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Rosovsky Resigns From AAS Group

By James M. Fallows

Henry Rosovsky, professor of Economics, resigned yesterday from the Standing Committee on Afro-American Studies (AAS).

Rosovsky, who was chairman of the special committee that reported on African and Afro-American Studies in January, said that his resignation came as a result of the Faculty's vote on Tuesday to change the structure of the AAS department.

Edward S. Mason, acting dean of the Faculty, will appoint Rosovsky's successor. Mason said yesterday that he hopes to make the appointment in the next few days.

In a statement explaining his action, Rosovsky said that the Faculty's approval of an unprecedented plan to place students on the Standing Committee was a major change from the principles outlined in the original Rosovsky report.

Rosovsky said that his report had observed all traditional academic guidelines and had made no proposals "which in any way go counter to our long established review procedures or lines of authority."

The plan the Faculty approved on Tuesday asks that six students be given voting seats on the Standing Committee--whose powers include nominating the AAS department's first four to six Faculty members.

That provision, Rosovsky said, "represents a fundamental amendment with which I am in disagreement."

Rosovsky also said that the Faculty's vote showed that most Faculty members disagreed with him on another aspect of his original recommendations--the possibility for student participation in developing the AAS department.

At last Thursday's Faculty meeting, Rosovsky said that "increased student consultation and participation is entirely possible within the framework designed by us." But in light of Tuesday's vote, he said, "obviously many of my colleagues hold a very different opinion."

Although most of the Faculty members who spoke against the new AAS plan on Tuesday argued that it would set a precedent for other departments, Rosovsky said that his action was "not motivated by academic conservatism." Instead, it came from a "belief that basic changes in educational policy should be studied carefully and considered in a calm atmosphere," he said.

Meanwhile, the Standing Committee held another of its regular Wednesday morning meetings yesterday. Mason, who is serving in Dean Ford's place as temporary chairman of the committee, said that none of the five other Faculty members on the committee had spoken to him about resigning.

Mason said that he will not consult with students in choosing Rosovsky's replacement. "They do not consult with us in choosing their representatives," he said last night.

The six students who will join the Standing Committee will probably be seated early next month. Three of the students will be chosen from potential AAS concentrators, and three will be from the Association of African and Afro-American Students (Afro). Mason said last night that he understood that the list of potential concentrations will be ready in about a week

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