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if you can find exactly the right words, it stops everybody. “What
do you mean, untreated sewage?” I said: “This is no way to run an
organization like this!” And we then settled down to thinking about
how we should operate. And what we came up with, after a few months,
a scheme whereby we laid out the entire year's agenda, so that we
knew that over a period of three years we would cover every unit and
every kind of problem that the university was facing, always allowing
an hour at each meeting for recent events and so on. But at least we
had an organized plan.
I could show you--the whole year's plan is on a double sheet of
paper. At nine o'clock we hear the president, and then at ten
o'clock we hear from the dean of this, and then at eleven o'clock we
deal with financial problems, and at twelve o'clock we deal with
this, and then we have so and so in for lunch.
So we did improve the organization. And by then, Derek was much
more “in the saddle”, so to speak, and much more comfortable with the
various governing bodies--deans, Corporation, oversees, so on, and
had really taken charge. So I did serve the first year while I was
still at Time Inc., and after that--it's now been what? Six years?
Seven years? I was supposed to retire at seventy, and then they
asked me to stay on. And I don't know whether I'll retire--I guess
I'm not even going to retire this year, because there hasn't been a
search committee put together to find a replacement.
The Corporation really does now think in long-range terms.
Problems--what kind of problems did we have? Well, even while I was
on the Board of Oversees, I realized we were forever discussing the
most god-awful problem: Harvard had a power plant in the medical
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