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The Mail


To the Editors of the CRIMSON:

I write to express my horror at your editorial on the Rosovsky report and feel compelled to defend the standards of academic propriety that have been evolved slowly and painfully.

The central moral of all these struggles is that the whole point of a university is, by a not very odd coincidence, summed up in the motto of our University: Veritas. The trouble is that no one quite knows what truth is, but we do know some of the things that are necessary if we are to search for it. One of these things is that the searcher must be unprejudiced and well-informed; another is that he must feel secure in expressing his opinions no matter what the opinions of anybody else or even everybody else. One main purpose of the University is to be a place where such people may ponder, study, and express their findings.

No one even knows how to create the perfect home for the competent and unprejudiced study and research. The best way we have yet found, however, is the university populated with men who have been selected for their competence and integrity by peers who feel dedicated to the pursuit of truth. The modern American university is the practical embodiment of this institutional ideal. Your editorial displays inadequate appreciation of how much has been won in developing this kind of university, how hard it was to win, and how fragilely it is held.

The dedicated faculty is the prime bulwark of the free-speaking open-minded university. Their free pursuit of knowledge is under virtually perpetual challenge: from alumni, from patriotic citizens, from demanding donors, and now from students and the CRIMSON. It is not worthy of you to ask for more control of the Faculty than you would concede to alumni or the government. Your stake in the defense of scholarship against the pressure to serve any cause or interest whatsoever is as great as the Faculty's stake; after all, we have had our university training, yours is still in progress. You should support the position that professors should speak their minds and should be selected solely for their scholarly competence. It is for your sake that the Faculty resists being bent to the interests of either businessmen or blacks.

I suspect that issue is about to be joined on just this point, and the CRIMSON should take its stand; does it want a Faculty that tries its feeble best to pursue the elusive truth, or does it want one that responds to the pressures of the day? If you don't think we live up to this ideal, and we often don't, you should criticize us and thereby strengthen us. But I beseech you not to start the dangerous game of interfering in the selection of Faculty members, for that is a game that any number can play. Robert Dorfman   Professor of Economics

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