The national press has come to Harvard again, bringing more predictions of trouble this year.
In September, columnist Joseph Kraft wrote a series of articles warning of potential ruptures between President Pusey, the Faculty, and the Governing Boards.
Yesterday, Rowland Evans and Robert Novak used their nationally-syndicated column to report on the atmosphere of terror which they say threatens academic life here.
The column-which the Boston Globe headlined "Call for Violence-Threat to Harvard" yesterday-uses a recent article in the CRIMSON as the starting point for its criticism. Evans and Novak say that "In Defense of Terrorism." a piece that apeared in the October 22 CRIMSON, represents a new atmosphere of violence here this Fall.
They go on to say that the Faculty and Administration have given in to the violent threats, and that academic freedom has suffered as a result.
In descirbing the results of the Faculty's "capitulation," Evans and Novak make serious charges against the quality of the Afro-American Studies Department and the qualifications of its chairman, Ewart Guinier. Most of those charges met sharp rebuttal yesterday from President Pusey, Dean Ford, and several Faculty members.
Victory for Militants
The column says that last Spring's decision to set up an Afro-American Studies department was "a hasty agreement under pressure" and "a victory for black militants more complete than was accomplished at Columbia or Berkeley, where administrators were under greater duress."
The selection of Guinier was "an even greater departure from academic norms." Evans and Novak claim. They object to both the way he was chosen and his fitness for the job:
instead of the normal selection procedure-in which an ad hoe committee reviews nominations-the column says that "black student militants had the deciding voice" in choosing Guinier:
"since no self-respecting black academician would accept the post." Harvard had to take Guinier, "whose only postgraduate work was in the Law School and who ran unsuccessfully for Manhattan borough president in 1949 as candidate of the Communist-dominated American Labor party."
At a press conference yesterday, Pusey flatly denied the first charge-that Guinier was chosen in an abnormal way. The Faculty did vote last Spring to seat students on a committee looking for a chairman for the department. But the vote retained the normal system of review by an ad hoe committee, and Guinier was approved under that system.
Dean Ford said that Guinier's appointment "can easily be defended in terms of his qualifications for leading the new department." Guinier studied at Harvard and City College of New York as an undergraduate, and got a law degree from New York University.
Before coming to the Afro-American Studies Department here, he worked at Columbia as Coordinator of Community Programs and was a member of the Advisory Board of Black Heritage.
"We had a difficult and sensitive position to fill, and I'm extremely pleased we got him to fill it." Ford said last night.
One History professor called the Evans and Novak comment on Guinier's political background "pure and obvious red-baiting." The attack on Guinier's affiliation with the American Labor Party came almost verbatim from an article called "Harvard Hires Pink Prof." in a recent issue of the right-wing newspaper, Human Events.