More than two-thirds of the students at the Graduate School of Design (GSD) have signed a petition demanding that the school rehire and promote Chester W. Hartman '57, Assistant Professor of City Planning.
Hatman-who is also director of the Urban Field Service at the GSD-was notified in December that his teaching appointment at the school would not be renewed when it expired this June.
Tem Nutt, a third-year student who is head of the school's Student Senate, presented the petition to GSD officials and President Pusey's office yesterday afternoon.
Nutt said that he was requesting Manrice D. Kilbridge, the Dean of the Design School, and the three tenured faculty members of the GSD's Planning Department to reply to the student demands by 10 a.m. tomorrow morning.
The petition-which was signed by 203 of the school's 310 registered students and by about 50 other faculty members, doctoral candidates, and staff members-complains that students were not consulted in the decision not to re-hire Hartman, and calls him "an effective, inspiring and dynamic teacher" and "an exemplary man in a mediocre department."
At a press conference, Nutt and two other members of the Student Senate-R. Stephen Browing, a second-year student and Dolores H. Campen, a secondyear student-also charged that Hartman had been "dismissed for political reasons."
Hartman is a member of the Board of Directors of Urban Planning Ail. Ine.. of Cambridge, a group of planners which has worked with residents of Roxbury threatened by highway and housing construction projects. He was also a member of the Committee for Radical Structural Reform, a short-lived caucus of graduate students and junior faculty members which last spring opposed expansion by Harvard in Cambridge and Roxbury and demanded that the University build low-rent housing. The Corporation subsequently announced plans for low-and moderate-rent housing projects in both areas.
Nutt cited a letter Hartman received last June from William W. Nash Jr. '50. then chairman of the GSD's Department of City and Regional Planning, which charged that Hartman's teaching conveyed "a sense of political strategy more than the substance of city and regional planning." and that his "loyalties to the School and the University have lessened (sic) rather than increased during the past three years."
Nutt endorsed a statement released by the New University Conference-a small group of students and faculty led by Hilary W. Putnam, Professor of Philosophy-which described the non-renewal of Hartman's appointment as "an attempt to punish him and to dissuade others from acting as he has in supporting the poor communities with whom both the University and his colleagues' firms collide."
Neither Dean Kilbridge nor Francois C. D. Vigier, Professor of City Planning and unban Design and the current chairman of the planning department, would comment on the student petition yesterday.
Kilbridge, however, called attention to a letter he had sent to Hartman (excerpts from which were published in the CRIMSON January 21) informing him that the department felt "the scope" of Hartman's "experience and knowledge in the field of housing." was "too narrow."
In another letter to a student, Kilbridge also argued that assistant professors were not ordinarily "promoted or retained." and that the Design School could not offer to hire "specialists in a single field."
Yesterday, Nutt and the other students sought to refute both arguments, claiming that only one other assistant professor was not being re-hired this year and that "a glance" at the syllabus for Hartman's housing course at the GSD would show that it covered "a range of subjects."
The Design School's decision not to renew Hartman's academic appointment does not affect his position as head of the Unban Field Service (UFS), which he is expected to retain. The UFS enables GSD students to receive credit for assisting residents of urban communities.