Cut and Paste

THE MAIL

To the Editors of The Crimson:

Your publication of excerpts from Professor Anderson's letter of June 22, 1976 to the Committee on Academic Policy of the Graduate School of Design in your October 13 issue warrants the following comments.

I had originally intended to address Professor Anderson's feelings (as distinct, it appears, from those of his committee) that I should be censured for allegedly refusing to cooperate with the Hartman Review Committee in the forum of the Faculty of Design, and with the contempt they merit as being unfounded and without basis in fact. I must now repudiate his allegations publicly.

I was first asked by Professor Anderson to testify before his committee in mid-April 1973, ten months after the committee had started its deliberations. Following a lengthy correspondence with the committee on its procedures, particularly those pertaining to confidential testimony--that is, informing one of the parties that evidence had been received but not of its substance, a procedure I found abhorrent--I finally agreed to testify with the understanding that my full testimony would be transmitted to both Dr. Hartman and Dean Kilbridge. I appeared before the committee on June 5, 1973 and answered their questions fully and candidly for three hours.

In late April 1974, I received a draft of approximately four double spaced pages purporting to be my testimony. A covering letter from Professor Anderson called to my attention that his notes of June 5, 1973 had made it difficult for him to recall precise details in my testimony and asked me for corrections and comments. On May 6, 1974 I wrote Professor Anderson a long letter, correcting several factual errors and calling to his attention that the "cut and paste" reporting of my testimony and, I assumed, that of others as well was fraught with ambiguity. In his reply, dated May 18, 1974, he acknowledged that this was the case but asserted that all would be made clear in the final Report. He also accepted the minor corrections I had requested.

Professor Anderson's letter of May 18, 1974 is the last communication I received from the committee. Had they required additional testimony from me, it would have been a simple matter to ask me to appear before them again. They did recall other witnesses and I would have obliged them had they done so in my case.

What Professor Anderson would have liked, it appears, is to have me assume, halfway through the committee's proceeding, the role of a "party" to the case rather than that of a witness! That I was not willing to assume that role had been made perfectly clear to him at a lengthy meeting we had on May 29, 1973, prior to my agreeing to appear before the committee. Although, as departmental chairman, I had obviously initiated the discussions that led to the decision not to reappoint Dr. Hartman I had had no part in the preparation of the School's case and was ignorant of its contents. I had been consulted by Dean Kilbridge neither on the School's case and was ignorant of its contents. I had been consulted by Dean Kilbridge neither on the School's original statement of June 1970 nor on its response to Dr. Hartman's allegations. Professor Anderson seemed, at the time, to accept my views that this precluded me from becoming involved in a capacity other than as a witness. Indeed, the process followed by the School's administration in preparing its case, as well as its potential consequences, are duly noted by the Anderson Committee on pages 14 and 30 of their Report.

In light of these events, I can only deplore Professor Anderson's recent letter: it is inaccurate and derogatory in its treatment of my relationship with the committee; indeed, it borders on the libelous. Professor Anderson would do well to reflect further on the fairness of his committee's procedures as well as on the accuracy of its findings. Casting himself in the role of Lord High Executioner may add a Gilbert and Sullivan savor to a "gargantuan report" but does little to alleviate the shocking delays that have plagued Dr. Hartman's appeal to date. Francois C.D. Vigier   Professor of City Planning   and Urban Design