It's Summers!

Former Secretary of the Treasury Chosen as Harvard's 27th President

Former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Lawrence H. Summers has been recommended by the Harvard presidential search committee to be the 27th president of the University.

Members of the Board of Overseers--who must give consent for the final choice to be official--have not yet approved the search committee's decision.

A formal announcement is expected by Monday, which would formally end the nine-month search for a successor to outgoing University President Neil L. Rudenstine, who will step down in June.

The Corporation has also scheduled a meeting with the University deans for Monday.

Although widespread speculation has focused on University of Michigan President Lee C. Bollinger in recent days, the search committee ultimately settled on Summers after weeks of debate.


The Approval

The Board of Overseers still needs to approve the committee's choice.

While their next scheduled meeting is the weekend of March 23 to 25, the board could be called into an emergency session.

The board has not rejected a candidate in modern Harvard history.

Overseers reached recently have said that no preparations for an emergency meeting had been made. But the Overseers could be polled by a telephone conference call if necessary.

However, Charles P. Slichter '45, who sat on the two previous search committees that chose Presidents Derek C. Bok and Rudenstine, said the overseers' consent has historically come at a physical meeting of the Board of Overseers.

"There would be a meeting with the Corporation and the Overseers where the search committee presents the case for a candidate and seeks the board's approval," Slichter said.

In the event of a special meeting, Slichter said, Overseers could be rounded up relatively quickly.

"The overseers are going to consider this a very important function--they would shove things aside [to attend]," he said.

The Man Who Would Be President

Summers was appointed treasury secretary on July 2, 1999, after four years as deputy secretary and two years as undersecretary for international affairs, a post where much of his focus was on international economic and financial policy.

Summers is currently a fellow at the Brookings Institution, a Washington-based think tank--a post he's held only since Clinton's departure in January.

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