Benign Neglect?

THE MAIL

To the Editors of The Crimson:

Amidst all the fanfare over the upcoming dedication of the new Kennedy School Building and the praise being heaped on its Dean, Graham Allison. I want to put aside the accolades and relate to the university community a most disappointing incident involving the highly lauded Dean Allison.

While doing preliminary research on my senior government thesis, I attempted to make an appointment to see Dean Allison regarding some sources and data pertinent to his book, "Remaking Foreign Policy." I was bluntly told by his secretary that "Dean Allison makes it a policy of not seeing students." Surprised, yet realizing the constraints on his time, I wrote him a letter explaining what I wanted to discuss. That letter was written four weeks ago, and Dean Allison has not even accorded me the dignity of a response.

I'm astounded. I find it hard to believe that Dean Allison cannot find 15-20 minutes of his time for a student in need of direction on his research. I find it harder still to accept the notion that any member of this university community would "make it a policy of not seeing students." It makes no sense at all.

As I told Dean Allison in my letter, I don't think I'm being presumtuous in asking for some help. I simply do not see how it is possible to maintain such isolation from students and purport to be an effective administrator. Such inaccessibility is inexcusable. Incidents of this nature should be brought to the attention of the university community and scrutinized.

If Dean Allison's attitude is any indication, President Bok's aspirations and expectations for a prominent and highly respected school of public policy will go unfulfilled. Steve Rosenthal '79