Was Yale eying Brodhead? It's moot at least for now.

✔ FC here. With whispers as well as fact today.

When Nan Keohane was president of Duke, the rumors made the rounds that she was going to split to become president of Harvard. Indeed the well sourced student newspaper, the Harvard Crimson, put her on a very short list of possibilities in 2000-2001.

Nan denied any interest, and Larry Summers got the job in any event.

The affection for Keohane was there, however, and in short order she became one of seven members of the highest governing board at Harvard, variously called "the corporation" and "Fellows."

Now it's Uncle Dick's turn to deal with rumors.

For two months the name of Yale's President Richard Levin circulated at the White House as a strong candidate to be chair of the Council of Economic Advisors with Cabinet rank, starting immediately. Yale, which traditionally takes an unusually long time to select a new president, would undoubtedly need a President Pro Tem, and one Senior Fellow (Trustee), Roland Betts, told the Yale Daily News that if Levin departed, the temp would be announced early this semester. (Wow. A trustee identified by name talking to the campus paper!!!)

Who better than Richard Brodhead, close friend of Levin, beset at Duke, beloved in New Haven. He was Dean of Yale College longer than anyone else (meaning he was Supreme Leader of Everything Undergraduate) -- precisely the position that an earlier Yale president pro tem had.

This also might make sense from a personal viewpoint for the 63-year-old Brodhead, giving him two or three more years as an administrator and leaving him good years to return to teaching, which he has hinted at. Moreover, from Duke's perspective, it would allow us to install a new president who would provide continuity throughout the coming major fund drive likely to last ten years or so.

Well President Obama stopped the rumors when he named someone else to the key economic job in the closing days of 2010.

Brodhead, Yale '68, Ph.D. 72, told a Yale Daily News reporter who reached him that all this was “imaginative… Wildly so, in this case.”

Stay tuned. Levin, longest serving president in the Ivy League with a 15 year tenure, apparently has the itch to leave.