News

Mass. State Rep. Calls on University VP to Increase Transparency for Allston Multimodal Project

News

Harvard President Lawrence Bacow Made $1.1 Million in 2020, Financial Disclosures Show

News

Harvard Executive Vice President Katie Lapp To Step Down

News

81 Republican Lawmakers File Amicus Brief Supporting SFFA in Harvard Affirmative Action Lawsuit

News

Duke Senior’s Commencement Speech Appears to Plagiarize 2014 Address by Harvard Student

150 in Faculty Oppose Formal Vote on Vietnam

By James M. Fallows

One hundred-fifty Faculty members have signed a statement opposing a formal Faculty vote on a Vietnam- withdrawal resolution.

The statement, which appears as an ad on page five of today's CRIMSON, points out the general dangers of "official and collective involvement of the Faculty- sitting as a Faculty- in political debate."

The implicit reference is to today's Faculty meeting at which some members will try to get a vote on a resolution calling for immediate U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam. A dispute has grown in the last week concerning whether the Faculty should consider the issue at its formal meeting or at an informal "convocation."

Against Formal Vote

The statement claims that a formal Faculty vote would:

undermine the University's freedom by involving it in political battles:

make polities a factor in selecting Faculty members;

unfairly bind a minority of the Faculty to the views of the majority;

set a precedent for political debate that would destroy the "proper concerns of the Faculty,"

A version of the statement circulated among some Faculty members contained another sentence that was removed in the printed version: "Although we can conceive of circumstances that would outweigh this argument [against a formal vote], we do not think they yet exist."

Conservative Names

The petition, which was circulated by Arthur A. Maass, professor of Government, contains the names of all four members of the steering committee of the Faculty's conservative caucus: James Q. Wilson, professor of Government; Andrew M. Gleason, professor of Mathematics; Richard J. Herrnstein, professor of Psychology; and Robert L. Wolff '36,Coolidge Professor of History and Chairman of the Conservative Group.

None of the members of the liberal caucus's steering committee signed the statement. The liberal caucus voted last week to support a formal vote on the war resolution.

The statement also has the signature of Robert Dorfman, professor of Economics, who last week organized a new committee to oppose a formal Faculty vote.

Three other Faculty supporters of Dorfman's committee- Seymour Martin Lipset, professor of Government and Social Relations: David Reisman '31, Henry Ford II Professor of Social Sciences; and H. Stuart Hughes '40, professor of History- also signed the new statement.

The sponsor of the anti-war resolution- Mark Ptashne, lecturer on Biochemistry and Molecular Biology- last night objected to all four points in the new statement. saying that:

the statement's claim that the Faculty must maintain corporate silence to protect the University's freedom "is too craven a suggestion to deserve comment";

his group has not tried to make political debate common in the Faculty- rather, Ptashine claimed, his opponents have done that with their proposals:

the statement's contention that a Faculty vote would bind all members "is a non-sequitur." Ptashine said that his resolution uses the standard phrase, "it is the sense of the Faculty." and does not purport to speak for the entire Faculty or those who vote against the motion;

while the statement says that normal Faculty business "cannot long survive continued...political debate," actually the Faculty's concerns "cannot long survive the continuation of this war."

Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.

Tags