The Rosovsky Report: Black Studies Become a Reality

Part II:

(The following is the second half of the Rosovsky Committee report on Black Studies At Harvard. Part I, which ran in Tuesday's CRIMSON, outlined the general problems of being Black at Harvard. Today, the Committee makes specific recommendations toward changing the situation.)

IN ORDER to implement the goals outlined in Part I, we urge the following actions, to be undertaken immediately:

1) Appointment of a standing Faculty Committee on Afro-American Studies and budgeting of funds to implement the program development activities outlined below.

2) At the earliest possible time, this Committee should consult with the President concerning the appointment, possibly as a University Professor, of a distinguished scholar deeply concerned with Afro-American Studies and identified with the black American experience and community. The person appointed to this Professorship should be invited to assume the Chairmanship of the Afro-American Studies Committee.

3) Until the Professor is appointed, the Dean of the Faculty should serve as Chairman of the Committee to emphasize the University's concern for the program, as has been the case since the reorganization of General Education.

4) The Committee will recommend an appropriate number of tenure, term, and visiting appointments. These appointments may be made jointly with another Committee or Department, entirely within another Committee or Department, or entirely within the Committee on Afro-American Studies. The number of appointments will be determined by the nature of the programs developed by the Committee and the availability of qualified scholars and teachers. We feel, however, that it would be difficult to begin adequate degree programs without at least ten specialists in at least six areas of Afro-American Studies: history, sociology, political science, economics, and literature and the arts. The importance of visiting faculty should be continually emphasized. Many prominent scholars in the field have strong commitments elsewhere. Their experience and wisdom would, however, be helpful to Harvard in planning, launching, and developing its program.

5) In making appointments, the Committee and the University should note that many men and women, with considerable competence and national reputations in aspects of Afro-American Studies have not, for various reasons, acquired the normal academic credentials. This point is particularly applicable to people who have been active in efforts to create economic, social and legal and political change in recent years. Special efforts should be made to invite such people to serve as visiting members of the Faculty and fellows of the Center or Institute.

6) By September, 1969, the University should have secured the appointment of at least ten tenure, term and visiting faculty members. Appointments should be made so that at least five of these new faculty members will be able to begin teaching by September, 1969.

7) The Afro-American Studies Committee should encourage the development of course offerings in this area within existing Departments by present members of the faculty. The Committee and Departments should give serious consideration to appropriately structured courses involving community field work.

8) The Committee should arrange for freer inter-departmental interchange of Faculty and students in order to make tutorial and independent study in Afro-American Studies available to interested students. The Committee may need to establish an advisory mechanism to enable students to focus on Afro-American Studies within and among existing fields of concentration. The Committee should work with other Departments and committees to modify degree requirements, where necessary, to permit greater emphasis on Afro-American Studies within existing fields of concentration.

9) At the earliest possible time, the Committee should organize and add to Harvard course offerings, a colloquium or colloquia open to students interested in Afro-American Studies. It should work with other Departments and other Committees to insure that concentration credit will be awarded for these colloquia.

10) The Committee should begin discussion leading toward the development of an undergraduate degree program in Afro-American Studies. This degree should be available to students in the class of 1972--those presently freshmen. The most feasible way to make such a degree possible for this class may be to conceive the program as a combination of Afro-American Studies and an existing concentration. The Committee would offer colloquia and possibly tutorial and arrange in conjunction with existing concentrations for the evaluation of students in these combined programs. We emphasize that this is not necessarily the final form the undergraduate degree program will have. The Committee will make recommendations based on its experience and the ideas introduced by new members of the Faculty. It is not appropriate, at this time, to speculate on the form, content, or even the size of the proposed undergraduate program in Afro-American Studies.

11) Priority should be given to development of the undergraduate program. The Committee should, however, consider ways and means to create combined and/or separate graduate degree programs in Afro-American Studies.

12) Opportunities for research in Afro-American Studies at Harvard by Faculty members, graduate students, and undergraduates ought to be expanded. Existing research centers at the University ought to be encouraged to provide greater opportunity for such research, and additional funds should be generated.