THE PROFESSIONAL SCHOOLS
H arvard's graduate and professional schools were where the tension between social responsibility and teaching the technical skills demanded by a complex society most fully emerged. The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the traditional Big Three of Law, Business, and Medicine continued to dominate the Harvard professional school scene (though the Kennedy School of Government was coming up fast). From 1940 to 1970, they and the smaller schools took on their modern configuration: meritocratic, intensely professional, intellectually ambitious. From 1970 to 2000 they faced a variety of internal challenges to that academic culture, as well as constant competition from their counterparts in other universities.
After he became president in 1971, Derek Bok devoted his first annual report to Harvard College, his second to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. This was not surprising: the closely linked College and Graduate School were Harvard's traditional academic core. What, he asked, was GSAS's essential mission? Now as before, it was to train scholars and add to basic knowledge. But the Graduate School was in trouble. One problem was student attrition. Up to half of those who entered failed to get their Ph.D.s, compared to a drop-out rate of less than 5 percent in Law and Medicine. The fault, Bok thought, lay in the lack of structure in many doctoral programs, and he prodded the faculty to do something about that. Another concern was the Ph.D. job shortage. Nonscientists had to be ready to have careers in colleges, not just in research universities. That meant that the Graduate School would have to teach its students how to teach. At his urging in 1976 the Danforth