THE COMMITTEE on Educational Policy has announced its proposal on the ROTC controversy. The CEP resolution, which will be presented at tomorrow's special Faculty meeting, is an ingeniously confusing document which appears to do something about ROTC at Harvard while skirting the substantive issues involved.
The CEP proposal apparently stems from the resolution of the Student-Faculty Advisory Committee, which based its case for stripping ROTC of academic credit and other privileges on the low academic level of ROTC courses, and the fact that the ROTC program is controlled from outside the university.
The CEP has now taken the SFAC up on its cautious wording: if the ROTC courses could be made more academically respectable, and if Harvard could find some way of controlling them, then, the CEP is saying, they should be given academic credit and ROTC can stay at Harvard more or less unchanged.
In requiring that ROTC courses be sponsored by real Harvard departments and taught by regularly-appointed instructors if they are to carry academic credit, the CEP proposal would probably deprive most ROTC courses of credit, while turning over one of two "legitimate" courses to departmental control. The motivation behind this curious arrangement would appear to be the fear if no ROTC courses are allowed to carry credit, the Defense Department will end the ROTC program here.
The CEP, in other words, is trying to please everyone--from anti-war students at Harvard to the generals in Washington. Judging by Col. Pell's statement that the proposal couldn't have pleased him more, the Committee has done well enough by the Pentagon. But the proposal completely ignores the aspects of ROTC which its opponents at Harvard find most noxious. Nothing is said about the units' free use of Harvard facilities, nor about the full professorships which Harvard grants to ROTC personnel. It must be assumed, therefore, that no change in these arrangements is contemplated.
And most importantly, the CEP proposal would perpetuate a system which allows the U.S. military establishment to trade on Harvard's name and prestige in its recruitment efforts. Student opposition to Harvard's present arrangement with ROTC goes much deeper than considerations of academic propriety. The Faculty cannot end the ROTC controversy by opting for a slightly modified status quo. It should not accept the CEP resolution.
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