CORPORATION AND BOARD OF OVERSEERS ARE FINAL AUTHORITIES IN UNIVERSITY GOVERNMENT
Two Bodies Determine General Policy--Detailed Administration of Various Departments Carried on by Individual Faculties
Secretary of the Corporation and Chairman of the Committee on Publicity of the Associated Harvard Clubs.
This is the fourth of a series of articles the Crimson is running on various phases of University activities.
The final authorities in the government of the University are the Corporation, or "President and Fellows", and the Board of Overseers. The Corporation is a self-perpetuating body of seven men, consisting at present of President Lowell, Treasurer Charles Francis Adams '88, Dr. Henry P. Walcott '58, Thomas Nelson Perkins '91, Bishop William Lawrence '71, John F. Moors '83, and James Byrne '77. This body of men meets twice a month, holds the property of the University, and appoints the teaching and administrative staff. The Board of Overseers, on the other hand, is a group of thirty-two men, including the President and Treasurer and thirty other men elected by the graduates. It meets less frequently than the Corporation (usually eight or ten times a year), has a veto power on the more important acts and appointments of the Corporation, and serves in general as a supervisory body.
These two "governing boards", as they are called,--the Corporation and the Overseers,--are in general charge of the whole University, including the College, the graduate and professional schools, and the very large number of museums, observatories, laboratories, and other departments of research.
Most of the governing of each individual department, however, except in matters involving general University policy, is done by its faculty. The Law Faculty, for instance, governs the Law School; the Faculty of Medicine, the Medical School, etc. In this way the governing of Harvard College is done by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. This is made up of the senior teaching officers of the College, and usually has about 200 members. The Faculty has general control over the instruction given in the College, over the regulations which undergraduates must follow in their daily work, and over College discipline.
Various Administrative Committees
Naturally a body so large as the Faculty would be too unwieldy to handle the work before it if it did not delegate most of its affairs to committees. So we have such committees as that on Admission, which decides who shall be admitted to the College; that on the Choice of Electives, which administers the rules governing the choice of courses; that on Instruction, which handles other faculty matters such as the question of what courses shall be given, etc.
Handling of Disciplinary Matters
From the point of view of the undergraduates, perhaps the most important committee of the Faculty is the Administrative Board, which handles matters of discipline. Dean Chester N. Greenough '98, is the chairman of this board, and the other members at present are Professor R. DeC. Ward '89, Professor Wilbur C. Abbott, Professor G. P. Baxter '96, Dr. Roger I. Lee '02, Professor H. H. Burbank, and Professor G. Harold Edgell '09. Undergraduates are never expelled or dismissed without a vote of the Faculty as a whole, taken when cases are brought before it by the Administrative Board; but otherwise disciplinary action is taken by the Administrative Board itself. It is this Board which decides whether men shall be put on probation, required to withdraw from the College, suspended, or given privileges such as the "Dean's List" privileges, etc.
Dean Greenough is the executive head of the Administrative Board. He is aided in his daily work by four assistant deans. Assistant Dean Philip P. Chase '00, has charge of the Freshmen; Assistant Dean Edward A. Whitney '17, of the Sophomores and Juniors; and Assistant Dean Kenneth B. Murdock '16, of the Seniors. The fourth assistant dean, Edward R. Gay '19, has charge of the records of the office.
An Example of Practical Working
Now let us see how this machinery works. Suppose a Sophomore fails in certain of his courses, and the question comes up what the College ought to do about the matter. Or suppose he wants to be granted some privilege,--to be excused from certain work, for example,--and must have a decision on the matter from the College. The case comes before Dean Whitney as the Assistant Dean who deals with Sophomores. If the matter is one which he is empowered to decide himself, he does so; otherwise he takes it up with Dean Greenough and it goes to the Administrative Board for decision, with a recommendation from the Dean.
Supervisory Work of Regent
In this way the Dean's office deals with individual undergraduates. But in order to take care of the many cases involving not only isolated students, but also groups in dormitories and clubs and student organizations of all kinds, there is a special officer for the whole University known as the Regent. This officer, Matthew Luce '91, is in charge of the proctors, keeps in touch with the clubs and other organizations, and supervises them as far as it seems necessary to do so.
Of course the daily work of the Dean, Assistant Deans, and Regent has to do with a great many matters which do not come under the heading of discipline at all. They are all advisory officers as well. It is part of their job to try and help undergraduates who are looking for advice or assistance of any kind. The individual undergraduate goes usually to his Assistant Dean in such cases; the clubs and other organizations go to the Regent. It should also be added that the Dean's office handles the award of scholarships to undergraduates (the actual award being made by the Corporation on recommendation of a faculty committee of which one of the assistant deans is the active member) and also administers the college loan funds