David A. Riesman '31, Ford Professor of Social Sciences, wrote a letter last month to the chairman of the Boston University committee arguing that B.U. President John R. Silber should be retained.
In the letter, Riesman said that a private university with a small endowment cannot afford a conciliatory president who seeks to please faculty and students. A school needs a strong man like Silber who will keep it afloat, he said.
Riesman said he has known Silber for 15 years, but wrote the letter on his own initiative. Hans Estin, chairman of the B.U. trustee board, said yesterday that Riesman's letter supporting Silber was the only input from Harvard he could remember on the issue.