CEP to Debate Language Option

The language requirement--a perennial issue at Harvard--will be the only major item on the Committee on Educational Policy's agenda this afternoon.

"We are now going to stick with that question until we hammer out a recommendation," Dean Ford, chairman of the CEP, said yesterday. The Administrative Board has already recommended that the language requirement be abolished, but it is the CEP that formulates Faculty policy on academic questions.

Like pass-fail, the language requirement issue was initiated by the Harvard Policy Committee. The HPC no longer favors its proposal of last year that the Faculty create a language requirement bypass--a year of linguistics and a year of comparative literature.

Instead the HPC has asked that Harvard do away with the requirement altogether. Now students must demonstrate foreign language proficiency by scoring 560 on a College Board Achievement test or by passing one, or in some cases two, language courses at Harvard.

If the CEP is unwilling to scratch the requirement, the HPC recommends that they at least reduce it to one course for all sudents. Failing that, the HPC says that the second language course a student is required to take should count for upper level Gen Ed credit.

The CEP listened to the HPC's recommendations six weeks ago when Henry R. Norr '68, president of the HPC, testified on pass-fail. The language requirement has been on the CEP's agenda since, but was postponed twice while the CEP discussed the pass-fail plan.