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Dissenting CEP Member Discusses General Honors


A CEP member who does not share his colleagues' view on the extent to which departments should influence the awarding of Honors degrees in General Studies explained his position on this issue yesterday.

He is William A. Klemperer, who cast the sole dissenting vote when the Faculty Committee on Educational Policy approved a motion which would give the departments the right to recommend that their students be denied the General Studies degree.

Klemperer, an associate professor of Chemistry, said that his main reason for opposing the motion is a feeling that, through course grades, the departments shape a large portion of each student's record. Because concentration requirements lead the student to take many courses in a single field, Klemperer pointed out last night, the members of an undergraduate's department have many chances to place on his record their opinions of his work.

Therefore, Klemperer said, the departments do not need the opportunity to make an extra comment at the end of the undergraduates' senior year.

The question of whether this extra comment should be allowed will come before the Faculty at a meeting tomorrow afternoon. Several professors not on the CEP are known to share Klemperer's reservation about the Committee's General Studies motion, and as one of these men said last week, "it could be quite a meeting."

The present policy on the degree cum laude in General Studies has been in effect since February, 1961. Before then, each candidate for the degree had to obtain the formal approval of his department. This policy was repealed because some departments were giving the needed endorsements much more readily than others.

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