Harvard University was expected to name its new president by today, although the school”s search committee has given little indication of when an announcement will be made.
Two weeks ago, The Boston Globe quoted sources close to the process as saying the committee was poised to announce their choice by today, adding another rumor to a search plagued by numerous leaks and endless speculation in recent weeks. That report came only days after University of Michigan President Lee Bollinger was interviewed by the committee for the third time at a Manhattan hotel.
Bollinger is rumored to be the committee”s top choice for the post out of the three finalists.
Officials at the Cambridge, Mass., university told The Michigan Daily yesterday they had no knowledge of any announcement today, a statement University spokeswoman Julie Peterson and other University officials reiterated. Bollinger appeared to be at home last night, and earlier in the day he refused to comment.
A woman who answered the phone at the New York City home of one search committee member last night said he was unavailable because he was traveling to Cambridge. Another search committee member declined comment.
Several members of the University Board of Regents said they had no knowledge that Harvard had extended an offer to Bollinger, saying they have been operating under the assumption that he would remain at the University.
“Right now, Lee”s the president, and I look forward to seeing him at our meeting next week,” said Regent Dan Horning (R-Grand Haven).
Horning and several other members of the board expressed some impatience about the issue, saying they were looking forward to having the issue resolved as soon as possible.
Regents Larry Deitch (D-Bloomfield Hills) and David Brandon (R-Ann Arbor) said the board has not had any discussions as to who would be named the interim president if Bollinger were to depart.
But Bollinger still maintained his silence about his candidacy at Harvard. “I really can”t talk about the search process,” he said yesterday.
Bollinger also refused to comment on whether he would accept the position if it were offered to him.
Princeton University President Harold T. Shapiro, who served as the University of Michigan”s president until 1988, said last night that his decision to leave Ann Arbor for an Ivy League university was a “tremendous struggle.”
“It was very difficult to leave the people and places that had meant so much to me,” he said.
In addition to Bollinger, the other top candidates for the Harvard post are former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers and Harvard Provost Harvey Fineberg. Harvard education professor Judith McLaughlin, an expert on presidential searches, told The Harvard Crimson last week that the search committee is likely to ensure that their nominee will accept the position before submitting a name to the Board of Overseers for approval.