College Cannot Create Geography Department
Report Requests Staff, Historical Approach
A Faculty committee proposal to establish a department of geography has been laid aside "for the moment," Dean Bundy disclosed yesterday, because funds sufficient to support the envisioned department are not available.
The geography proposals were contained in a report made public yesterday after several years of study by a committee--headed by Arthur A. Mass, professor of Government--which consulted extensively with Henry C. Darby, a prominent English historical geographer who spent more than a year as visiting professor at the University.
The Faculty report called for a geography department with three permanent appointments and an additional professional and non-professional staff of graduate assistants and cartographers.
The committee strongly favored the historical method of teaching geography, an approach which is the strongest in the English universities but seems to have found little favor in the United States. Maas explained that the historical approach would give the Harvard department a "unique" position in this country; could draw on the strength of other departments here (History, Economics); and would reinforce the integrity of geographical research, which some feel is being jeopardized by extreme and perhaps invalid outgrowths.
The new department would have had its own graduate Ph.D. program and courses for undergraduates, but no undergraduate concentration.
While commending the committee's "good ideas" and the value of its "careful study," Bundy stated that the University has neither the unencumbered resources nor the geography endowment to implement its proposals.
He pointed out that the minimum size of the staff that was asked for exceeded by at least 100 per cent the number he had anticipated before the study was made.
The Faculty committee to study the establishment of a department of geography, headed by Maas, includes Alexander Gerschenkron, Walter S. Barlier Professor of Economics, H. Stuart Hughes, professor of History, and Evon Z. Vogt, assistant professor of Social Anthropology.