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Conway Will Direct Study Of Seminars

By Frederic L. Ballard jr.

A small group of Faculty members under the direction of John J. Conway, Master of Leverett House, is presently conducting a methodical and thorough investigation of the Freshman Seminar Program. Some time this winter the full Faculty--guided by a report from Conway's group--will have a formal vote on whether or not the program should be continued.

Conway will make his report to the Faculty Committee on Educational Policy, possibly at its mid-December meeting. It is understood that the CEP will attempt to place a motion on the Seminar Program before the full Faculty by February, in order to allow enough time to make any suggested changes.

The Faculty legislation which began the Seminars in the fall of 1959 also stipulated that a complete review of the Program should be conducted after three years. If no action is taken this spring, the Program will be discontinued automatically.

Among the men working with Conway on the Seminar investigation are Bernard Bailyn, professor of History and head tutor of the History Department, Lawrence Wylie, acting Master of Quincy House, and Donald R. Griffin, professor of Zoology. Griffin is currently conducting a seminar on communication and language in animals. Bailyn, like Conway, is a regular member of the CEP. Wylie, who holds the C. Douglas Dillon Professorship of the Civilization of France, is known to favor small-group investigation wherever it is possible.

Both favorable and critical discussion of the Seminar Program have been widespread in the three years since an anonymous $2 million donation made its founding possible. The main argument in favor of the Seminars has usually been that they give freshmen a chance to study under senior members of the Faculty. The main argument against the Seminars has been that the professors occasionally use the students as assistants for specialized research.

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