Issuance of Officer Cards To Be Cut
Harvard will tighten up the distribution of "Officer of the University" cards, President Bok said yesterday, following recent disclosures that the Kennedy School had offered a Texas couple Officer status in return for a gift.
Bok said that an ongoing University-wide investigation into fundraising, which was prompted by the Kennedy School deal, revealed that the cards, which confer privileges to various University facilities, have in some instances been given to donors. While he has termed the distribution of the cards "an excessive desire to be helpful," Bok said yesterday that the University should restrict their use.
In addition, the University is scrutinizing official faculty lists to ensure that everyone listing is deserving of their post, Bok said. While Bok said he had "no reason" to believe that titles had been issued inappropriately in the past, he left open the possibility that some faculty could be taken off the official rolls if they were found to be undeserving.
Also in the interview, Bok declined to rule out the possibility of staff changes at the Kennedy School. He said that changes at the school would await the completion of an investigation into the circumstances of the status-for-dollars swap. Bok strongly condemned the deal after it was disclosed.
Administrators have said that Kennedy School Dean Graham T.Allison '62 gave cursory approval to the deal on "a Friday afternoon" without examining specifics. When asked yesterday whether he thought Allisonwould have rejected the specific terms of thedeal, Bok said: "I would have thought so--it's ahypothetical situation. I'm prepared to assumethat he would have."
While the K-School deal was scuttled after itcame to light, its impact is likely to last muchlonger. The deal has focused attention on whatsome officials here and elsewhere havecharacterized as aggressive and unrestrainedfundraising practices at the School. And it hasraised larger ethical questions about what theUniversity should do in return for largedonations.
The deal is particularly embarassing for Bokbecause of his longterm emphasis on ethics andbecause of the special attention he has given tothe Kennedy School. Last week, Bok asked the deansof Harvard's nine faculties to review theirpolicies on fundraising in hopes of preventingdeals similar to the K-School's. But he hasacknowleged that decentralization may make thatdifficult