Making Harvard Modern: The Rise of America's University

By Morton Keller; Phyllis Keller | Go to book overview

11
THE PROFESSIONAL SCHOOLS

Meritocracy flourished most luxuriantly in Harvard's professional schools. The Big Four—the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Schools of Law, Medicine, and Business—threw off the constraints of lack of money and student cutbacks imposed by World War II. The smaller professional schools—Public Health and Dentistry, Education, Divinity, Design—shared in the good times, though their old problems of scarce resources and conflicted missions continued to bedevil them. The major alteration in the Harvard postgraduate scene was the establishment of the Kennedy School of Government. By the time Derek Bok—as well disposed to the Kennedy School as Conant was to Education and Pusey to Divinity—became president in 1971, this new boy on the Harvard professional school block was well situated to capitalize on his good favor.


The Graduate School, Law, and Business

The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences remained, as in the past, rich in renown, poor in fund-raising and administrative autonomy. Between 1952 and 1962, fewer than 5 percent of GSAS alumni donated a total of about $60,000; during the early sixties giving went down to $3,000 a year. Its dean had little or no budgetary or curricular control; its faculty, curriculum, and student admissions were in the hands of the departments. In 1954 Overseer/Judge Charles Wyzanski grandly proposed that admissions to the Graduate School be sharply cut back. The reduction, he thought, would free up the faculty for more creative thought, improve undergraduate education, and upgrade the level of the graduate student body. 1

But the post–Korean War expansion of American higher education led to boom years for the Graduate School. In 1961, 190 male and 60

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