About 70 students and several members of the faculty and administration of the Kennedy School of Government met yesterday to discuss whether the school should rename the Charles W. Engelhard library of public affairs and return to the Engelhard Foundation the $1 million it donated to build the library.
Most of the students raised their hands when asked if they objected to the present name of the library. About ten students indicated they thought the money should be returned to the Engelhard Foundation.
Responding to student questions, Ira A. Jackson '71, associate dean of the Kennedy School, said the grant proposal which the school submitted to the Foundation stated that the library would be named for Charles W. Engelhard. Requests for grants to other organizations also included the name of their founders, he added.
Jackson, who drafted the grant proposals, said he did not know if the school would have obtained the grant if Engelhard's name had not been attached to the proposal.
Jackson said the school's policy for requesting grants "has never been articulated in writing" and could be subject to change.
Thomas C. Schelling, Lucius N. Littauer professor of Political Economy, said the $1 million grant will be paid to Harvard over the next ten years. The school has received a first installment of $100,000.
William A. O'Neil, a Kennedy School financial officer, said the $1 million slated for the library has already been spent during the construction of the new Kennedy School building.
The meeting, sponsored by the school's student association, often resembled a typical Kennedy School class, with students analyzing the library issue and discussing the broader questions about University donation policies it raises.
The discussion sometimes became more emotional. One student said former President Kennedy '40 had a "solid reputation" for integrity and ethical leadership, and was a symbol of civil rights reform, while Engelhard was linked with apartheid. To have the two names connected with the same building is "a contradiction," the student said.
Another student said he might have decided not to apply to the school if the entire building had been named after Engelhard.
Members of the Kennedy School student association will meet with Graham T. Allison Jr. '62, dean of the school, next week to consider the naming of the library and the question of returning the money.
The students will invite Mark Smith '72-4 to speak with them some time next week. Smith, representing the demonstrators at last Saturday's dedication ceremony, spoke against the naming of the school's public affairs library for Engelhard.
Most of the participants seemed pleased with the meeting. Gerry Connolly, a master of public policy (MPA) student who moderated the discussion, said it was a "very good beginning."
Myron Golden, also an MPA disagreed. He said the meeting did not establish a position and was a "bureaucratic copout." He added that any proposal the students make will go through a series of compromises, and become "so watered down that it won't be worth my time."
The students will meet again next Friday for further discussion