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Ed School Group Suggests Changes In Structure of Cambridge Project

By Jeff Magalif

A student-faculty committee at the Graduate School of Education yesterday approved a report which recommends that Harvard not associate itself with the Cambridge Project unless certain changes are made in the Project.

The Ed School faculty will consider the committee's report on December 3 before making a recommendation on the Project to the Corporation.

The $7.7 million, five-year Cambridge Project, funded by the Defense Department, uses M.I.T. computers for social science research. Harvard has been invited to join M.I.T. on the Project's policy board, which will determine how Project funds are allocated.

The Ed School committee, which began discussing the Project late last month, outlined several conditions which it said the Project must meet before Harvard should join it, including:

excluding all people involved in the Project from the policy board;

securing funds for the Project from agencies other than the Defense Department;

guaranteeing that the data the Project analyzes will not invade anyone's privacy.

The Harvard-M.I.T. advisory committee on the Cambridge Project recommended last June that 22 of the 24 members of the Project policy board should be "persons actively working in areas related to the Project."

Free University

Noel F. McGinn, lecturer on Education and chairman of the Ed School committee on the Project, yesterday criticized this proposal. Its adoption, he said, would result in "a tendency to do what the sponsor wants in order to get funding. The University must be a free and responsible party in research." Outside consultants could advise an independent policy board on technical matters, McGinn added.

The advisory committee approved last March the concept of multiple funding for the Camrbridge Project, but only the Defense Department has granted money to the Project so far. Philip J. Stone III, professor of Social Relations and a member of the advisory committee, wrote to the National Science Foundation (NSF) last week, urging that it ask for a significant increase in Congressional appropriations to NSF for computer applications in the social sciences.

"Any large grant from a single agency creates dependency." McGinn said. He added that "Universities must take leadership in insuring that no government agency develops excessive power."

Arts and Sciences

The Corporation, in deciding how Harvard should be associated with the Cambridge Project, will rely primarily on the recommendations of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

A Faculty subcommittee which has studied the Project since early October will report at 3 p.m. today to the Committee on Research Policy, which either will advise the Corporation on the Project directly or will advise the Faculty on what to recommend to the Corporation.

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