Jovial smile on his lips, apple core charm dangling from his keychain and cameras clicking away around him, Dean Rosovsky yesterday was clearly a happy man. The Faculty had just passed the Core Curriculum, Rosovsky's pet project, over two-and-a-half years in the making.
At a press conference after the Faculty vote, Rosovsky, in between sips of RemyMartin cognac presented to him by President Bok, mentioned that he first discussed reforming the General Education program with Bok in 1971. At the time Bok was dean of the Law School, and Rosovsky was chairman of the Economics Department.
In 1975 Rosovsky started the process that has led to the Core when he sent the Faculty his "yellow letter" criticizing undergraduate education at Harvard and recommending the formation of seven task forces to plan improvements---one of which presented the first plans for the Core last spring.
The dean yesterday praised the Faculty Council and the small committees of Faculty members who took the recommendations of the task force and turned them into the present Core.
"When this started, very few people believed it could be done," Rosovsky said. "Many thought we wouldn't be able to find a common denominator among the Faculty."
Bok gave much of the credit to Rosovsky. "By being patient, Henry has involved a large number of Faculty in an intimate and intense way."
Once the Core is in operation, Rosovsky said he expects most students to prefer the Core to General Education, adding, "I am not convinced of the depth of student opposition to the Core."
Pointing out that members of student-faculty committees supported the Core after spending over two years helping to create it, Rosovsky said, "Most students could not possibly have worked their way through the intricacies of the proposal enough to understand it."
As the press conference drew to a close Rosovsky said he was in a hurry to get home. "I want to take a bath in champagne," he added