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To the Editors of the CRIMSON:
I was interested to read excerpts from a private memorandum which I wrote last summer to professor Amitai Etzioni of Columbia University in response to a memorandum from him, in which he invited various people to comment on his proposal stimulated by a small foundation in Washington to establish a major university in Washington, D.C. Etzioni asked for advice on behalf of the foundation as to the best procedures for establishing a major center of scholarship in the nation's capital. Hence, it should be noted that my memo was a response to a proposal of others to set up such a university, not a proposal or suggestion which I was making, as the CRIMSON indicated.
In my memorandum, I pointed to the fact that previous efforts had failed, in part, because existing major university had been opposed to a national university which would affect them in the competition for government funds and good students. To guarantee the independence and critical role of the center I suggested to Etzioni that any new Washington center should bar its staff from doing any work for the government and from taking government contracts. Competitive hostility to it from other other institution would also be reduced by such a policy and by limiting its student body to those taking degrees from other universities.
Since the CRIMSON, which never queried me about the background of the memorandum, also reiterates a story which first appeared in the CRIMSON some years ago about my doing research for the Air Force on student movements, I would like to clarify this as well. That story as originally published in the CRIMSON was written by a member of the staff from the notes prepared by another man who interviewed me and hence contained many factual errors, for which the interviewer subsequently apologized to me. The story of my Air Force grants in simple. I had begun looking into the role of student movements as a force for social change under grants from the Carnegie and Ford Foundations. The director of the office of Behavioral Research of the Air Force subsequently approached me in my then capacity as Director of the Institute of International Studies at Berkeley, together with the Director of the Survey Research Center at Berkeley, with the offer to give the two research centers a so-called research feasibility grant, to stimulate comparative studies on problems of development. His research office exists to support unclassified basic research in the social sciences. We accepted this grant which was used to support a variety of studies by Berkeley faculty members, as well as a number of graduate dissertations. These studies, which were conducted without any control either by me or the granting agency, included a number of projects dealing with student and other movements in various countries, both developed and underdeveloped, support for the establishment of survey data studies library housed within the Berkeley Survey Research Center, methodological investigation of comparative analysis, and others. After coming to Harvard, part of this grant was renewed once to me as principle investigator so that some of these studies could be completed. None of the Air Force grants have been used to finance my personal research, which has been supported over the years by grants from the Carnegie Corporation, the Ford international grant made to Harvard, and most recently, a grant from the Hazen Foundation for analysis of the comparative role of the university.
I should also note that neither I, Berkeley, nor the granting agency has ever been concerned with the political orientation or design of the projects. One faculty recipient of these funds has been a major New Left critic of American foreign policy in the Far East. Most of the graduate students supported by the grant who have studied students have been grant advocates of student activism. At least one recipient was a major leader of student protest in this country. It is curious that the CRIMSON and other critics of the role of government funds never mention left-wing supporters who have received such grants. For example, the leading defender of SDS on the Harvard faculty mentioned at a faculty meeting that he had received Defense Department funds for many years, and had only recently terminated this relationship I should note also that I have not had any Defense Department grant since coming to Harvard, other than the one mentioned above which was received for the year 1966-67, my first year on regular appointment here.
I am frankly bothered by the emergence of left wing McCarthysim (Joe), which like the earlier version tries to counter ideas that one happens to disagree with by ad hominem attacks on alleged relevant affiliations. The answers which liberals made to Joe McCarthy are equally applicable to his left-wing disciples.
Seymour Martin Lipset
Professor of Government and Social Relations
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