be a little bit longer. But there can be a benefit to having a leaner operation."

And as Radcliffe wraps up its seven-year long, $100-million capital campaign, its die-hard fundraisers might move on to other non-profits that are still in the throes of a major campaign.

Three members of the Radcliffe Development Office have in fact recently departed, including Joanna N. Brode, who had served as interim director of development for a year.

"As a campaign winds down, the head-hunters come out of the woodwork," says Brode, who now serves as director of individual giving at MIT's Whitehead Institute. Brode herself cites personal reasons for leaving what she calls a "wonderful experience" at Radcliffe.

"They're the best fundraisers that I've ever seen," Brode says. "I'm surprised they haven't all been whisked away."

Dunn and Armini both stress that despite the administrative downsizing the Institute will experience over-all growth in the next several years.

Radcliffe College once supported 18 funded fellows. Beginning next year, the Institute will support 56 such scholars, complete with increased technological and administrative support. That means Radcliffe may well be putting out the 'help wanted' sign in coming years.

And with new opportunities, Dunn says she hopes to simply shift around loyal Radcliffe employees who want to stay with the Institute. For instance, one former member of the office of undergraduate programming now works in communications.

"My hope is that we won't have to lay anybody off, but can take advantage of movement and reassignment," Dunn says.

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