Pusey Rebuts Sayre Claim On Teachers

President Pusey said last night that people "often miss the point that the university community is the best place for an undergraduate to go to college."

In an apparent rebuttal to recent remarks by Woodrow Wilson Sayre, the associate professor of philosophy who was denied tenure by Tufts, Pusey contended that undergraduates reap important benefits from being taught by great scholars who are active on all levels of university life.

He strongly implied that the advantages of studying with great scholars outweigh the values of study with men who are merely good teachers.

Educators on all levels of the university have shown more concern for the undergraduate than for anyone else, Pusey suggested. He refuted the claims that the college has been exposed to extraordinary pressure from below by the secondary school and from above by research-oriented graduate schools.

Pusey's comments came in his address to the testimonial dinner honoring David E. Owen, retiring Master of Winthrop House. He cited Master Owen as an example of the scholar who has served the concerns of the undergraduate, both as an instructor and as Master of an upperclass House.


This was Pusey's first public reference to the Sayre case, which has aroused extensive debate throughout the country on the criteria used by educational institutions in hiring faculty members.

Sayre, rejected for his "failure to publish scholarly research," insisted recently that universities have not made the proper distinctions among varieties of scholarship and of teachers. Often neglected, Sayre has charged, is the teacher dedicated to bringing forth in a student the critical, creative, or appreciative ."

Pusey joined Dean Ford's recent assumption that it is a "myth" that "publish or perish" has been the single rule government academic positions. Though Harvard has not over-emphasized scholarly publication, Pusey asserted last night, it in living a large number of teachers, who are available the undergraduate to candidate.