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Derek Bok

Derek Bok was president of Harvard from 1971 to 1991 and returned as interim president in 2006-7. His latest book, Attacking the Elites: What Critics Get Wrong — and Right — About America’s Leading Universities, will be published in February by Yale University Press.

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Stories by this Author

  • The Review | Essay

    Why Americans Love to Hate Harvard

    A former president of the university explains how we got here.
  • The Review

    The Crisis of Civic Education

    Colleges have fallen short on one of their most important missions.
  • Commentary

    We Must Prepare Ph.D. Students for the Complicated Art of Teaching

    If academe is to regain its role as an engine of the economy, it will have to accord the same respect to teaching that it does to research.
  • Commentary

    The Ambiguous Role of Money in Higher Education

    Presidents and trustees would be well advised to eliminate practices that seek immediate financial benefit at the cost of compromising important academic values.
  • Commentary

    College and the Well-Lived Life

    Students may put making good money atop the list of reasons for going to college, but a higher education can show them more, writes Derek Bok.
  • The Review

    The Critical Role of Trustees in Enhancing Student Learning

    For decades colleges have been administered through a system of shared governance. Although the meaning of the term is ambiguous, causing border skirmishes to break out periodically, shared governance usually means that the trustees concentrate on the overall mission of the institution and on…
  • The Review

    Closing the Nagging Gap in Minority Achievement

    Article: Affirmative Action Remains a Minefield, Mostly Unmapped
  • The Review

    Academic Values and the Lure of Profit

    John Le Carré's latest novel, The Constant Gardener, tells of the murder of a young woman in Africa and her husband’s valiant efforts to avenge her death. It soon appears that these events all grow out of a major pharmaceutical company’s campaign to develop a new drug for combating tuberculosis.…
  • News

    Are Huge Presidential Salaries Bad for Colleges?

    A survey in August by The Chronicle revealed that several presidents of ALSO SEE:DATABASE: A searchable database with information on the salaries and benefits for the leaders of 595 private colleges (for Chronicle subscribers only)The Growing $500,000 Club state universities -- a group long thought…
  • The Review

    Easing Political Cynicism With Civic Involvement

    On a warm spring day in 1985, late in the afternoon, I found myself in Washington seated in the office of that quintessential ALSO SEE:Exposure to Other Viewpoints Is Vital to Democracy Irish politician, Boston’s own Speaker of the House, Thomas P. (Tip) O’Neill. I had just spent the best part of a…