Yale psychiatry professor Richard Schottenfeld will likely be the next Davenport College master, replacing current master Gerald Thomas who is leaving at the end of this academic year, a top administrator said.

Schottenfeld, who lives in Hamden, is a professor in the Yale School of Medicine and the director of substance abuse services at the Connecticut Mental Health Center. Yale President Richard Levin, who would neither confirm nor deny Schottenfeld’s appointment, said he would officially announce his choices for new Davenport and Morse college masters when students return from spring break.

Schottenfeld could not be reached for comment last night.

Morse Master Stanton Wheeler and Thomas announced more than five months ago they would leave their posts at the end of the academic year, and shortly afterwards Levin appointed committees to search for their replacements. Both the Morse and Davenport committees submitted their recommendations for new masters to Levin before Winter Break.

Levin said he had hoped to be able to announce both masters before spring break but said as recently as early this week he was still in serious conversations with at least one of the potential masters and that nothing had been finalized. He added it was also difficult to arrange times for everyone to get together for the announcements before the vacation.

“I didn’t want to make the announcement when half the students were gone,” Levin said.

Ezra Stiles Master Paul Fry said he believed Levin wanted to announce the new masters for both colleges at the same time.

“If students are upset and are waiting to hear, perhaps he should reconsider,” Fry said.

Some Morse and Davenport students said they were unsure when they would find out about their new master.

“We made our recommendation to President Levin in late December,” said Heidi Fung ’03, a member of the Davenport master search committee.

Fung is advertising manager for the Yale Daily News.

Students on the Morse master search committee said that Levin told them he would announce the master before the break.

Some students said they are upset with the time it takes administrators to fill vacancies.

“I’m about to graduate,” Morse senior Nicole Gabona said. “I wanted to at least find out who the new master would be before I leave.”

Thomas has served as Davenport’s master for the last 10 years. Wheeler is leaving after six years as Morse’s master.

Davenport seniors have seen four different college deans in their Yale careers. Their newest dean, Peter Quimby, came to Yale this spring from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

This has been a year of major transition throughout Yale College. One quarter of the masters and deans announced they were leaving at the end of the academic year.

Diversity is always an issue for the Yale administration when looking to fill key administrative positions. The departing Thomas is the only black among the 24 deans and masters.