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The Mail


To the Editors of The CRIMSON:

The distinction between a college and the broader university in which it is imbedded must not be forgotten. As many students know only too well, professors in a university lead two lives--in research and in teaching. While this dichotomy should be eliminated, it still exists, and I see no easy way to eliminate it.

Research, and scholarship in a broader sense, are essentially authoritative, as Sidney Hook points out (Saturday Review, April 19, 1969). Students in graduate schools do indeed recognize their roles as apprentices and young scholars.

On the other hand, the role of an undergraduate is rather different. In a college, the students' role is central. Learning and teaching of existing knowledge, the development and sharing of techniques and processes, are essentially cooperative activities. The only valid authority lies in the cogent argument.

The corollary of this is that students should be directly involved in appointments to college faculties and in the development of college curricula. Although the problem is more complex in a university, where the faculty has also the role of scholarship, I think we find a more imaginative and progressive approach than we have yet seen. Charles A. Whitney   Professor of Astronomy

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