To the Editors of the CRIMSON:
Readers of the letter by Mr. Miles Kahler (CRIMSON, January 21) should be aware of the following facts about the Government Department, international relations, and Henry Kissinger.
(1) Seven permanent and four non-permanent members of the Department teach in the field of international relations. During the past three years, they have offered 11 different undergraduate half-courses and 18 different graduate half-courses; many of these courses were, of course, offered more than once. Eight more half-courses in international relations are offered this year than were offered two years ago.
(2) While a member of the Department. Professor Kissinger regularly did more than his share of teaching, including one of our largest undergraduate courses, Government 180, as well as a full graduate course. He was also meticulous in discharging his other responsibilities as a member of this Department.
(3) The Government Department decided not to fill Professor Kissinger's chair immediately because there was in its view no other scholar in his area of international relations who could make a contribution to teaching and scholarship equal to Professor Kissinger's, if he returned to Harvard. We decided, in short, to take a chance on getting back the best man, rather than to settle now for someone who was not as good.
(4) At no time during the eight years on which I can speak with authority on these matters have members of this Department acted on political grounds or divided along political lines on an appointment issue. There was no such division on Kissinger.
(5)The members of an Overseers Visiting Committee do not necessarily possess the competence to judge the qualifications of possible faculty members and clearly do not have the responsibility to make such judgments. The members of the Visiting Committee of the Department of Government have scrupulously avoided any involvement with appointments in the Department.