Heimert Report Supports Limited Concentrations

In a dissent from the report of the task force on concentrations released yesterday, Alan E. Heimert '49, Cabot Professor of American Literature and a member of the task force, argues that the task force did not adequately consider arguments for a limited enrollment policy in some concentrations.

Heimert argues that in its recommendation that all concentrations have open enrollment policies, the task force failed to consider the interdisciplinary nature of History and Literature, and the special combination of skills and interests the field requires from students.


The task force recommendation is coupled with a provision that the Faculty reallocate resources to provide for increased enrollment in currently limited departments, but Heimert argues that this provision does not consider the scarcity of graduate students trained in the interdisciplinary field.

Paul C. Martin '52, dean of the Division of Applied Sciences and chairman of the tadk force on concentrations, said last night that Heimert's dissent, which the Faculty Council discussed yesterday, contained no major surprises.


"I and the members of the task force that I discussed the report with didn't find any new arguments that would give us cause to reconsider" the majority's position, Martin said.

In its majority report released last fall, the task force argues that a policy of dissuading those students whose interests are not appropriate to a field would be preferable to the current one of excluding students who a limited department does not believe should concentrate in the field.

The majority report also argues that the scarcity of graduate students trained in interdisciplinary fields could be overcome if the University reallocated its resources and worked on increasing the pool of prospective tutors in those fields.

Heimert was unavailable for comment last night.

Although Heimert, a member of the Committee on Degrees in History and Literature, restricts most of his remarks to the History and Lit program, he specifically denies in his dissent that his opinions represent those of anyone else in the department.

Many of the faculty and teaching fellows in History and Lit have voiced opposition to an open enrollment policy.

But Isabel G. MacCaffrey, Kenan Professor of History and Literature and chairman of the committee, said yesterday the group has not discussed Heimert's dissent and does not have a unified position of the task force recommendation.

MacCaffrey said the History and Literature committee members who oppose open enrollment will voice individual opinions in the Faculty Council--three members of the committee are also council members--and during Faculty debates on the task force report later this spring.

Spokesmen for the other four limited concentrations told the task force during its investigations that they would support open enrollment in principle providing the University reallocated resources.

But like History and Lit, those departments' faculty members have expressed no unified position on the task force recommendations