William E. Kirwan, president of the University of Maryland at College Park, told a campus search committee yesterday what kind of athletic director he believes should succeed Lew Perkins, but said he has no specific job experience in mind.

"I don't want to be overly restrictive about the specifics of the individual's background -- are they an AD or a coach somewhere?" Kirwan said after meeting with the 14-member committee for about 45 minutes.

The minimal requirements, to appear in an advertisement prepared for several publications, are "a bachelor's degree and a record of successful leadership, supervision and/or management in intercollegiate sports," said committee chairman William L. "Bud" Thomas, vice president for student affairs. "We were less than precise about experience," Thomas said.

Asked whether the criteria would hurt the chances of former Maryland basketball star Len Elmore -- a 10-year NBA player and Harvard Law School graduate who has served on a task force and athletic search committee at his alma mater -- Thomas said he would not elaborate.

Elmore, a 1973 graduate who recently resigned as an assistant district attorney in Brooklyn, N.Y., to pursue a sportscasting career with CBS-TV, is one of two announced candidates for the job. The other is Tommy O'Connor, athletic director the past five seasons at Santa Clara and 10 years before that at Loyola (Md.).

Charles Harris, athletic director at Arizona State and before that at the University of Pennsylvania, is prominently mentioned as someone the committee might pursue aggressively. Harris this week was noncommittal about his interest in the job, saying he needed to find out more about it.

Kirwan said he had asked the search committee to recommend three or four people and that the committee has "no rigid timetable. I'm not going to sacrifice quality to meet some arbitrary deadline."

Thomas said the committee's early meetings would entail conferring with Perkins, ACC Commissioner Gene Corrigan and Chuck Sturtz, the vice president for administrative affairs who served as interim athletic director in 1986, to discuss "the scope and range of functions of the job."

The athletic department "is a very complex operation," Kirwan said. "It is just essential we have someone who is a highly skilled administrator because the athletic department has to do things right."