Afro Students, Bok Discuss DuBois Institute; Concentrators Call for Changes in Proposal
Black undergraduates and graduate students met last night in William James Hall and wrote a petition to President Bok outlining desired programs for the W.E.B. DuBois Institute.
A committee of Afro-American Studies concentrators met with Bok earlier yesterday at the Faculty Club to discuss the status of the Institute.
Concentrators told the Williams James Hall gathering that they pointed out to Bok discrepancies between current proposals for the Institute from his special committee headed by Walter J. Leonard, special assistant to the president, and those in the original prospectus by the 1969 Standing Committee to Develop the W.E.B. DuBois Institute.
Sources close to the Leonard Committee revealed yesterday that the director of the Institute will be employed as a tenured Faculty member but need not be affiliated with any academic department unless he chooses.
Sources also said the University would pay the Institute's housing and administrative costs, but funds for fellowships will have to come from outside sources.
The 12-point petition calls for many of the programs in the original 1969 prospectus, including summer research grants, a publications program and a graduate studies program leading to a Ph.D. in Afro-American studies.
The concentrators told the William James Hall meeting that these points were not included in Bok's proposal.
Vivian Morris '75, who attended the Faculty Club meeting, called "essential" the petition's request that the University delay action on the Institute until after the petition circulates among students.
"Any day we may wake up to read that a director has been picked and the Institute established," she said.
Bok said last night that he couldn't "recall the last time he met with the advisory [Leonard] committee on the DuBois Institute." Bok said he was certain it was before the committee presented its proposal in December.
Wesley E. Profit '69, a teaching fellow in the Afro Department, said a delay "would allow input by the black community so the Institute meets the needs of the black community and not those of Harvard."
Profit called the Leonard Committee report "unacceptable" and a "public relations attempt to cover over past failings."
Concentrators at the Faculty Club meeting asked Bok why summer research grants were not included in the Leonard Committee report.
Bok said last night that he did not understand "why it hadn't been included," and would discuss it with the committee in the near future.
Leslie E. Griffin '70 said the Institute should be designed to "train young black minds in Afro-American Studies. Too often Harvard's emphasis on Afro courses has been 'famous negroes I have known'."
Ewart Guinier '33, chairman of the Afro-American Studies Department, said that students "taking a hand in the determination of the Institute is one of the best things I've seen in five years.