Review Committee Issues Study Today Calling for Afro Department's Reform

The Afro-American Studies Department Review Committee will release its report today calling for the University to reaffirm its commitment to the Department and urging that reforms be made in its administration and structure.

The Afro-American Studies Department has, over the past three years, opposed many of the reforms which the Review Committee recommends.

In the 34-page report obtained by The Crimson Friday, the Committee writes that "Harvard should reaffirm in principle and practice that Afro-American Studies is an appropriate and important academic endeavor and that a permanently-established Department of high quality sharing equitably in the resources of the University is necessary."

To achieve this goal the Committee suggests that the Faculty of Arts and Sciences implement six basic recommendations:

* Afro-American Studies should be available as a joint concentration with other undergraduate departments.


* Joint faculty appointments should be used to attract and diversify the Department's staff. Effort should be made to fill the one tenured position currently vacant in the Department, and to add two additional tenured positions.

* The Department's present executive committee should be restructured to include the full-time faculty members in the Department as well as four elected student concentrators. The executive committee shall serve "as the governing body of the Department with the exception of recommending tenured appointments."

* Students should be represented on all Departmental committees. They should have full voting rights except in those matters regarding faculty appointments.

* The chairmanship should be rotated every three or four years among the members of the--Department "in accordance with Harvard practice."

* The W.E.B. DuBois Institute for Afro-American Research should be established as a consortium endeavor with black and other colleges and universities throughout the nation with a serious interest in Afro-American Studies.

The report does not suggest eliminating the optics of pursuing a program of study totally within the Department's selection of courses. The review committee urges that the Department "formulate a curriculum that office's coherent and well-defined range of course work and forms a central conceptual core of academic endeavor relating specifically to the Afro American experience."

Similarly, the review committee does not specify that all new faculty appointments be made in conjunction with other Departments. Walter J. Leonard, special assistant to the president and ex-officio member of the Review committee, said yesterday that it was up to the search committees which will look for new faculty members and Dean Dunlop to determine if joint appointments should be made.

Since the Department was started three years ago, only one degree program has been offered consisting totally of courses offered within its curriculum. Joint concentration has only been allowed when Afro-American Studies was the minor field.

The Department has not made any joint faculty appointments since its inception.

The executive committee presently consists of four faculty members and four students. Under the Faculty legislation of April 22, 1969 which created the Department, the executive committee has the power to hire faculty members.