Rosovsky took office last summer, announcing from the start that he wanted the Faculty and Faculty Council to be concerned with educational issues, not political ones; he had unpleasant memories of the days when the Faculty used to debate things like ROTC and the Indochina war in its meetings.
The council was fairly political at its inception, too. It was created by the Committee on Governance, which studied the University's power structure during and after the events that culminated in the April 1969 student takeover of University Hall. In those days the Faculty was meeting sometimes as often as several times a week, and was divided into sharply delineated liberal and conservative caucuses.
Every spring the caucuses would put together slates of candidates for the council, and distribute them among Faculty members, so that the council itself became a political forum on occasion. Rosovsky wanted to stop that.
Rosovsky also came into a job that carried with it severe financial headaches. The Faculty has been operating at a slight deficit on its $60 million annual budget, and Rosovsky had to raise tuition $200 this year and implement a tight "no-growth" budgetary policy for major departments in an effort to bring about financial solvency.
Over the summer Burton S. Dreben '49, professor of Philosophy and a friend of Rosovsky's, became dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. As Dreben took over the dean's job--he was the third man to hold the demanding post in three years--Rosovsky redefined it, making clear that Dreben was in charge of all GSAS matters, both educational and administrative.
The power over undergraduate education was not so neatly relegated; Robert J. Kiely, associate dean of the Faculty for undergraduate education, was in general charge of educational matters, while Dean Whitlock looked after administration. That meant Rosovsky often had to talk to people with College-related problems who wanted to talk to the person in charge.
So Rosovsky had to spend a lot of time talking to people. On the first day of the fall term, he complained that he felt "like a dentist," adding, "Every half hour another person comes in, leaving little time for contemplation."
Things started slowly; there were only three Faculty meetings in the fall term; the new calendar stayed dormant; the Faculty's former bogeyman, the Committee on Rights and Responsibilities, seemed forgotten; the Commission of Inquiry took months to select its members; and the caucuses seemed dead.
Towards December, the Faculty started waking up a little, and although this spring was quiet and efficient in comparison with other springs, there was more activity than in the fall.