The CEP Explains Its Motion

(The following memorandum explaining the CEP's resolution on ROTC was prepared by Professor Wilson.)

1. This is enabling legislation, designed to create and set in motion machinery that will revise Harvard's relations to the ROTC program. As enabling legislation, it is perhaps less dramatic in tone than measures intended to cut all ties with ROTC immediately. This results from the desire of the CEP to consider alternative ways in which ROTC can remain in the Harvard community, including operating as an extracurricular activity or as an activity that designates regular college (i.e., academic department) courses to count toward the military commission as well as the baccalaureate degree. This is not a call for or for fact-finding; it is not a delaying motion; it is a call for action.

2. The first paragraph expresses the CEP view that men at Harvard should be allowed to meet their military obligations while enrolled as students. The second and third paragraphs indicate the conditions under which such a program might be satisfactory. It should be borne in mind that the majority of Army ROTC and Air Force ROTC students are in the Law School, or elsewhere other than the College. These students are now taking ROTC on a non-academic, extracurricular basis. We see no reason why their participation--and thus their draft deferment--should be ended by the unilateral action of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

3. The Committee to be created under paragraph two is a negotiating and advisory committee, not a committee to make inquiries or to preside over military studies.

4. The guidelines stated in paragraph three are, in the opinion of the CEP, the same guidelines that would be applied to any course or instructor in the Faculty and therefore impose on military studies no more but no less than the same requirements all other courses of study must meet. The only reason for requiring the military to meet more stringent conditions would be political opposition to the military itself, or to the policies' the military are required to implement. We believe that the CEP is acting in accord with prior decisions of the Faculty (as on the draft) that the Faculty not make collective political statements but instead choose and carry out academic and educational policy.

5. The approval of courses and of instructors required by paragraph three would be approval by regular (i.e., degree-recommending) academic departments or committees of instruction (such as General Education). The courses could not be approved by departments of military studies, inasmuch as they are not degree-recommending departments.

6. Several outcomes are possible if the CEP resolution is adopted and implemented:

(a) The Defense Department may elect to withdraw the ROTC units rather than meet the Faculty guidelines.

(b) The Defense Department may elect to make ROTC entirely an extracurricular activity with no courses counting for credit and no instructor holding professorial rank.

(c) Some parts of ROTC could be extracurricular and not for degree credit (for example, operational or technical courses taught by military officers in such fields as leadership, marine navigation, weapons systems, and the like) while other parts could consist of regular Arts and Sciences course, approved by academic departments and taught by departmentally recommended instructors (for example, policy courses in such fields as military history, defense policy, foreign affairs, and the like). Purely ROTC courses would count toward the commission; academic department courses would count toward both the commission and the A.B. degree.

7. It should be emphasized that this last outcome, or some variant of it, would still require Faculty approval after it has been negotiated.

8. Students considering this resolution should understand what most faculty members already know--namely, that the academic department is normally a cautious and careful filter through which courses and recommendations of instructional staff must pass. The CEP does not foresee any academic department's "adopting" existing ROTC courses or instructors without the closest scrutiny to satisfy itself that the course has academic merit and that the instructor is competent to teach it and free of outside control in that teaching. We believe it is more likely that any courses counting toward academic credit would be taught by civilians.

9. The difference between the CEP resolution and the SFAC and HUC resolutions lies, partly, in the peremptory nature of the latter. For various reasons, the CEP is of the opinion that efforts should be made to discover whether there are circumstances such that students now (or in the future) fulfilling their military obligations by joining ROTC while at Harvard can do so in a manner consistent with the educational policies of the university. Among these reasons we note,

(a) A one year notice is required by either party before existing ROTC contracts can be terminated; that time, which must be spent in any case, should be spent in exploring alternative arrangements.

(b) For a majority of Army and Air Force ROTC students, membership in the units is the source of their draft deferments (being graduate students, they are not automatically deferred as are College students); it would seem harsh for the College to urge, if effect, that these draft deferments be abolished.