William F. Buckley, the conservative columnist, had some oblique words of praise for President Bok in his June 20 column, "On the Right."
Referring to Bok's speech to the Associated Harvard Alumni during Commencement week, Buckley wrote that Bok "said maybe Harvard had made a mistake abolishing the Reserve Officers Training Corps in 1969."
"Mr. Bok, when named President of Harvard, was thought by some as being altogether too trendy for the job," Buckley continued. "Maybe the trendiest people will give us back our ROTC?"
Bok said last night he had not read the Buckley column.
Bok told the June 13 Alumni meeting that the University should be willing to introduce a ROTC program "compatible" with Harvard's "usual institutional standards."
Many alumni, Bok said, had protested Harvard's abolishing its ROTC and "sensed" that "Harvard had not opposed ROTC solely for academic reasons but had behaved expediently in the face of pressure."
Bok said he was inclined to agree with this view, adding, "I do not believe our record and our conscience can be fully clear until we manifest our willingness to entertain a ROTC program on terms compatible with our usual institutional standards."