R. Victor Jones, dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, yesterday presented the letter he received from Dean Dunlop on Monday to four members of the Graduate Students and Teaching Fellows Union who went to his office seeking his written response to the union's demands.
In response, the union's steering committee released a statement last night declaring that the letter was "in neither form or content" a response to the union's demands.
The union will meet at 7:30 p.m. tonight in Sanders Theatre. "Full consideration of the issues involved in financial support for graduate students will be discussed at the meeting," the union's steering committee announced in its statement.
Jones told the students with whom he met yesterday that Dunlop's letter "constituted a response to the broad concerns of the general community" when asked if it was his response to the union's demands. Bruce Smith, a member of the union's steering committee, said after leaving Jones's office.
In its statement, the steering committee declared. "The Graduate Students Union has not received any response from Dean Jones to the union's four demands presented last week. Dean Dunlop's 'Dear Vic' letter, released this morning, is misleading, unclear and inadequate," adding that "in neither form or content is it a response to the union's demands."
The union demanded last Wednesday that the GSAS reverse its decision to cancel the Staff Tuition Scholarship program, its special scholarship program for teaching fellows: rescind a tuition increase for third-year graduate students; and recognize the union as the sole bargaining agent for graduate students and teaching fellows.
The union also demanded that the University make a full, detailed disclosure of its operating budget.
Dunlop's letter to Jones urged Jones to review the GSAS's financial-aid policies, assuming as a guideline that the sum available for teaching fellow support will not decline next year. Dunlop's letter also included a number of charts providing statistics on enrollment, salary, and aid levels in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences during the last twenty years.
Jones said yesterday that he thought that Dunlop's letter and some additional budgetary charts which he said he gave the graduate students "provide the information that makes some kind of judgment on policy in this area possible."
Jones met for about 20 minutes yesterday morning with the four union representatives but gave them "no recognition that we represent a union," Mahmood Mamdani, one of the four, said immediately after the meeting.
"He told us that, if we wanted recognition, we should become a graduate organization like the Graduate Women's Organization," Smith told a group of about 80 graduate students who rallied quietly in Forbes Plaza while the four students met with Jones.
The Faculty Council, meeting yesterday to consider "the commitment of the Faculty to graduate education" and related questions, "generally supported Dunlop's letter," James S. Ackerman, professor of Fine Arts and a member of the Council, said last night. "Actually, there was no voting at the meeting," he added.
More than 130 Faculty members signed an open letter to the Harvard community, which appears in today's Crimson, expressing "deep concern for the future of graduate education in a period of declining revenues, and our understanding of the severe problems caused by the revocation of the Staff Tuition Scholarship and the imposition of a three year residency requirement."
"We hope that the Harvard University Administration will find some more equitable way to distribute its funds so as to maintain the excellence of graduate and undergraduate education at this university," the letter concludes.
The letter was circulated by members of the Graduate Students Union on Monday