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School chief to be named head of SSA Announcement awaits review, officials say

July 08, 1993|By John Fairhall and Ann LoLordo | John Fairhall and Ann LoLordo,Staff Writers

Labor union officials said they didn't know Dr. Chater well enough to comment.

"I guess for me the slate is blank," said John Sturdivant, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, the largest union at Social Security. "We want to have someone we can work with. We had a tremendous working relationship with the former commissioner," Gwendolyn King, who resigned Sept. 30 to become vice president at the Philadelphia Electric Co.

Mr. Sturdivant said "there's been some serious damage" done by not having a commissioner in place for nearly 10 months. "Just not having clear direction and kind of drifting," he said.

Praise from AARP

Martin Corry, director of federal affairs for the American Association of Retired Persons, noted that Dr. Chater "has run a very large university -- and that's good experience. The academic world can be a highly politically charged one."

There was no immediate reaction from Maryland members of Congress.

Dr. Chater was traveling and could not be reached for comment. Mr. Thompson said he had no comment.

At Texas Woman's University, a faculty leader strongly praised Dr. Chater.

"She is an outstanding administrator," said Marian Jernigan, immediate past speaker of the faculty senate. "She listens, she's inclusive. She's a caring individual and has a positive relationship with students and faculty. One of her major concerns is health care."

Shirley Sears Chater

Born: July 30, 1932; Shamokin, Penn.

Education: University of Pennsylvania, B.S. in nursing, 1956; University of California, San Francisco, M.S. in nursing, 1960; University of California, Berkeley, Ph.D in nursing, 1964.

Experience: President of Texas Woman's University, 1986-present; chair of Texas Health Policy Task Force, 1991-1992; vice-chancellor for academic affairs, University of California, San Francisco, 1977-1982; faculty appointments in department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco, and school of Education, University of California, Berkeley, 1972-1986.

Reputation: Well-regarded as president of Texas Woman's University, known for open management style. Little direct experience with issues facing Social Security Administration.

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