Support grew yesterday for a Faculty resolution asking the "immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces' from Vietnam, but key Faculty membres attempted to head off a major split on the issue with a Faculty convocation proposal.
Mark Ptashne, lecturer in Biochemistry, yesterday placed the resolution second on the docket of the special Faculty meeting next Tuesday behind a proposal supporting the October 15th Vietnam Moratorium.
All 12 Faculty members of the department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, including Nobel prize winners Konrad E. Bloch, Higgins Professor of Biochemistry, and James D. Watson, professor of Biology, have endorsed the resolution.
Paul M. Doty, Mallinckrodt Professor of Biochemistry and chairman of the department, and John Kenneth Galbraith, Paul M. Warburg Professor of Economics, also agreed to support the resolution after Ptashne changed its wording yesterday. The resolution now reads:
"With full recognition that this is not a precedent-setting action but one occasioned by the unique importance of the Vietnam conflict, we urge the following resolution:
It is the sense of this Faculty that the war in Vietnam must not continue. While our opinions differ in detail, we agree that the most reasonable plan for peace is the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. forces. We support a united and sustained national effort to bring our troops home."
Not Since World War I
If the Faculty does pass the resolution at its regular meeting, it will be the first time since World War I it has taken a political stand, Dean Ford said yesterday.
Several Faculty members, however, have suggested that the Faculty avoid setting the political precedent by passing the resolution at an informal convocation after the regular meeting.
Edwin O. Reischauer, University Professor, Michael Walzer, associate professor of Government and head of the liberal caucus, and Robert Dorfman, professor of Economics said they support the substance of the resolution, but indicated they would oppose it in a formal meeting.
Asking for the informal convocation, Dorfman said, "My understanding is that Faculty members are virtually unanimous in opposition to the war. We are anxiously looking for a way to oppose the war,but I don't think we should take an official stand."
Robert L. Wolff, Coolidge Professor of History and head of the Faculty's conservative caucus, said "The whole thing is objectionable. It puts the Faculty not only in the position of making political judgments but making tactical judgments."
Everett I. Mendelsohn, associate professor of the History of Science, who will introduce the Moratorium resolution, has also agreed to support the withdrawal motion. "The two address themselves to the same broad recommendation, but deal with different areas," he said.
Doty called the revised resolution "a great deal better in every way." He noted that the phrase immediate withdrawal of U.S. "forces" implied several months of de-escalation. The previous wording had used "troops."
Doty and Galbraith agreed with Faculty members opposed to taking political stands, but said they suported the resolution because of the "extraordinary" situation with the Vietnam war.
"The problem of the Vietnam war is unique," Galbraith said. "I wouldn't want to think this is going to become a regular Faculty feature, however. There are better places to discuss polities."
David Riesman 31, Henry Ford II Professor of Social Sciences, said last night he would oppose the resolution because it called for action to end the war without educating people to the reasons for the immediate troop withdrawal. He urged the Faculty to delay consideration of the proposal until after the October 15th Moratorium.
Ptashne said yesterday that the original idea for the anti-war resolution came from a similar resolution passed by the Columbia University faculty senate Sept, 26.