The Fainsod Report

(The Faculty will convene in a special meeting next week to consider the findings of the Fainsod Committee, which released its report last Friday. The Committee-officially titled the Committee on the Organization of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences-was formed last January after the Paine Hall sit-in.

The report attempted to "recommend changes in the operation of the Faculty" and "to devise ways in which students can play a significant and responsible role in reaching decisions."

"How far we have succeeded is for both the Faculty and the students to decide," it says.

The text of the report-which has been slightly edited to shorten its length-will be reprinted in two sections today and tomorrow. Today's section covers the restructuring of the Faculty. Tomorrow's will discuss student involvement in the decision making process.)


What shall I cry?

The first thing to do is to form the committees:

The consultative councils, the standing committees, select committees and sub-committees.

One secretary will do for several committees.

What shall I cry.

WHY THIS committee and this report? One must begin by distinguishing proximate explanations from more deep-lying considerations. Harvard. like many other universities throughout the world, has been caught up in a wave of student unrest, which, though primarily inspired by dissatisfaction with the state of society, has also raised basic questions about the purposes of universities. their place in the social order, and their governance. Nor has the mood of dissatisfaction and self-questioning been confined to students. Faculties too have been brought face to face with the same range of problems. The result at Harvard, as elsewhere, has been to precipitate a reconsideration of the whole question of decision-making within the University and its faculties. The existence of this committee may be viewed as a partial response to this challenge, at least as it affects the Faculty of Arts and Sciences . . . .

As is perhaps inevitable in any committee representing diverse views. agreement on recommendations has not always been easy. All of us have tried to find common ground wherever possible. but we have also proceeded on the assumption that each member was free to dissent from the committee's conclusions whenever issues of principle arose. All of us who lived through the agonies of the events of last April have been made poignantly aware of the fragility of the University, and we share a desire to do everything in our power to build a community which will command the loyalty of faculty, students, and administration, as well as of the alumni and the governing boards.

Our purposes in this report have been twofold:

(1) to recommend changes in the governing arrangements and procedures of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences which will better equip it to cope with the problems of change and adjustment which lie ahead;

(2) to recognize that students have an important stake in the operation of the Faculty and the survival of the University, and to devise ways in which students can play a significant and responsible role in reaching decisions.

How far we have succeeded is for both Faculty and students to judge.

I. Some Fundamental Assumptions