By distributing a phamphlet questioning the "moral basis and factual content" of a University lecture, the Harvard-Radcliffe May 2nd Committee may have violated an "unwritten rule" saleguarding academic freedom, an Administration source said yesterday.
Harvard tradition forbids reproduction of a lecturer's statements in class without his previous consent. At last Thursday's meeting of Social Relations 101, "Communist Chinese Society," the May 2nd Committee distributed three mimeographed pages that paraphrased, and disputed, views expressed on Tuesday by Ezra F. Vogel, lecturer on Sociology.
No Immediate Action
In an interview yesterday, Dean Ford said that the University will not take any action at present. He added, however, that "the University will do what it has to do to protect the privacy of instruction if the professor so requests."
Vogel said last night that as long as the May Second Committee "shows a genuine interest in China," he sees no reason to request administrative action.
The Committee plans to publish other leaflets, according to its representatives. A planned seminar to present the Communist Chinese point of view is also planned.
The ideal situation would be a university with two courses on China--one presenting the American point of view--which let students take their choice," the May Second members said. "Only with the presence of the Chinese point of view would the American point of view be exposed as partial."
Vogel said that two courses would provide a more balanced view of Chinese history, but cautioned that the subject has more than two "sides." He said that he would be "very pleased to have discussion by people who are serious and knowledgeable," but claimed that the members of the Committee "have not indicated openness or knowledge of the subject."
"I hope they will make a serious study of the subject," he said. "I don't want to engage in polemics for the sake of polemics."
He added that he did not understand why the writers of the leaflet felt that they must hide their names. "It is very difficult to introduce debate when it's anonymous," he said.