THE PREMISE of The Crimson majority position rests on the assumption that President Bok should speak out on issues of national importance. Further, it supposes that Bok has neglected this responsibilty, in comparison with A. Barlett Giamatti's sweeping condemnation of the Moral Majority.
Giamatti's speech is to be praised, and Bok should indeed address weighty and often perplexing matters as president of this institution. But Bok has fulfilled that responsibility, through forums such as open letters, annual reports and Commencement speeches.
I have not always agreed with Bok's opinions or his reasoning. But the fact is that he has addressed issues such as affirmative action, technology transfer, divestiture, federal budget cuts and academic freedom, as well as a host of ethical questions. He too has made the front page of The New York Times with his personal pronouncements.
While for some of us he has sometimes tread too cautiously, he cannot be criticized for avoiding complex problems. To the contrary, he had made a sincere effort to express his opinions and put them down on paper where they can be dissected and debated.
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