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Presidential search process winds down

@ByName:By Reuven M. Lerner

According to Professor Claude R. Canizares, a member of the faculty search committee, the two committees have had "joint meetings," often as many as four times a week.

Professor Henry D. Jacoby, the chairman of the faculty, said that while there exist "some differences" between the groups, "there is good harmony" between them most of the time. "People, not committees, have different opinions," he explained.

One member of the faculty committee said that the committees stopped looking at new names over one month ago. A source high in the administration agreed with this assessment, saying that the committees "have a short list" and are "on time."

In addition, Walter Milne, the assistant to the Corporation committee, said that there are "less than ten" names remaining on the list.

But other committee members have denied the allegation. Jacoby said that the committee "is still talking with new people," and Canizares has said that a "fairly sizable" list of candidates remains.

Carl M. Mueller '41, the chairman of the Corporation search committee, added that there is a "big number" of candidates.

Committee members have also been reluctant to discuss the criteria by which they are evaluating candidates. Professor Lawrence M. Lidsky PhD '62 said that "scholarly accomplishment and educational commitment" were important.

Jacoby added that a joint committee, including undergraduate and graduate students, had also recommended criteria for the committees to consider. "The committee spent a great deal of time in May and June trying to get as good of an impression as it could from inside and outside of MIT," he said.

Canizares agreed with Jacoby, saying that "we have been quite active in trying to solicit" opinions from MIT community members, including "representatives of all the schools, leaders of student government, Corporation members, staff, department heads, and deans." He added that groups have discussed issues with the committees, while individuals have come forward with names for consideration.

Professor Gene M. Brown, dean of the School of Science, said that the committee has been asking him "normal things," including "important issues" <>

and names of candidates he recommends.

Not all community members feel that they have been represented, however. At a Dec. 20 forum in 10-250, students and faculty criticized the lack of student representation on the selection committees. Steven D. Penn G said at the forum that all members of the MIT community -- faculty, staff, and students -- should have a voice in the selection, and Professor Jonathan A. King hoped that the committees would be sensitive to the needs of minorities and women.

Insiders and outsiders

under consideration

Members of both search committees acknowledged that candidates from inside as well as outside MIT were under consideration to succeed Gray, but none of them would say how many of each remained on the list. Milne felt that a person's connection with MIT was not a major factor. If a non-MIT person were chosen, he or she would be the first since Karl Taylor Compton, who was president from 1930-1949, to come from outside of the Institute.

Canizares said that "someone who knows the intricacies of the Institute could start out on day one." An outsider, he continued, would have to learn his way around, but would bring a "fresh perspective," since he or she would be concerned with "no particular view of MIT."

"[There are] good people both inside and outside" the Institute, said Jacoby, who stressed that "different members of the community have preferences one way or the other." Jacoby noted that while there were more outsiders in the pool of candidates, "there is good representation from both inside and outside."

If the new president does come from outside of MIT, it seems that he or she would come from academia, rather than from industry. A high-ranking administration official said that while the committee "may be looking" at people in industry, "it would be better to have someone with academic experience." He added that "running a university is different from running a corporation."