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D. Ronald Daniel, the man who has controlled the University’s pursestrings for nearly 15 years, announced yesterday that he will step down at the end of the academic year.
During his tenure as University treasurer, Daniel—who is the longest serving current member of the Harvard Corporation—has helped choose two Harvard presidents, steered the University through a period of enormous endowment growth and approved preliminary steps for Harvard’s expansion into Allston.
“My time with the Harvard Corporation has been among the most fascinating and fulfilling experiences of my life,” Daniel said in a press release yesterday. “I’ve enjoyed working with such remarkable colleagues on issues that matter to Harvard and higher education.”
University President Lawrence H. Summers—selected two years ago by a nine-member search committee that included Daniel—said yesterday that Daniel has played a vital role in both overseeing the University and providing administrative insight.
“He was very helpful to me in thinking about the initiatives to streamline the central management’s focus on promoting and increasing the efficiency with which we use our resources,” Summers said.
Daniel, who became Harvard’s 29th treasurer in 1989, is a senior staff member at the consulting firm McKinsey & Co., where he served as managing partner from 1976 to 1988.
As one of seven members of the Corporation, the University’s highest governing board, Daniel helped name both Summers in 2001 and former University President Neil L. Rudenstine in 1991.
He has also chaired Harvard Management Company, which oversees the University’s endowment, and the Corporation Committee on Shareholder Responsibility, which sets forth an ethical code for Harvard’s investments.
Corporation member Hanna H. Gray described Daniel as “an excellent overseer of the financial structure of the institution.”
“He has a way of being able to point things out that is at once deeply instructive and not at all condescending,” Gray said.
The Corporation—which meets roughly once a month—has the final say on University issues involving land, finance and administration.
In recent years, the Corporation has seen several changes in its composition.
Herbert S. “Pug” Winokur ’64-’65, a director of Enron during its collapse, resigned in 2002, only two years after his appointment.
Robert G. Stone Jr. ’45 retired from the Corporation at the end of the same academic year after 27 years on board.
Former Secretary of the Treasury Robert E. Rubin ’60 and former Director of the Congressional Budget Office Robert D. Reischauer ’63 were both named to the Corporation in 2002.
A committee comprised of Summers, two Corporation members and three members the Board of Overseers—the University’s 30-member alumni board—will lead the search for Daniel’s replacement. Summers and the Corporation will elect the next treasurer with the approval of the Board of Overseers.
—Staff writer Elisabeth S. Theodore contributed to the reporting of this story.
—Staff writer Jenifer L. Steinhardt can be reached at email@example.com.
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