KrystynanJachniewicznKrystyna Jachniewicz and I studied togethernat the Academy of Fine Arts innWarsaw, and received our masters innfine art and illustration in 1979. Thatnyear the magazine Poland published annarticle reviewing the work we did fornour diplomas and wondering what wasngoing to happen to us. Well, both ofnus, not so young anymore, havenOn ‘Letternfrom B.U;nSince I am the “neoconservative sociologist”nreferred to in S. Steven Powell’snarticle (“Letter From B.U.,” Septembern1988), I suppose that it falls to me tonrespond to it, distasteful though this is.nApart from its distorted account ofnPowell’s quest for a dissertation topic,nthe article is an exhibit of monumentalningratitude toward an institution and angroup of people who went to considerablenlengths trying to be helpful to anyoung scholar.nI will not engage Powell’s descriptionnof Boston University as a place saddlednwith mediocrity and liberal bias. He hasnthe right to his opinion. 1 will only pointnout that, as far as the persistence ofnliberalism on this campus is concerned,nthis would constitute a backhandedncompliment to the administration ofnBoston University that has often beennportrayed as practising a heavy-handednideological policy: American academianis indeed dominated by liberalism; nonadministration, whatever its ideologicalncoloration, can alter this within thencanons of academic freedom, and therenis indeed academic freedom at BostonnUniversity.nPowell appeared in my office here.ncrossed paths many times since immigratingnto the United States. Krystynanhas done several illustrations fornChronicles, among them the Februaryn1988 cover. The photo, however, isnfrom her first individual show in NewnYork City, held at the Tobe InternationalnGallery in June. It is not easynbeing an artist, in either country. Fromnall of us at Chronicles, congratulations,nKrystyna, on a successful show.n(AMW)nPOLEMICS & EXCHANGESnseemingly a bright, enthusiastic andnsomewhat unconventional graduatenstudent—just the sort that I, for one,nlike to help. Among other things 1nsecured a graduate fellowship for him,ngave him an office in the researchncenter 1 direct, introduced him to othernindividuals and to events that I thoughtnwould interest him. I did indeed havendifficulties with his proposed dissertationntopic. He intended to use as andissertation a study, already welladvancednupon his arrival at BU, of thenInstitute for Policy Studies (the studynhas recently been published as a book).nI read portions of this manuscript andndiscussed the matter with Powell onnseveral occasions. I could not see mynway to supervising this dissertation forntwo reasons — not (as Powell states innthe article) because a dissertation shouldnnot also be published as a book, butnbecause (as he also states) a dissertationnstatus should not be bestowed ex postnfacto on a work begun elsewhere andnwithout faculty supervision and, mostnimportant (which Powell does notnmention), because I did not feel competentnto evaluate this particular piecenof work. Powell thereupon tried tonnnsecure dissertation supervision fromnother members of the faculty who hadnsimilar problems. It was then that henand I agreed that a dissertation on thenconcept of entrepreneurship would benfeasible—not because it was “somenirrelevant academic subject aboutnwhich no one was likely to object,” butnbecause it was possible to assemble ancompetent committee under my supervisionnand because it appeared likelynthat Powell could do the necessarynwork in a reasonable period of time.nThis, then, was the dissertation thatnPowell completed at BU. He workednon it with great diligence and he producednan acceptable manuscript. Allnthree members of his committee (myselfnas sociologist, a political scientistnand an economist) provided the usualncriticisms and suggestions. The economistnon the committee, a very distinguishednmember of the BU faculty,nwent to extraordinary lengths to helpnPowell complete the work in time for anJune graduation. 1 too will not forgetnthe “last all-nighters” that Powell mentionsnin his article. The economist onnthe committee was sick in bed andnnevertheless agreed to have PowellnNOVEMBER 1988/57n