In a private meeting with Law School student leaders yesterday, President Bok rejected the students' requests for a formal role in the search for a new dean of the Law School.
Bok had "a very closed mind" about allowing students to screen candidates and said that students input will be limited to writing letters to him, one student who attended the meeting said yesterday.
A Board of Student Advisers proposal, which many other law student groups endorsed, asked Bok to create a student committee which would nominate candidates and interview final applicants. Albert M. Sacks, the current dean, will step down July 1.
Bok said he is worried that good candidates would decline to consider the position if they had to undergo student interviews, E. Scott Golden, editor of the Journal of Law and Public Policy, said yesterday.
Bok was unavailable for comment.
"We are not going to get the input we wanted," Marjorie R. Corman, president of the Law School Council, said after the meeting, adding, "basically, the decision will be left to Bok."
Most students at the meeting at least wanted an advisory committee of some sort to represent student concerns, and were "disappointed but not too surprised when Bok made it clear he wasn't going to move in this direction," a student who attended the meeting said yesterday.
During the meeting, Bok pointed out the long tradition of Law School deans being chosen from among the school's faculty, and hinted that one could figure out who the top six or eight inside candidates were, the student added.
Many students said they planned to submit their opinions on possible inside candidates to Bok. "I doubt he will choose a person he has gotten bad letters about," one student said.