Veterans Will Not Crowd University, Conant Asserts
Goals Unchanged in President's 12 Years
With the official announcement of final victory in Europe expected hourly, President James B. Conant said yesterday that the time for celebration and relaxation of effort had not yet come. "We have put over only two strikes," said President Conant, "and we must look ahead to the difficulties of the war against Japan."
Although the work of the National Defense Research Committee, of which he is chairman, will continue until the end of the Pacific struggle, President Conant disclosed that with the war in Europe coming to a close he has been able to give more and more time to this duties at the University.
President Conant's outlook for the post-war situation in the College revolves around his conviction that Harvard will not be forced to raise its enrollment limits in order to provide facilities for all veterans who have already been accepted in the College and all those who will be admitted under the revised standards recently announced by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in its pamphlet, "What About Harvard?"
"Although more than 2500 men are now in service on leave of absence from Harvard College," he said, "we must remember that only a small part of this number of men will be in the College at any one time. The Army will release its men in groups, as will Navy. And we must also realize that not all of those who have left will return; estimates on the number of veterans who will want to continue their college education where they left off range from 40 to 80 per cent.
"I cannot predict," continued the president, "when the large influx of veterans will begin. Unless the war with Japan ends more suddenly than any of us imagine right now, however, I should not think that we could expect this influx to come next fall.
"The same will probably hold true for those faculty men now on leave of absence to help in the war effort. Only a very few will have finished their tasks with the end of the European war; the others will be returning gradually in the next few years."
Today marks the twelfth anniversary of the election of President Conant by the Corporation to fill the post vacated by the late A. Lawrence Lowell. One of the youngest men to become head of the University--only Charles W. Eliot and Henry Dunster were younger when they were elected--he was Sheldon Emery Professor of Chemistry and chairman of the Chemistry Department at the time.
Policies inaugurated during the Conant Administration have been maintained, and will, according to the president, be continued and expanded after the final victory over Japan. Foremost among these policies have been the three major aims of making the University more democratic, more national, and more unified in its departmental structure.
To accomplish the first two goals, President Contant proposed the National Scholarship Plan for Harvard College, a plan which was exceptionally successful from its founding in 1934 until its discontinuation at the beginning of the war.
"At present," President Conant has explained, "there are not enough men of high enough calibre in civilian life to warrant awarding the scholarships. But as soon as conditions return to normal, we shall take up the plan again, with all possible funds available. These awards have produced top-flight students and have had great influence outside of Harvard."
Another important step of the present administration has been the establishment of the University Professorships, aimed at the accomplishment of the third goal of the Conant policies, inter-departmental unity and cooperation. Under this system, leading men in the University are given roving professorships, under which they are permitted to give any courses and undertake any research they wish.
Thus far only men have been designated for this honor: Werner W. Jaeger, Roscoe Pound, Ivor A. Richards and Sumner H. Slichter. According to President Conant, only lack of funds prevents containing expansion of the program