Faculty Members Provide Candidates With Policy Advice
Behind the clamor and publicity surrounding the recent primaries, many members of the Harvard faculty are playing a quiet role in helping the major Democratic candidates define issues in the current presidential campaign.
Though most do not consider themselves formal campaign advisors, these professors frequently submit position papers to the Carter, Jackson and Udall organizations, which then find their way into the candidates' officially announced positions.
Rashi Fein, professor of the Economics of Medicine, yesterday said it is a common practice for members of the academic community to offer advice to presidential contenders, in the hope that the candidates will publicize issues which the experts consider important.
Fein, an advocate of a national health insurance plan, said he thinks it is more important for him to promote this idea than to commit himself formally as an advisor to a single candidate.
A strong supporter of Rep. Morris K. Udall (D-Ariz.), Fein has nonetheless submitted his plans to the Democratic Advisory Council of Elected Officials, an organization which distributes information to all the major candidates.
Stanley S. Surrey, Smith Professor of Law, has provided a number of candidates with advice concerning national tax reform. Although he does not openly support any candidate, Surrey said yesterday he has contributed position papers to the Carter, Bayh and Udall campaigns.
Other faculty members, however, have formally committed themselves to a single candidate, to whom they submit research papers.
Elihu Bergman, assistant director of the Center for Population Studies, not only provides the campaign of Sen. Henry M. Jackson (D-Wash.) with research papers on social policy issues such as birth control, but also actively arranges for other professors to advise Jackson.
Terming Jackson "a very cerebral guy who responds well to counsel." Bergman said yesterday he has been trying to "dip into the kind of resources we have here at Harvard" in order to supply the candidate with advice on a broad range of issues