Corporation to meet today
By Reuven M. Lerner
The MIT Corporation is expected to spend much of today's quarterly meeting discussing their next step in the presidential search process.
When Biology Professor Phillip A. Sharp was nominated for the presidency on Feb. 14, many faculty and administration members agreed that he would most likely be approved by the Corporation. His withdrawal on Feb. 20 meant the Corporation had to choose between starting the search from the beginning, or continuing from where they had left off. Walter L. Milne, an assistant to the Corporation chairman, said that "any option ... that is reasonable within the parameters of the search" is a possibility.
The Executive Committee of the Corporation, which had originally recommended Sharp's nomination to the full Corporation, met yesterday to discuss the options available to them. Milne said the committee had discussed the presidential search on the telephone, but added that yesterday was the first time they had met "around the table."
Milne acknowledged it was possible, although highly unlikely, that a member of the Corporation would nominate a candidate during today's meeting. "In theory," he said, "someone could nominate someone else for president at any meeting when the situation is as it is now."
The Corporation is also expected to extend the terms of President Paul E. Gray '54 and Corporation Chairman David S. Saxon '41. Gray was originally scheduled to replace Saxon, who had planned to retire on July 1. Sharp's withdrawal from the search makes it quite possible that the search will not be completed by then. In a statement released on Feb. 14, both Gray and Saxon announced their willingness to stay on until a replacement for Gray is found. Milne said that Gray would be the first president in "the modern era" of the Institute to have his term extended in this manner.
If the Corporation agrees to resume the search, candidates who were on the search committee's short list may be reconsidered. Two of the leading people on that list were Stanford University's Dean of Engineering James F. Gibbons and MIT Economics Professor Paul L. Joskow. Gibbons was offered the presidency of Carnegie Mellon University last fall, but declined because of his candidacy at MIT, according to The Tartan, CMU's student newspaper.
[bb] Another candidate who may be reconsidered is Provost John M. Deutch '61, who announced on Jan. 23 that he would not be the next president of MIT. The Tartan reported earlier this week that Deutch was under consideration by CMU until late last year, when he pulled out because of his candidacy at MIT. In an interview with The Tartan, CMU President Richard M. Cyert encouraged the Corporation to bring Deutch back as a candidate, saying, "If I were [MIT], I'd go after Deutch and try to convince him to come back ... he may no longer be willing to do that."
The Corporation will likely approve tuition increases for the upcoming year.