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Doebele's Statement


William A. Doebele Jr., acting dean of the Design School, yesterday clarified a memorandum circulated among a limited number of administrators and senior Faculty members with the following statement:

"I, and I believe, the majority of the Faculty of the Graduate School of Design, are in full accord with the statement of the 113 members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences on February 17 and the response of President Pusey. The intrusion of students into a classroom a Hunt Hall for the purpose of influencing the content of a course was an extremely serious infringement of academic freedom and threat to the foundations of the university community.

"In this particular instance, the instructor in charge of the course, believing that a serious misinterpretation had occurred, was in fact willing to discuss the substantive issues raised by the objectors to the proposed case-study. Subsequent discussions between Dr. Breuning and the students were at times tense, but fundamentally responsible and constructive.

'The seminar as authorized by the School, calls for an interdisciplinary systems approach to be applied to a broad urban problem, as defined by the instructor and students. The course, as so described and authorized, is at this time proceeding satisfactorily, and will concern itself with wider issues.

'The intrusion into the classroom cannot be condoned. Dr. Breuning's willingness to seek a positive solution, and the students' willingness to discuss their disagreement in good faith have substantially mollified the impact of the original event. The incident has served to elicit a clear statement of University policy in an area of fundamental importance which can now serve as a guideline to all members of the Harvard community should further events of a similar nature ever arise."

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