The Faculty will meet this afternoon to give its blessing to an emasculated CEP report. After two meetings to discuss the report, there are few encouraging signs to indicate that the Faculty vote will do more than commend the modified version of the report.
Although the section of the report under consideration--the proposals concerning Honors candidates--is on the whole excellent, some of its implications need more explicit statement. The generalness of the general qualifying examinations, for instance, would be bolstered by a Faculty statement of intent declaring that such tests are, indeed, directed less at achievement in tutorial or courses than at broad knowledge of the field. The recommendations on the scope of tutorial, also, need full support to guarantee that upperclass tutorial will truly become a refuge for independent study and that sophomore tutorial be directed along the students' lines of interests rather than toward a final exam.
But it is the non-honors section of the report which should be of the greatest concern to the gentlemen convening in University Hall. The non-honors provisions won't be voted on this afternoon, unless there is independent Faculty action.
The decision to postpone debate on the non-honors section effectively relegates the plans to the honest, but not necessarily efficient or interested departments. If a department is uninterested in the House-orientation proposed for non-honors tutorial, or if it is wildly enthusiastic about the restrictions to be imposed on the content of pass candidacy, it gets free rein to enact the latter impulse and receives no push in the direction of the former.
The House tutorial system is laudable. The other aspect of the proposal is distinctly not. By limiting course choice for the pass-candidate, one regiments the minds or at least the training of the students, who for some reason are considered inferior to honors candidates. The concept of course restriction denies that a non-honors student can do valuable independent study. It implies, unjustifiably, that once a man fails the first qualifying examination, he is more or less doomed to academic oblivion.
To remedy these implications, to define the meaning of some of the honors provisions, and to assert the value of House tutorial groups, the Faculty must amend the legislation on which it will vote today. Even if the meeting must last beyond the civilized six o'clock adjournment hour, these provisions should be made.