The Mail ASTRO TURF
To the Editors of the CRIMSON:
Just a note which would have been dropped in the University suggestion box if I could have found it. Building and Grounds spends nine months each year running around the Yard chasing after plush, green, turf-y windmills. Yet, there has yet to be a year in which thick piled grass graced Harvard Yard. Solution? Astro Turf! Not only does it require no maintenance but also it remains plus and green year round. Single dorm-crew vacuum cleaners would get rid of autumn leaves. That task now requires costly. whining behemoths. The investment, which could easily be managed with the elimination of Buildings and Grounds could prove very wise if Harvard Stadium is taken away. The steps of Widener could hold the average football game crowd-and they would, some believe be a lot more comfortable. Y'oughta run an article on it.
To the Editors of the CRIMSON:
An article by David Hollander in the CRIMSON's February 17 issue discusses the view that no change may be needed in the structure of the Harvard Presidency provided the new President is "acceptable in general." Acceptability in these terms is defined in terms of President Kingman Brewster. Jr., of Yale, or someone like him. If no such new President can be found for Harvard, the argument goes, then-and only then-should the structure of the Harvard Presidency be altered by the creation of a Provost in charge of academic affairs.
It may, therefore be useful to point out that Yale has a University Provost, who is described in the By-Laws of Yale University as the "chief educational officer" of the University. The post has been filled for some years by Professor Charles Taylor. Brewster himself was Yale Provost before becoming President. The existence of the Office of the Provost relieves the President from a great number of duties. Of course, it neither prevents nor exempts the President from being concerned with the educational affairs of the University, and the Yale case supports this part of the argument as well. An autonomous Office of the Provost, moreover. can allow greater flexibility in the initiation and planning of academic programs. For example, Yale's Provost Taylor took responsibility for the planning and launching of the Afro-American Studies Program recently.
The existence of the post of Provost can, in fact, strengthen the Presidency of Harvard by allowing the incumbent to concentrate his efforts on a smaller number of significant questions. It can open up the leadership of the University to insure that aloofness does not become a serious problem. And it guarantees that the second ranking officer of the University will give his undiluted attention to the educational affairs of this University. It would be unfortunate if the search for a new President of Harvard were guided by the hope of precluding a change in the structure of the Presidency. However talented the new President may be, he ought to be appointed to a job which can be done. And it may be timely to ask whether the Harvard Presidency as it presently exists is a job which "can be done."