Does Harvard Lobby, Or Doesn't It?

Bitter have risen from the nation's universities as they find a flow of mutilated, creased, and qualified checks flooding from the federal government the days. At Harvard, crimps in the federal large have not hurt so much as elsewhere, but the adulterated river of aid has put a hitherto overlooked entity into light. An informal lobby, presided over by Charles U. Daly, vice president for Government and Community affairs, has begun to feel the rest and strain of a hostile drift in Congress and to turn necessarily to a more visible role.

The role is as complex as the man who runs the Office for Government and Community Affairs (OGCA). Daly and two assistants are veterans of Washington politics, who have performed liaison work for such disparate causes as President John F. Kennedy. Lyndon Johnson, Congressman Paul N. McCloskey (R-Calif.). and the Children's Foundation. In such capacities, Duly has earned tributes regularly reserved for God and Eleanor Roosevelt, drawing praise for scrupulous and blunt honesty while awing Washington's Camelot-prone denizens with a keen ability to persuade. Under Daly, the OGCA has discharged with impressive finesse the monitoring of potentially inimical laws in Washington and Massachusetts administration of the Nieman Fellows program, negotiations with Cambridge residents--and not at all least helping to flatten bills which endangered Harvard interests.

The most serious challenge to Harvard's umbilical connection with the federal government in the Bok era to date bared its tenth last November in a rider-ridden bill. The measure in question christend. A Bill to Aid Higher Education dropped one of Satan's dilemmas on the liberals--to support the bill's increased funding of colleges meant they accepted a harsh anti-busing rule attached to the provision. For the universities, the choice was still more poisoned. At the insistence of Congresswoman Edith Greene (R-Ore.), a member of the House Education and Labor Committee, the committee report stipulated that all colleges accepting federal grants had to switch to sexblind admissions.

Reaction came swiftly from expected quarters, and the developments which followed point to a possibility that Daly or other members of the OGCA have technically violated federal lobbying laws.

"The next day, we heard anguished screams from the colleges--Dartmouth. Princeton, and so on," McCloskey reminisced recently. The private colleges stood aghast at the notion of requiring sex-balanced students, despite the increased funding, and decided to let the Representatives know. Letters, telegrams, calls and visits poured into the offices of the bill's friends and allies.


McCloskey, a close friend of Daly and the former employer of his two top assistants, neglected to mention it, but Harvard played a role quite as earnest as Dartmouth or Princeton in the ensuing hoopla. In a letter to Cong. John Erlenborn (R-Ill.), published in the Congressional Record, Daly detailed "educational and financial risks" which made private colleges such as Harvard gag at the plan. An aide to Greene later charged that the letter qualified as an overt act of lobbying.

"It is a grave mistake to encumber federal aid with restrictions which impose uniform requirements on matters of educational policy, unless such requirements are so imperative as to leave no room for honest debate or difference of opinion." Daly wrote Planing down to specifies he claimed higher proportions of women might "under-utilize our science faculties and require expensive additions to our faculties in already crowded departments..." A further discomfiting consequence, he said, could also loom. Alumni contributions might become more paltry as women allegedly donated at one quarter the per capita rate of men.

Daly letter which appeared along with similar moans from other Ivy League administrators, had an immediate impact on the House. Congresswoman Patsi Mink (D. Hawaii) rose on the floor Nov 4 to say she had been astounded" by the letter "He would have us believe that sex discrimination is the right of the institution just because it is a matter of educational policy." She said. Another Congresswoman, Martha Griffiths (D-Mich.), acidly suggested that Harvard fire Daly "and put a competent Radcliffe undergraduate in his place."

Some Congressmen, including Frank Thompson (D-N.J.). admitted to being swayed by Daly's case. With the din of professional education lobbyists such as the American Council on Education and the American Association of Universities rising around House chambers, added to the frantic noises of private colleges, the arguments advanced by Daly won two showdowns by five vote margins. The colleges, at least private ones, were spared the trauma of sex-blind admissions.

The victory was a key one for Daly and private colleges pinched in financial vices. But, for Daly--who admitted last week that he discussed the legislation with "between six and nine" members of the Conference Committee which ultimately resolved the differences between House and Senate versions of the bill--some unanswered questions remained. Was he a lobbyist, a person who took compensation for attempting to influence legislation? And did he or others have a legal obligation to register as such to avoid fines and jail sentences specified in a Federal Reorganization Act of 1946?

Lobbyists labor under a presumption by the public that their craft generally thrives on the concealed mulch of bribes, kickbacks, favors and deals. Harvard, however, seems to have avoided such activities, and enjoyed almost a Boy Scout reputation among the Congressmen, lobbyists, and reporters contracted by The Crimson. Those asked whether Daly could be considered a lobbyist--of the clean sort, included under the 1946 umbrella definition as a person who accepts compensation which has the "purpose or intent to influence passage or defeat of any legislation by the Congress of the United States"--answered as follows:

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"Yeah, that's one of the things he does. Daly acts as a conduit for information. He talks to me, talks to the Boss, writes to people, and does all the other things lobbyists do."--James P. Mooney, assistant to Cong, John Brademas (D-Ind.), (Brademas, who happened to be a member of the Conference Committee on the Higher Education bill, is a Harvard Overseer.)

"Yeah, in that sense he is. He's the kind of fellow who I'd want to call if I had a question about universities, Harvard or others,"--Cong. Frank Thompson. (D.N.J.).

"If a man is employed by a school's office of government and community relations and makes regular trips to Washington, one purpose of which is to influence legislation, that man would appear to be a lobbyist."--Craig Donsanto, attorney, Criminal Division, Department of Justice.