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Alexander Names Officials To Fill Top E.D. Jobs Temporarily

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Washington--Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander last week acknowledged that five top-level Education Department appointees had been given pink slips and that he had filled their positions temporarily.

Word of the personnel changes leaked out in late March, as did the name of one likely successor: the education historian Diane Ravitch, who Administration sources say is in line to replace Christopher T. Cross as assistant secretary for educational research and improvement. (See Education Week, April 3, 1991.)

But the first official announcement was an April 8 memorandum noting the names of the temporary appointees, most of whom are familiar faces at the department.

The announcement confirmed the departure of Mr. Cross; Leonard L. Haynes 3rd, assistant secretary for postsecondary education; Michelle4Easton, deputy undersecretary for intergovernmental and interagency affairs; Nancy M. Kennedy, assistant secretary for legislation; and Thomas E. Anfinson, deputy undersecretary for management.

Apparently being retained are John T. MacDonald, assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education; Betsy Brand, assistant secretary for vocational and adult education; Robert R. Davila, assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services; Rita Esquivel, director of the office of bilingual education and minority-languages affairs; Edward C. Stringer, general counsel; and James B. Thomas Jr., the department's inspector general.

In addition to those decisions on the department's management, Mr. Alexander has also made headway in assembling his personal staff, which is to be headed by Stephen I. Danzansky, a White House aide.

Last week, he named Leslye A. Arsht, a former deputy press secretary to President Ronald Reagan who is currently vice chancellor for news and public affairs at Vanderbilt University, his director of communications.

Ms. Arsht's job will consist primarily of "planning and marketing," a department spokesman said, rather than media relations.

Acting Positions

Bruno V. Manno, who was chief of staff to Mr. Cross and a top aide under his predecessor, Chester E. Finn Jr., will serve as acting head of the office of educational research and improvement, a function he fulfilled while Mr. Cross awaited confirmation.

Michael J. Farrell, a New Hampshire businessman with personal ties to Mr. Alexander, was tapped to run the postsecondary education office temporarily, and is to head its student-aid branch. (See related story, page 21.)

William L. Smith, who will serve as acting deputy undersecretary for intergovernmental and interagency affairs, is a former educator and a career civil servant who has held a long list of jobs in the Education Department and its precursor agencies. Most recently, he served as acting assistant secretary for civil rights and then as a special adviser to the Secretary on teaching.

William D. Hansen, a former deputy director of the office of legislation, is to run that office temporarily. He had been serving as acting deputy undersecretary for planning, budget, and evaluation, a post that will be filled on an acting basis by Sally Christiansen, the long-time director of the department's budget service.

The management slot will be filled temporarily by Gary J. Rasmussen, director of the department's grants and contracts service.

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