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To the Editors of the Crimson:
I suppose it is a streak of fundamental naivete on my part, but I am constantly amazed by the continuing acts of injustice by the Administration of the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Each new act leaves me saying: "Good God, they couldn't really have done that."
I have just been informed that a "new" committee to hear my appeal has been appointed, just twenty days after the election was held. The reason the Design School has been able to form a committee in three weeks, when formation of the first, illegally constituted committee took seven months, is quite simple: four of the five members are the very same persons who accepted appointment to the original committee (Profs. Donald Anderson, David Birch, Myron Fiering and Charles Wright)--all the GSD had to do was go through the formality of re-electing them and asking them again to serve.
What has happened is really extraordinary, and it is hard to believe that the GSD, given the poor reputation it has built up in the Harvard community over the past years, can hope to enhance the reputation with its latest idiocy. In forming its first committee, the Design School violated two of the very few rights they had left me with to provide for a fair hearing; one of these was right to make nominations to the list from which the GSD Faculty was to vote. When I brought this to their attention, they apparently agreed that these were serious violations, "threw out" the results of that election, and proceeded to undertake a "new" election. At that time, in a memo to the GSD Faculty of February 25, I asked that all previous nominees, and certainly those who had already been known to have accepted appointment, be disqualified, and that the slate be wiped completely clean, beginning with only new nominees from both sides. My fear was that the GSD Faculty would simply reelect those who had previously been elected and accepted, not necessarily out of collusion, but simply out of expediency. If this were to happen, I argued, the results of the previous election, which the GSD admits was tainted, would have determined the results of the second and supposedly fair election.
This is precisely what has happened. I have been "granted" those rights which were denied me on the first round, but it has been mere window-dressing. Not one of the forty-odd persons I nominated under the new procedure received enough votes to be asked to serve. (The GSD even arbitrarily refused to allow several of my nominations, under the specious reasoning that they did not hold the rank of assistant, associate or full professor; thus I was not allowed to nominate such longterm and distinguished members of the Harvard Faculty as Monroe Engel, Barrington Moore, Gary Marx and Frank Sampson.)
The list I submitted consisted of persons of acknowledged fairness and distinction, men and women such as William Alfred, Kenneth Arrow, Stanley Cavell, John Edsall, Roy Glauber, Albert Hirschmann, Doris Kearns, Edward Keenan, Martin Kilson, Harry Levin, Stephen Marglin, Juan Marichal, John Mansfield, Jean Mayer, Frank Michelman, Richard Niebuhr, Richard Pipes, Charles Price, Edward Purcell, Lee Rainwater, John Rawls, Benjamin Schwartz, Laurence Wylie, George Wald, George Williams, John Womack, Lloyd Weigreb and Adam Ulam. To claim that the known results of the previous election in no way influenced the fact that none of the above persons received more votes than the five persons who have now been chosen strains one's credulity.
It is strange and disturbing that the GSD totally passed over persons of this caliber and simply reelected virtually the same committee. I have some wellfounded objections to several of the persons elected and feel that two and possibly three ought to be disqualified for conflict of interest. But my principal objection is to the totally foul procedure which under the guise of discarding a previously tainted election merely repeats the results of that election.
I think the GSD has erred severely here: on grounds of equity and in misjudging just how far the Harvard community will accept this kind of behavior (this may again be my naivete, however.) What I stated two years ago is even more true today: the only way I will have a just hearing is if the hearing body is a neutral body, appointed by a neutral agent or jointly by both parties to the dispute. The current situation is nothing less than a farce. I call upon the "new committee as a body to refuse to serve, and I call on the Harvard Administration to step in and take jurisdiction over an issue that has dragged on for two pathetic years and seems, in the GSD's hands, to become more ludicrous and unjust with each new step that inept body of administrators takes. Chester W. Hartman University of California at Berkeley
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