Bok Talk


It's surprise that, for the first time in President Bok's almost nine years in Massachusetts Hall, this years's annual report will appear in Harvard Magazine.

The move is symbolic of both the problem and the solution Bok deals with in the report. For one thing, it is a cost-cutting measure--officials said printing a separate booklet for the annual report was an unnecessary extravagence in an era where, as Bok warns in the report, Harvard is caught in an inflationary vise.

For another, Bok and the gang in the Development Office have put the report--a clarion call for money to shore up Harvard's sagging financial belly--where it will reach the audience they hope will solve that problem: the alumni.

In past years, Bok's annual reports have been the president's vehicle for talking about the subjects he likes to talk about--educational directions in the various schools. Last year for example, Bok took on the Business School and in 1974, he outlined his support for programs in public policy.

With the University less than one-third of the way to its five-year, $250-million Harvard Campaign goal, however, Bok felt it was time to let the alumni know why Harvard is asking for their money.

In the report, therefore, he says little that is new, instead restating the importance of Harvard's efforts in training public policy experts, continuing basic reasearch and finding new directions in liberal arts education.

If the goals are high-minded, the bottom line, in Bok's own words, is not. If the fund drive fails, he warns his audience, "it is likely that the quality of the institution will gradually diminish under the weight of economic pressures.

Recommended Articles