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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

Robert Lamb Says "Harvard Starves the Social Sciences"; Hits University Government Policy

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

Stating "once more Harvard has fumbled the ball," Robert Keen Lamb '28, former heard of the University, News Office and last year a member of the Economics Department, in an article, "Harvard Starves the Social Sciences", attacks University officials for the dismissal of Walsh and Sweezy.

Writing for the current number of the "Nation", Lamb, who is now teaching at Williams, places the responsibility for the trouble on President Conant. He claims that it is an "open secret" that President Conant is out of sympathy with the social sciences in the university and that this biased option is intensified by the members of the Harvard Corporation, namely five corporation lawyers and a fashionable physician who are out to avoid all unfavorable publicity.

"Student Be Damned"

Lamb goes to say that this feeling has resulted in a policy of the "student be damned" as regards undergraduate demands for further courses in social sciences.

Economy is a large feature in the struggle, the article points out. Lamb makes it clear that back of the dismissal is the fact that the view of Walsh and Sweezy have around the clamour of the interests and it is from these interests that Harvard receives much of her money. As a result, President Conant has seen fit to "economize on the budgets of the social-science departments and increase the good-will of those through whose generosity the University has grown and flourished."

Charging President Conant has forgotten his promise to have all sides represented in the field of social studies, the articles states that "he (Conant) forbids his social science departments to grow, deprives them of financial nourishment, and leaves them in the hands of scholars who will never grow younger in ideas or years."

Visiting Committees

From President Conant, Lamb turns to the Visiting Committee of the Department of Economics. Showing that the members are among the leaders, in the ranks of the vested interests, he comes to the conclusion that it is "small wonder that the entire faculty of the Department of Economics is dedicated to a scholarly refusal to come to conclusions on any and all of the leading questions of modern economic life. Small wonder also that the activities of the two liberal instructions should have seemed unbecoming in men preparing for a 'scholarly' "career".

Lamb finds that discretion is an important qualification for promotion at Harvard, and that such activities as the Teachers Union are not looked on with much favor, especially when they are coupled with the labor movement in Massachusetts.

Public Answer

The article concludes with the statement that no one is asking Harvard to take Moscow gold and then its nose at the Wall Street bankers who now help administer its finances. But the University is being asked to face publicly the full implications of these dismissals and to day whether it is any longer interested in retaining its ancient distinction as a liberal institution.

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