Education: Harvard's Quiet Man

At 9:30 p.m. on the snowy night of Dec. 13, a taxi pulled up at Derek Bok's four-bedroom house in Belmont, Mass. Out stepped a well-tailored Boston lawyer wearing crimson socks. He was Francis Burr, Senior Fellow (chairman) of Harvard University's governing corporation. His mission: to offer the dean of Harvard's law school a new job as the university's 25th president. Bok, 40, recalls that he was "astounded."

With typical caution, Bok asked for ten days to think it over, then phoned Yale President Kingman Brewster Jr., once his favorite Harvard law professor and...

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