Reprinted from the Palo Alto Times of January 13, 1971.
An outlander’s in at fair Harvard
It marks an arrival worth hailing that Harvard University has, for the first time, tapped a Stanford University graduate to be its president.
Derek Curtis Bok, 40, currently dean of the Harvard Law School, will succeed Nathan M. Pusey on July 1 as president of Harvard, the nation’s oldest university and the one generally considered the most distinguished.
In a counterbalancing reaction, or EastWest swap, if you like, Thomas Ehrlich, 36, a graduate of Harvard and of Harvard Law School, has been named to become dean of the Stanford Law School on September 1. Ehrlich now is professor of law at Stanford, whose faculty he joined in 1965.
President-elect Bok evidently has been a ball of fire in his dozen years on the Harvard law faculty, especially in his last two years as dean. Even after two major confrontations, he reportedly still stands high with the students-and obviously with the administration and faculty. Cambridge has, after all, overlooked his outlander origins-a break with tradition eased, no doubt, by his being a Harvard law grad.
Our best wishes go to Dean Bok in his new opportunity as the leader of the Stanford of the East. If he continues to make good there, his alma mater may one day find a spot for him.