Faculty administrators and the Harvard and Radcliffe admissions committees decided just before Thanksgiving vacation to abolish fixed quotas for the number of transfer students admitted to the colleges.
Dean Whitlock said yesterday that the admissions figures his office will give to the admissions committees for next year will include the number of transfer students to be admitted "in order for us to manage the occupancy of the Houses."
"In past years, one of the reasons for overcrowding in the Houses was the admission of transfers," Whitlock said. "Transfer students were added above the basic number set, without regard to the impact on the College or, more critically, to the impact on the Houses."
Whitlock said that although he is not planning to recommend that more students be admitted to the College, the current "housing crunch" will continue because there was a "net outflow" of students on leave from 1968 until 1972 but students began returning last year.
Whitlock said that many of these students found their housing places filled by transfer students found their housing places filled by transfer students and added that this was not right for either the transfer students or those returning from leaves.
"How many transfer students to admit should be a part of the philosophy of the admissions committees and not an emergency measure that goes accordion-like, depending on whether beds are available," Whitlock said.
A Matter of Space
John P. Reardon '60, director of Harvard admissions, agreed yesterday that transfer policy is essentially a matter of space and that last year there was no room.
"In a time of fiscal stringency, we wouldn't want to see those beds empty," Reardon said. "This is more of a concern than it was when things were rosier financially."
Reardon said that he would like to give some of the open places to transfer students but that he does not want to reduce the size of the freshman class. "Our commitment is much stronger to the freshman class. The transfer students are a second mortgage," Reardon said.
Alberta B. Arthurs, Radcliffe dean of admissions, financial aid and women's education, said yesterday that transfer students are less of a problem for Radcliffe than for Harvard because an increasing number of "older women" apply as non-residents.
Last year Radcliffe accepted six resident and 14 non-resident transfers.
Arthurs also said that although her office has not made any decisions concerning the number of transfer students to be admitted in the future, "we are unwilling to see no transfer students brought into the community.