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Silber a transformer or image maker? Too soon to tell

We’ll need a little time and detachment before anyone can really evaluate John Silber’s contribution (“John Silber, terrain-changing BU leader, political force, dies,” Page A1, Sept. 28). Did he “transform” Boston University? He certainly convinced everyone that he did. He might have been more interested in branding the institution — and himself.

He insisted that BU was nothing until he arrived. Actually, he destroyed a world-class English department, drove professor Helen Vendler to Harvard, wrecked much of the humanities, and proclaimed that he had built the third great research university on the Charles River.

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