The Committee on Educational Policy has sent a recommendation to the Faculty asking that the University immediately open negotiations with the military to change the status of ROTC at Harvard.
Under the CEP proposal, ROTC courses would be forced to reapply for academic credit under individual Harvard departments with department-recommended instructors.
The CEP, whose proposals are almost always followed by the Faculty, has also recommended that a special Faculty committee be established to coordinate the negotiations of ROTC contracts, and report back to the Faculty before the end of the current academic year.
Although meeting the criticism that present ROTC courses are not controlled by the Harvard Faculty, the CEP proposal is considerably milder than any of the four student-initiated recommendations now on the docket for the special Faculty meeting this Thursday.
The guidelines for course credit contained in the CEP resolution state:
* No course in military, air, or naval science shall be accepted by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences for degree credit unless it is sponsored by an academic department, committee or division responsible for concentration, or General Education courses.
* All courses accepted for degree credit by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences shall be directed by persons whose appointment has been recommended by an academic department, division or degree-recommending committee and approved by the Governing Board.
James Q. Wilson, professor of Government, who will present the CEP resolution at the Faculty meeting, said last night, "We are only stating guidelines as a basis on which academic credit can or should be given."
Wilson said that most ROTC courses as they exist now would not meet the departmental standards and asked, "What department would recommend them?"
Before making its recommendations, the CEP discarded the SDS argument to abolish ROTC on campus, saying that "students who wish to do so should have an opportunity to prepare themselves for military service while pursuing academic work toward their liberal arts or professional degrees at Harvard University."
Colonel Robert H. Pell, commander of the Army ROTC unit at Harvard, said the CEP proposal "makes good sense. I can't think of anything they could have done that would have pleased me more," he said.
Despite the proposed changes in ROTC status, the CEP resolution does not explicitly deny academic credit to the present ROTC courses or mention professorships for ROTC unit leaders and ROTC's rent-free use of the Shannon Hall complex--the three main points in the HUC-SFAC-HPC recommendations, which will also be presented to the Faculty on Thursday.
Informal conversation indicate that there is a possibility that students might be allowed to sit on the special Faculty committee. But the committee would be primarily a functional body set up to implement the Faculty's decision and would not have the power to determine policy.
Unless ROTC units make considerable changes in their present course curriculum, passage of the CEP proposal would leave no course certain of approval for next year.
But if ROTC units cannot find a department to sponsor all their courses, as appears likely, there is a possibility that the ROTC unit would have one or two of its courses accredited and remain on campus under the ROTC track B program.
Under this program, only 25 per cent of ROTC courses need be accredited by the University for ROTC to stay at Harvard