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Reporter's Notebook


"Part of it is the feeling that there is some continuity, and part of it is the feeling that we ask a lot of our alumni to recruit students, to contribute funds, to serve on governing boards."

--President Derek C. Bok, when asked about Harvard's policy of admitting 43 percent of all children of alumni who apply to the College.

An Activist Council?--Harvard students are not much for rallies, but this week saw an all-time low, with the five-person turn-out in the demonstration to show support for Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. Most of the demonstraters were members of the Undergraduate Council. As Bruce M. Brainard '68-'69, who organized the rally, said, "Guhan Subramanian, you seem to be a great resource for me to use to make something happen."

"It would not be the highest priority. The highest priorities in this office are foreign counter-intelligence, organized crime, white-collar crime, terrorism and narcotics."

--FBI agent Joseph Valiquette, asserting that his office would probably not spend too much time looking for the man who has made prank phone calls to more than 100 women on campus.

Is This Our Governor?--The John F. Kennedy School of Government has long been known for its innovative fundraising. The newest gimmick is a benefit auction at which one of the prizes is an opportunity to dine with Governor Michael S. Dukakis. Apparently ignoring recent Massachusetts events, auctioneer Robert B. Reich referred to this prize as "one of the last opportunities to meet informally with one of America's greatest living politicians."

"The violation of privacy is deepening. What happens now is that real assessments are more and more likely to be made over the telephone."

--Lowell Professor of the Humanities William Alfred, assessing the impact of the recent Supreme Court decision to make peer evaluations admissable in tenure disputes.

"At this point, Harvard has a choice. It could take on the job itself of getting rid of discrimination...or it could say, `we're going to find a way to get around this.'"

--Former Business School Professor Barbara Bund Jackson '66, whose gender discrimination suit against Harvard is now under appeal, looking at the Supreme Court decision in a different light.

Communist Heroes?--When asked about reports that Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev had been asked to speak at Harvard's June Commencement Exercises, Russian Research Center Associate Director Marshall L. Goldman confirmed that indeed Gorbachev's name had been tossed around as a possibility. So, he added, had the name of Deng Xiaoping.

Communist Zeroes--When asked whether a Gorbachev visit to Harvard was feasible, Goldman held to his standard skeptical line:

"The question is, what are the chances going to be that he'll still be in charge there when Commencement rolls around?"

Dershowitz Draws--The special "thinking" course taught by Law Professor Alan M. Dershowitz, Geology Professor Stephen J. Gould and Philosphy Professor Robert Nozick was expected to be popular among students. Students, after all, are easily wowed by big-name professors. Perhaps most would not expect a group of distinguished adults to be so easily impressed, but that's exactly what happened at a special lunch Friday with Harvard's Institute of Politics fellows and a handful of undergraduates. The undergraduates offered a few course suggestions for the fellows to audit, but all the fellows could talk about was hearing Dershowitz and Gould speak.

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