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Law School Dean Issues Memorandum About Faculty Group on Grade Reform

By David N. Hollander

Law School Dean Derek C. Bok yesterday circulated a memorandum to law professors describing the newly-appointed faculty committee on grade reform.

The committee was established in response to a grade reform report written by several first-year students. But one of the report's authors, first-year student Steven E. Cotton, said yesterday he was dissatisfied with the memorandum. It failed to make clear the authors' role in the committee investigations and the timetable for a committee recommendation, he said.

Bok said in the memorandum that the committee will establish its own agenda, but added he assumed it will consider most of the reforms advocated by the student report.

The memorandum said the committee will consult with faculty and students at the Law School, "in particular first-year students who recently prepared a report on these matters." "The Faculty and I appreciate the efforts of these students to develop proposals on matters of great concern to the Law School," Bok added.

Cotton said the memorandum was "an assurance that they'll call us in to talk. If that only means they'll put us on a guest list, it's not enough. If it means working closely with students who have spent many hours thinking through the issues and drafting the report, then we're on the same wavelength."

The authors of the report have insisted that a decision on reform must be made within the next five weeks if it is to affect the present first-year class. But the memorandum did not establish a timetable.

"Although the committee will proceed expeditiously, it is impossible to predict how long it will take the committee to perform its task," Bok said. Cotton replied, "If we're going to get change this year, it can't be made the day before exams. That just won't work."

Bok's memorandum confirmed the names of the committee members reported yesterday. They are Robert E. Keeton, professor of Law, chairman; Clark Byse, professor of Law; Archibald Cox '34, Samuel Williston, professor of Law; Benjamin Kaplan, Royal Professor of Law; Albert M. Sacks, associate dean of the Law School; and Lloyd L. Weinreb, professor of Law.

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