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The Derek Bok appointed to succeed Nathan M. Pusey '28 in 1971 was a good man with the right values. The Derek Bok who announced his resignation last week is not the same man.
With each each year in office, Bok has grown more conservative, and more willing to sacrifice crucial values for the sake of tradition or financial success. Ultimately, Bok became an actual obstacle to reform, and he leaves Harvard much the same closed institution it was 20 years ago...his decision to leave was one of the best moves he has made in quite some time.
A. Michael Spence--long known for his methodical, cautious and prudent leadership style--made the boldest move of his career last week. Citing personal reasons, Spence announced that he would step down as Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences--the second highest position at Harvard--to take the helm of the Stanford University Business School. While academic observers described the move as a "step down" for Spence, the reality for Harvard is the loss of a talented administrator whose effect on the University will only be seen in years to come...
Weld professor of Law Derrick A. Bell has never been known for his timidity. His recent announcement that he is taking leave from Harvard until the Law School tenures a Black woman grabbed headlines across the country and breathed new life into the school's movement for greater faculty diversity...
But pressure on Harvard's administration, if applied indiscriminately, can have damaging side effects as well. Bell's ultimatum raises the specter of tokenism in its purest form. Is the hiring of one Black woman proof of a true commitment to faculty diversity? And if Harvard does hire a Black woman to assuage Bell, will she only be known as The Black Woman on The Faculty? Will her role as a scholar be undermined by suspicion about why she was hired?...
In the quest for greater minority and female representation, we should not forget the ultimate ends of improved opportunities and education. When the means used to demand diversity begin to compromise these ends, the means need to be questioned.
Now that Harvard men's hockey coach Bill Cleary '56 has been appointed to the post of athletic director, will he trade in the flea-bitten red sweater he wears each game for an administrator's three-piece suit? That may be the biggest question surrounding the transition from Jack Reardon '60 to Cleary at the athletic department...
Cleary should make decisions based on the philosophy he has inherited from Reardon, a philosophy of broad participation and an emphasis on academics and amatuerism rather than athletics and professionalism...if Cleary's sweater does have to go, his commitment to broad-based participation rather than big headline sports shouldn't go with it.
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