The University of Maryland yesterday named a 14-member search committee to begin immediately the task of seeking and recommending a replacement for athletic director Lew Perkins.

The committee, with four alumni and four professors, will be chaired by William L. "Bud" Thomas, vice president for student affairs. William E. Kirwan, president of the College Park campus, said he would meet with the committee early next week "to give them their charge."

An aide said Kirwan's decision to begin the search immediately and Perkins's agreement to remain several weeks mean it is likely an interim director will not be named for at least two weeks. The aide said Kirwan decided on an immediate search to reduce "ambiguity" about the job.

Although sources Wednesday said Kirwan hoped to name a new athletic director by Sept. 15, he referred to "several months" yesterday, while reiterating that Maryland wants to be able to compete nationally in Division I despite its recent cutbacks and problems.

Perkins resigned Monday to accept a similar job at the University of Connecticut. The names most prominently mentioned as a possible successor are Len Elmore, a former Maryland and NBA player who graduated from Harvard Law School and is now a broadcaster for CBS Sports; Charles Harris, athletic director at Arizona State and formerly at Penn; and Tommy O'Connor, athletic director at Santa Clara the past five years and at Loyola Baltimore for 10 years before that.

The makeup of the search committee, with four alumni, including three from the booster club that raises money for athletic scholarships, apparently takes into consideration the concerns of Gov. William Donald Schaefer, who was on campus yesterday on another matter.

The alumni members are Jack Heise, a Silver Spring attorney who is president of the Maryland Educational Foundation and a longtime member of Maryland booster clubs; Tommy Marcos, a restaurateur and longtime booster club member; David Raderman, an alumnus and Terrapin Club member, and Evelyn Pasture Valentine, a Baltimorean and president of the alumni association.

The faculty members are Raymond Johnson, a math professor and former Athletic Council member; Betty F. Smith, chairman of the athletic council and the department of consumer economics; Michael Nacht, dean of the School of Public Affairs, and Don C. Piper, president of the campus senate and a professor of government and politics.

Other committee members are Ray Gillian, an assistant to Kirwan and his adviser on athletics; Susan Bailey, a university attorney; soccer coach Alden Shadduck; acting associate athletic director and women's lacrosse coach Sue Tyler, and women's basketball player Christy Winter.

Scahefer, calling Perkins's departure "a mutual decision," praised Kirwan for his dilligence.