Conant Places Tutorial Squarely Up to Faculty
Department of Social Relations Agrees With Objectives of Undergraduates' Committee
In a letter written in reply to a query from the Student Council's Undergraduate General Education Committee, President Conant has put the burden of the future of Harvard's tutorial system back onto the Departments and Faculty members.
"As far as I am aware," Conant said, "there is no financial stringency that restricts the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in carrying out the objectives which they have set before them."
The president's message brought to completion a cycle started three months ago when the Council, fearful lest the tutorial program slip quietly and completely out of the College scene, began to question Faculty men about reasons for various departments' cutting of tutorial below the maximum allowed in the Faculty vote of December 4 (the vote Mustied tutorial to Junior and Senior honors candidates and qualified Sophomores).
As reported in the Service News, many of the replies told the Council of "financial limitations," complaining that "something has to be eut, and tutorial seems to be the logical thing to go."
The Council Committee came to the conclusion as a result of its investigation that "If there is a financial policy which discourages departmental appropriations and appointments for tutorial, if it does not prohibit them, that policy springs from the administration.
The only factor on which all parties are agreed is the shortage of younger men capable of serving as junior department members and tutors during the sudden post-war influx of students.
One sentence of Conant's letter apparently took him out of the intimate details of any future tutorial battles. "I feel that the president of the University," he said, "should refrain from comment on educational matters which are so directly in the hands of Faculty members, both as individuals and as departments."
At the came time this week Roger S. Kahn '46, co-chairman of the undergraduate committee, revealed that many members of the newly-formed Social Relations department are in sympathy with the objectives of the committee.
In answer to a letter from the Council group (the letter was read aloud in a meeting of the new department), the department said, "There is strong sentiment for tutorial. . ., providing it does not entail sacrifice of our other objectives. (But) any revision of policy . . . cannot be settled for some weeks.