Like the caretaker of a freak that has been thrust into the limelight, what the administration wants for its W.E.B. DuBois Institute for Afro-American Research is some quiet respect.
President Bok has named Preston N. Williams, Houghton Professor of Theology and Contemporary Change, to steward the research institute as acting director at the start of a year when, for the first time, the tide seems to have turned toward peace and quiet.
The institute seems, as the administration has planned, to have been successfully separated from the undergraduate Afro-American Studies Department.
Furthermore, the appointment of Eileen Southern, a newly-tenured member of the Afro Department, to the DuBois Advisory Board, at least partially defuses the explosive issue of the separation of the institute and the department.
The final issue to be resolved is the often-outspoken disapproval by undergraduates of the administration's plans. Williams appears likely to be more successful at dealing with students than his predecessor, Andrew F. Brimmer, Ford Visiting Professor of Business Economics. Williams says he is willing to talk to the students, something Brimmer refused to do.