AASU Supports B-School's FBI Stand
Lawrence E. Foraker, dean of the Business School, said yesterday that he will make a statement "aimed at students, faculty, and staff, to make sure that they are informed of the consequences" of divulging information to the FBI or any other outside organization.
The Afro-American Student Union (AASU) had said in an April 15 statement that an FBI agent asked one of its members to serve as an "informer" on AASU activities.
Fouraker told the Student Association (SA) in a letter dated April 26 that secret surveillance of student groups is "unwarranted and unacceptable" and assured them that "corrective action" would be taken if such activity occurs.
Charles Bush and Kelly Jacobs, first year MBA students and co-chairmen of the AASU, asked Fouraker two weeks later to make a "direct communication to each member of the HBS community ... expressing your concern and delineating the risks that they run in engaging in such activities."
Fouraker's letter to the SA did not say what form "corrective action" might take, but said yesterday in an interview that it could mean the dismissal of students, faculty, or staff engaged in surveillance.
Bush met with Fouraker last week and said yesterday, "We had been concerned with the vagueness of 'corrective action'. But Fouraker indicated his reasons for leaving the wording unspecific and we are satisfied with them. Our concern now is that he make a statement aimed at the student body, not just the SA, to clarify what the school's policy on surveillance of student groups is."
Fouraker said yesterday that Thomas A. Graves Jr., associate deau of the MBA Faculty. will meet with Bush and Kelly next week to decide the "question of what, when, and exactly to whom a more complete statement should be made."
Fouraker said the statement would be worded in terms "similar" to his letter to the SA. Neither Bush nor Fouraker would say why more specific words than "corrective action" would not be used to describe the consequences of engaging in surveillance or divulging confidential information.
The AASU had urged Fouraker to take a position similar to that of Robert D. Cross '47, president of Swarthmore College. When documents stolen from an FBI office in Media, Pa., revealed that Swarthmore's Afro-American Student Society was under FBI surveillance, Cross said, "Any faculty, student, or staff who divulges confidential information risks dismissal."
Fouraker said a more complete statement might take the form of a letter sent to all Business School students, faculty, and staff, but added that he did not know if it would be sent before the end of this academic year.