Ralph J. Bunche has resigned as professor of Government, Provost Buck announced yesterday.
Bunche, who is the principal director of the Trusteeship Department of the United Nations, has not taught since his appointment in 1950. He is the first full professor to resign since Milton Katz left the post of Professor of Law in 1949 for work in the Ford Foundation.
In a letter to the Corporation, Bunche said that "owing to a combination of circumstances over which I have too little control, it will not be possible for me to come next fall."
"Moreover," he continued, "since for the same reason I cannot now be definite as to when I shall be free to come, it would be pointless to seek any further extension of the leave of absence already granted to me. I must, therefore, ask the University to accept my resignation as professor of Government."
Conant Disappointed at Resignation
President Conant, in accepting the resignation effective February 18, stated: "May I take this occasion to express my disappointment that it has been impossible for you to take up the work here at Harvard as professor of Government. If at some later time the situation changes and you will be available for an academic post, I hope you will write me; for while I cannot say now that a position would be available nor foresee the needs of the Department of Government, I am sure that everyone here would wish to renew the offer if it were possible within the academic framework which would then exist."
Appointment Approved In 1950
Bunche's appointment was approved by the Board of Overseers April 10, 1950. At the time, he asked that no announcement be made of his appointment because he felt that his position in the United Nations might be harmed if he accepted a position elsewhere.
When announcement was finally made in October, it was understood that he was to teach Government 170 (International Law). He also intended to teach and to do research in colonial administration.