A suggestion that the University establish a new liberal arts college in either Oregon, Washington, Idaho, or Montana has been given passing consideration recently by the Faculty, a high Administration official revealed earlier this week.
The suggestion was never seriously contemplated, but it has given rise to a proposal that Harvard cooperate with other colleges in a similar venture. The University is "cautious but interested" in the proposition, the official continued. The idea of a new college was conceived as a means of enabling a large private university to expand without destroying its balance and integration, it was learned.
The subject was first mentioned last spring in a high level meeting between a foundation executive and the University. It is understood that the suggestion originated in the foundation and was discussed with Harvard because of the University's prestige and administrative experience. But the suggestion was put forward mainly as "a hypothesis to stimulate thinking," according to the University official. "There is some indication, however," he continued, "that there may be money available for such a cooperative venture."
Plan Has Advantages
The suggestion that Harvard establish the new college itself and keep it as a "colony" has been informally discussed in a meeting of the Faculty Committee on Educational Policy. It met first with interested and cheerful enthusiasm, the official said, but discussion of the idea for a new institution has been dropped because the University is now primarily concerned with its mammoth fund drive.
By establishing a new college, the "mother" institution would purportedly be able to concentrate primarily on its own educational problems without feeling any obligation to mushroom in size. Other inducements include a reported desire on the part of the sponsoring foundation to diversify the location of the nation's first-rate universities, which are now primarily concentrated in the East.