The Dartmouth Faculty of Arts and Sciences this week voted overwhelmingly against the return of the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) to campus, putting the final decision in the hands of the Board of Trustees.
The board last month asked the faculty to consider the feasibility and desirability of the return of ROTC in a modified form known as the "Princeton Plan," in which military instructors would not be given full faculty standing and students could not receive academic gredit for ROTC courses.
The trustees also instructed Dartmouth President John G. Kemeny to open negotiations on ROTC with the Department of Defense. A. Alexander Fanelli, executive assistant to the president, said yesterday that Kemeny is planning to start negotiations soon.
The board will probably make a final decision on ROTC at its June meeting, Fanelli said.
What their decision will be is "a prediction I just can't make," he said. "President Kemeny has said that he can't tell either."
Gene M. Lyons, associate dean of the Dartmouth faculty and chairman of an ad hoc faculty committee on ROTC, said yesterday that although the trustees usually follow faculty recommendations, on this issue they may not.
The trustees last year requested a faculty report on the possibilities for a ROTC program at Dartmouth, after the Alumni council asked them to reopen the issue. ROTC left Dartmouth in 1969.
"The board felt that the original decision to get rid of ROTC had been taken in rather hectic circumstances," Lyons said.
The faculty report, submitted to the trustees last fall, discussed various possible forms a new ROTC program could take, and recommended that Dartmouth not reinstate it in its traditional form.
Last fall, the Columbia University Senate set up a committee to study the ROTC issue, after President William J. McGill issued a statement saying that the Department of Defense had a policy of refusing financial aid to military and defense department personnel who wanted to study at Columbia because of the university's attitude towards ROTC.
But both Lyons and Fanelli said that the threat of a loss of government money as a result of not having ROTC was not one of the reasons Dartmouth was reconsidering reinstating the program. "There's a whole variety of different reasons," Lyons said. "The one about government money is not important."
President Bok said yesterday that he has not changed his position on ROTC since January 10, when he said that Harvard was not considering the reinstatement of ROTC.
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