Eleven universities in the Boston area, including Harvard, are planning a joint college for the purpose of educating the poor and minority groups in Roxbury.
Plans for the college are still vague, but college administrators have been meeting since January 1 with Model Cities Administrator Paul Parks to plan just how each would be able to contribute to the effort. The main source of funds will be the Boston Model Cities program, which provided for a community college. Parks' present plan is to have each university provide a specific program. The new college would take anyone who applied, including high school dropouts and middle-aged housewives.
Many questions still need to be resolved. Among them are:
* How the eleven institutions will coordinate their efforts;
* Who will be responsible for administrating the college;
* Where all the funds will come from;
* Whether classrooms will be built in Roxbury or the students will travel to the various colleges for instruction.
Also unresolved is the problem of how the new institution will fit in with the now existing Afro-American School in Roxbury. Afro-American and urban studies will definitely be a part of the new school's program, but how or if, the Afro school will participate is still unresolved.
"I don't think that anyone wants two colleges, but exactly what will be done in this area is still to be worked out," Spencer C. MacDonald, Harvard Coordinator for Governmental Relations, said yesterday. "We are also still very much up in the air as to just how we can contribute to the project. We have been to three meetings convened by the Model Cities people, but much still remains to be worked out."
The financial problems is another of the unresolved questions. The Model Cities project budgeted almost $1.5 million for the college, but provided only $110,000 of federal money. The planners hope for large contributions from the area colleges, but the college administrators have all cited scarcity of funds.
One possible solution to the administration problem is to turn the project over to the Harvard Extension Services. But the Extention services, while it includes representatives of almost all the universities involved, grants only a "special degree." Model Cities people want to make sure that graduates of the new college will have a real diploma which will carry all the prestige of a regular college degree.
In addition to aiding education in deprived areas, many college administrators see the project as a way of alleviating some of the pressures they feel in their own institutions. "Colleges are hungry for this kind of student to meet the quotas imposed on them by their own students," Donald W. Lovejoy of Northeastern University said.