V.O. Key, professor of Government, who resigned as chairman of the Yale Political Science Department last spring to come to Harvard to teach, begins his chores here this week with a graduate seminar in American political parties. He will teach another seminar and an undergraduate course on similar topics in the spring.
Author of two definitive works in the field of political parties in the United. States--"Politics, Parties, and Pressure Groups" and "Southern Politics"--Key still refuses to explain the reasons why he left a permanent professorship at Yale after spending only two years in New Haven.
There have been few swiches of such importance between Harvard and Yale in the past. One of the best known transfers occurred when George P. Baker '87, professor of English, left Cambridge for New Haven after Yale accepted the gift of a School of Drama, earlier refused by President Lowell.
Expects Lighter Duties
Key's most recent explanation is that "any political scientist would find it difficult to turn down an invitation to join the staff of the most distinguished Department of Government in the country."
The political scientist feels that his forthcoming duties at Harvard will be some what lighter than those he had at Yale, where he was a department chairman. Besides teaching three courses here, he will be a tutor for the first time and is, in addition, beginning work on a new book.
The ex-Yale professor is also interested in finding satisfactory statistical methods with which to study past voting behaviour in this country. He will be breaking new ground with this project, as no one has worked on it before. In his spring seminar. Government 226, each member of the group will be required to carry on "intensive work in the application of quantitative methods to the data of state and local electoral behaviour."
Key is non-commital on the political scene shaping up for 1952. "A lot can happen between now and then to change the whole picture," he warned.
Concerning the "Republican's Draft Eisenhower" movement, he felt the whole thing "comes down to what Eisenhower wants to do." Even if he does want the nomination, Key thinks he will have a "hard fight" to get it.
The political scientist would not predict who would get the Republican nomination or who would win the election.
On the Democratic side, he said he "had a hunch the tide of public opinion on Secretary of State Dean Acheson has turned."
Likes Daylight Here
Asked what he thought would be the major issues of the election. Key said that "what will happen--what usually happens is that one party will take one issue and hammer it to the devil and the other will take another and hammer it to the devil The issues will never be joined."
Key came to Cambridge from New Haven in July He said that he didn't feel he had been here long enough to make any observations on the differences between Yale and Harvard. "So far," he commented, "the only difference I have noticed is that in architecture. They believe in daylight up here. None of those small windows."