Albert M. Sacks, acting dean of the Law School since January, is the new dean of the School, succeeding President-designate Derek C. Bok.
The Corporation approved Sacks' appointment at its weekly meeting yesterday. The appointment marks the end of a two-month selection process, during which Sacks was widely mentioned as Bok's probable successor.
Sacks was associate dean of the School during Bok's two years as dean. As associate dean, he was one of the most influential spokesmen among Law School faculty and was instrumental in assuring passage of Bok's curriculum reforms.
In conversations during his brief tenure as acting dean. Sacks said he views the role of Law dean primarily as one of leadership rather than one of policy making.
Yesterday he vowed to "do all I can to discharge the [leadership] function of the dean in dealing with a variety of faculty and student groups at the Law School."
When asked whether he had any doubts about accepting the dean's post, Sacks said, "In this day and age, any deanship causes one to ponder." He added he could not imagine a term as dean extended "beyond 10 or 12 years."
"After that length of time, a dean becomes a consolidator of the past," he said.
Two Major Problems
Sacks cited a financial squeeze and pressures to reduce legal education from three to two years as the most important problems facing the Law School during the next few years.
"We have to develop fields of concentration in which students can focus on a particular area during the second and third years," he said. This may include more interchange with the College curriculum and more emphasis on clinical work during these years, Sacks said.
Another of his chief goals as dean, Sacks says, is to "develop new standards to bring about better understanding between students and faculty."
President-designate Bok made the decision to make Sacks permanent dean last week after consulting with President Pusey, Law School faculty members, the School's Visiting Committee and its student-faculty Committee on Governance.
At times, the selection process took on a perfunctory air because few people at the Law School doubted that Sacks would become permanent dean.
In the guessing game of who else might be the next dean, however, four Harvard professors of Law-Paul M. Bator, Robert E. Keeton, David L. Shapiro and James Vorenberg-and Yale's Alexander Bickel were frequently men-tioned as likely choices.
Most Law students-who for the first time had an acknowledged role in the selection of the dean-preferred Sacks to any of the other candidates from within the School.
Sacks is well known at the Law School for his contact with the student body over the past several years. During the University-wide strike in the spring of 1969, Sacks spent until 5 a. m. one morning discussing grading and governance issues with Law students who were "occupying" the School's library.