Bok Outlines Dalton Review Policy

Dear Jim,

Thank you for your letter of August 10, 1987, concerning the dispute over the appointment of Clare Dalton. Having looked at the file, discussed the matter with a number of faculty members, and talked with you at length, I agree that an essential step in reviewing the case is to gain a better understanding of the wide discrepancy between the views of the outside experts and some of the faculty members with respect to Professor Dalton's manuscript on Rylands v. Fletcher. In accordance with our conversations, let me summarize how I believe such an inquiry should be conducted.

. To begin with, we have asked two members of the Appointments Committee--Paul Weiler and Detlev Vagts (The "Convenors"-)--to take charge of ascertaining the reactions of outside experts to the material in the file written by members of the Faculty criticizing and defending Professor Dalton's manuscript.

. While the details of the procedure will be worked out in discussions between ourselves and the Convenors, I anticipate that, with your help, they will begin by persuading as many of the experts as possible to read the pertinent materials in the file and to respond to questions that the Convenors will put to them based on their own reading of the materials and on consultation with the appropriate faculty members, particularly those with special knowledge in this area. The aim of the questions will be to obtain the perspective of the outside experts on the internal debate and to determine in what ways, if any, the experts' original evaluations have been affected by the internal criticisms.

. If possible, the Convenors will meet with at least a substantial number of the experts in person, preferably by inviting them to Cambridge individually or in small groups. The Convenors can ask experts not interviewed to respond in writing and, if necessary, to follow up with conversations by phone.

. Meetings will be conducted informally, attended only by the experts, the Convenors and, if you desire, by you. Following each meeting, the Convenors will prepare a written account of the discussions (checking, if need be, with the experts involved).

. At the completion of the process, the COnvenors will submit to you and to me the list of questions submitted to the experts, the summaries of the interviews or other conversations with the experts, and any written responses from experts or additional material which the Convenors may consider appropriate and relevant.

I believe that this process should achieve our objective of obtaining, in a thoughtful, thorough, and fair way, information that is needed for my review of the case. After reading the materials submitted by the Convenors and after consulting with you, and, as appropriate, others, I will decide what further steps, if any, are needed to complete my review.

Best wishes, Sincerely,   Derek Bok

This is the text of Derek Bok's letter, received by The Crimson August 12.