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Dunlop and the DuBois Institute

Brass Tacks

By Douglas E. Schoen

IN AN NBC-TV panel discussion of black studies. Hollis R. Lynch, director of the African Studies program at Columbia said Sunday. "For any black studies program to be successful, the University must provide a research institute." From all the evidence available, it appears that Dean Dunlop has done his best to make sure that no such institute gets established at Harvard.

Both the Rosovsky Committee report (the initial recommendations made to the Faculty on Afro-American Studies) and the Faculty legislation which created the Department called for the creation of a research institute. The April 22 1969 Faculty resolution said that the institute should be run by the executive committee of the Department as soon as that committee could be formed.

Yet to date no concrete efforts have been made by the Administration toward establishing this institute Fwart Guinier the chairman of the Afro American Studies Department has repeatedly criticized the Administration for failing to provide funds As yet he has gotten no response.

Initially, the Standing Committee on Afro-American Studies, which was created to administer the program until the Department's executive committee was formed drew up a prospectus for the institute which it released in September 1969 During that fall and winter. Guinier held a series of preliminary meetings with former President Pusey and Franklin Ford then Dean of the Faculty. Guinier said in an interview earlier this fall that he came away convinced that Ford and Pusey were sincere in their efforts to help him organize the institute. The Afro Department chairman also indicated that Pusey promised Guinier that he would use his influence to help obtain foundation funding.

In December 1969, Guinier met again with Pusey. Ford and Dunlop, who was eventually to become the new Dean of the Faculty. Pusey and Ford made it clear to Guinier that Dunlop would work with him to get financial support for the proposed DuBois Institute. Yet, immediately after this meeting, Dunlop began his efforts to take the project out of Guinier's control. When he found he could not wrest the institute from the chairman's grasp. Dunlop made sure that the institute got no funding from foundations.

FOLLOWING THESE MEETINGS in late 1969 which Guinier has described as "highly encouraging," Dunlop heard nothing from Pusey until March 1970. At that time, Guinier got a letter from Pusey informing him that after consulting with the Council of Deans--which Dunlop heads--Pusey had decided to appoint a University-wide committee to administer the institute. In the letter, Pusey told Guinier that he wanted him to chair the committee.

Guinier became outraged when he got the letter because he felt that Pusey had violated that April 22, 1969 Faculty resolution by setting up a University-wide committee. Guinier felt that the Executive Committee which had assumed power just before he got Pusey's letter should have administered the institute. Guinier refused to call a full meeting of the committee Pusey appointed. He met with Pusey on May 29, 1970 and has since claimed that Pusey apologized to him for appointing the University wide committee. Guinier has also stated that Pusey again renewed his pledge to help seek financial support for the institute. When contacted this fall, Pusey said that he had no recollection of his conversations with either Dunlop or Guinier concerning the DuBois Institute.

During the summer of 1970, Dunlop arranged an appointment for Guinier with officials at the Ford Foundation. Guinier met with John Scanlon the administrative assistant to the vice-president in charge of education resources. Scanlon told Guinier that Ford was in a position to give a number of Universities substantial subsidies for graduate research programs in Afro-American studies if Ford were convinced that the participating university planned to make a sincere commitment to keeping the projects functioning after the grants had run out. Guinier discussed his proposal with Scanlon and left the meeting believing that his proposal did not conflict with the foundation's ideas.

Guinier reported to Dunlop what Scanlon had told him. According to Guinier. Dunlop replied that he had heard something different from higher-ups at Ford. Guinier later said that Dunlop refused to specify what he had been told and who told it to him.

In February 1971, Dunlop went to New York to meet with Scanlon's boss Harold Howe. Dunlop returned to Guinier reporting that the Ford Foundation would fund the institute only if it were administered on a University-wide or faculty-wide basis. When contacted this fall, Howe said that he had no recollection of specifying to Dunlop how the Institute should be organized, Howe recalled telling Dunlop that the foundation was only interested in funding graduate programs but doubted that he would "ever tell a university how to do its business." Immediately after meeting with Dunlop, Howe sent him a letter in which he urged Dunlop to submit a request for funding as soon as possible. The letter did not refer to the organization of the institute. Dunlop never submitted a request for funding and it is unlikely that Harvard can get any money now unless it pulls a few strings.

DUNLOP HAS REFUSED COMMENT on any aspect of the Afro-American Studies controversy. While it is impossible to read his mind, it is possible to conjecture reasonably as to his motives.

To begin, it is important to realize that Dunlop has avoided the public arena in handling this whole controversy because he fears what blacks could do if they were organized politically around an issue. Memories of 1969 are not very far from Dunlop's mind, and he knows that in comparison to what happened at Cornell, Harvard escaped relatively unscathed. Dunlop has only scorn and contempt for white radicals; for blacks, he has fear.

Dunlop clearly believes that Guinier is incompetent and incapable of administering the Department. He tried to get the institute out of Guinier's control in 1970 and refused to aid him in getting Ford Foundation money. Because of his unwillingness to say either publicity or privately what he feels, Dunlop has resorted to apparent manipulation and duplicity to advance his position.

At the moment, Dunlop is in a perfect position to end Guinier's domination of the Afro-American Studies Department. The Faculty Council is now considering the Afro-American Studies Review Committee report which calls for Guinier's ouster as chairman by the end of the Spring term and which urges that the DuBois Institute be administered by a University-wide committee. These recommendations give Dunlop the chance he has sought for two years--to eliminate Guinier from the Harvard power structure.

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