Council Report Criticizes Elimination of Geography

The University decision abolishing Geography as a field of concentration "was not made on the basis of merit and conscientious inquiry into the facts," a five-man investigating committee headed by Robert F. Tranchin '48 told the Student Council last night.

The administration's move, the report continues, was "an arbitrary compromise under the pressure of the general increased College operating expenses."

Reporting after a month-long questioning of University officials in and out of the department, the investigators recommended that the Visiting Committee on Geological Sciences request the formation of an ad hoc committee to study the place of Geography at Harvard with an eye to its re-institution.

No Meeting Necessary

Members of the Visiting Committee are scattered throughout the country, but action on the Council request may be taken through correspondence.


According to the Council committee. President Conant decided that Geography should be eliminated as a field of concentration because of the additional cost, in building maintenance as well as faculty, that would have been necessary "to maintain the field at the level considered adequate."

"Georgraphy bears directly on several departments in the University," the report goes on, but they have not been able to alter their budgets to support additional professorships in Geography.

The libraries, map collection, and the institute building make "Harvard remarkably well equipped to hold a position of leadership in American geography," the report states.