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Faculty Council Discusses Residence Policy Changes

By Nicholas Lemann

The Faculty Council received favorably Wednesday a series of proposed changes in the four year residency requirement for an undergraduate degree, James S. Ackerman, professor of Fine Arts and a Faculty Council member, said last night.

Robert J. Kiely, associate Dean of the Faculty, suggested the changes, which include an option for students to take advanced standing at the end of their freshman year and a plan by which students could do a year's work toward their degree away from Harvard.

The Faculty will discuss Kiely's proposals at its March 13 meeting, but will not vote on them until later this year, Ackerman said.

The Faculty Council also heard a report from Michael L. Walzer, professor of Government, on the work of the Committee on Graduate Education.

Walzer said last night that his report concerned modifications in the Kraus plan, which outlines new guidelines for distributing financial aid to students in he Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Walzer said that he will make proposals for concrete changes in the Kraus plan at the next Faculty Council meeting, but that these proposals "will concern minor features of the plan as a whole and will not affect its general structure." Walzer would not say what his proposals would be.

Ackerman also reported to the Council on the work of the Commission on Inquiry. He said that he discussed the re-examination of the Commission on Inquiry ordered by the Faculty last month. The Commission will hold open meetings in two weeks if possible "so that anyone can voice his opinions on remodeling the Commission." Ackerman said.

Kiely's proposed plan would allow freshmen in good academic standing to take sophomore standing at the end of their freshman year. Sophomore standing is now open only to entering freshmen with three Advanced Placement credits.

Kiely's proposals also encompass a plan originally suggested by Dean K. Whitla, director of the Office of Tests, under which students would be allowed the option of taking a "Field Tutorial" year away from Harvard for regular course credit.

Credit for studies not done at Harvard is only given now in a student's field of concentration, and must be arranged beforehand with the department.

"The present system favors pushing your way through rather than using legitimate channels to get credit for a year away," Ackerman said.

Ackerman said that the Council did not discuss the "Field Tutorial" proposals in depth.

The Council also heard the Commission on Inquiry's report on a case concerning the posting of grades, Ackerman said. He said that a student had complained to the Commission that the public posting of grades by some departments is an invasion of student privacy, and that Kiely had devised a system to remedy this

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