Memo to the Heir Apparent

To: Provost Harvey V. Fineberg

From: Andrew K. Mandel

Re: Rudy Replacement


So, you wanna be president, eh? Don't be so shocked that the secret's out. We're a pretty perceptive bunch around here, and we're onto you. Why else would you agree to be Captain Copyright, safeguarding fair Harvard's blessed name from evil infringement perpetrators everywhere? Why let yourself be saddled with that info-tech sinkhole Project ADAPT? Why squeeze into a frilly ballgown alongside Jeremy Knowles, prancing around at a Radcliffe gala? (True story. The Crimson has pictures.) Admit it. You're gunning for the corner office.

All told, who can blame you? The presidential privileges are legion. Sure, Rudenstine got a little winded from all that work. But there's that primo car, complete with chauffeur and "1636" license plate. Classy! And all the ice cream socials and barbecues you can tolerate. And the open invitations to Harvard's Italian "research institute," Villa I Tatti, which just happens to make its own wine. It all looks so easy: Ignore a few undergraduates here, fawn over a few donors there, and call it a day. You figure, "Neil was a provost. I'm a provost." It's in the bag, right?

Not so fast. While goodness knows you've waited around here long enough--as a graduate from the College, the Medical School and the Kennedy School and as a 13-year dean of the School of Public Health--you should tread carefully as you pursue this most prestigious post. After all, the Class of 2000 may look with pride on many achievements, both individual and collective, from the virtuosity of violinist Joe Lin to the progress of the Living Wage Campaign to the electrifying performances of our Freshman Musical, "No Bull." But perhaps our greatest feat has been the ousting of both presidents who ruled the Harvard-Radcliffe we joined a mere four years ago. Yes, Queen Wilson and Rudenstine the (Capital) Campaigner abdicated after the Class of Aughty-Aught showed them who's boss. So you'd be wise to listen up.

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