Timeline unclear for Zakaria replacement

Former Yale Corporation trustee Fareed Zakaria, left, shown at a public discussion forum with University President Richard Levin in 2010.
Former Yale Corporation trustee Fareed Zakaria, left, shown at a public discussion forum with University President Richard Levin in 2010. Photo by Grace Patuwo.

The Yale Corporation will begin its search for a replacement to former successor trustee Fareed Zakaria ’86, after he resigned this August in the aftermath of a plagiarism scandal.

Zakaria, the editor-at-large of Time Magazine and host of CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS, stepped down Aug. 20 after a paragraph in his Aug. 20 Time editorial closely resembled a passage by Jill Lepore ’GRD 95 in the New Yorker. Corporation Senior Fellow Edward Bass ’67 said the Corporation will discuss his replacement over the course of the semester. University President Richard Levin said the Corporation has not set a timetable to find Zakaria’s successor — since Zakaria is leaving at the start of his second six-year term, it remains unclear whether the replacement will finish Zakaria’s term or start a new six year cycle.

“We’re always scanning the distinguished alumni, developing long lists of potential [Corporation] members with various backgrounds. There’s no set quota for occupational type,” Levin said. “We try to find outstanding people who can make a contribution, but of course, we try to look at the make-up of the group when choosing new people.”

Levin said the deans and directors of Yale’s different schools and programs submit names of their alumni to a running list of alumni who could serve on the Corporation or one of Yale’s advisory committees. The list, maintained by the Office of the Secretary, will be used in the search for Zakaria’s replacement, starting at the Corporation’s upcoming September meeting Levin said.

Once the Corporation’s committee on trusteeship vets candidates, the entire Corporation discusses potential new fellows. Zakaria was a successor fellow on the Corporation, which means the remaining nine successor trustees will ultimately elect his successor.

“It’s a constant replanning process,” Levin said. “With 10 of them usually serving 12-year terms, we’re finding a replacement every five of six years.”

Zakaria served as chair of the Corporation’s education policy committee, a position that has since been filled by Francisco Cigarroa ’79.

The Corporation has 10 successor fellows and six alumni fellows, who are elected by Yale’s alumni body.

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