Assistant Dean Prepares Memorandum After Students Blast Limited Enrollment
If you've been shut out of Soc Rel 10a, Nat Sci 5, or Fine Arts 13, take heart: the Administration has prepared a 22-page memorandum on limited-en-rollment courses.
According to the report-issued last week by assistant dean Barbara M. Solomon-the four limiting factors on course size are "the professor's predilection," the lack of adequate facilities, insufficient funds, and a shortage of teaching fellows.
"But limited enrollment does not always mean people are being deprived of what they want," Mrs. Solomon said yesterday.
Of the 47 course which specify a numerical limit in the catalogue, 35 were under-subscribed, she added.
The report explores the possibility of asking students to register in advance for courses. Binding pre-registration would eliminate "shopping around" during registration week, the report said.
A non-binding pre-registration plan would eliminate the necessity for a student to choose a fourth course hastily after being shut out from a limited-enrollment course at the last minute, Mrs. Solomon added.
The report recommends that the Committee on Undergraduate Education (CUE) "evaluate opinions on the present registration system and its consequences in terms of courses with limited enrollments."
But the CUE will not be able to consider limited enrollment until next Fall, member Steven R. Bowman '72 said yesterday.
"It's one of the things that are being sacrificed to the larger issues of concentration and gen ed," Bowman added.'The things we're planning to do may change the whole situation anyway."
Mrs. Solomon wrote the memorandum in response to a letter to Dean May from six Harvard freshmen and a pretor. The letter-dated February 9-complained about a "lack of responsiveness by departments to student pre-ferences."
"What is needed is a reallocation of teaching personnel and funds," the letter concluded.
Mark H. Sidran '73, one of the letter's signers, said yesterday that he was "pleased with May's response and impressed that Dean Solomon took the time to issue a memorandum."
But Gregory F. Wilson '73, another signer, added. "If, by the Fall of our senior year, we're still being told it's a problem, then I think the report is just bureaueratie bull."