The exact terms of the relationship between Harvard and Radcliffe have been a little unclear over the past few years, as exhibited in the undefinable "non-merger, merger" agreement the two Colleges made in 1971.
But Harvard and Radcliffe officials said this week they have devised a plan that they hope will completely eliminate the word merger from everyone's vocabulary, and clarify the Colleges' financial and governing structures.
There is little chance that the plan will have any effect on undergraduate education.
Radcliffe will probably give Harvard complete control over all undergraduate expenses except the scholarship funds it will continue to contribute, and will turn its attention to broadening its studies programs for women instead.
Under the 1971 agreement, Radcliffe gives all its income from tuition, rents and endowment to Harvard, and Harvard pays all the bills for the Colleges--including any deficits.
Last November, that arrangement was partially changed, when the Radcliffe trustees permitted the Radcliffe Institute to break away from the University.
The new plan appears to be a formalization of the changes that have taken place or been considered over the past five years. The 1971 agreement expired last year, and a committee made up of eight high-ranking officials of both Colleges has been reviewing it all year.
The agreement was made in 1971, because at the time it was assumed that with the increasing number of colleges going coed--and the rising costs of operating expenses--Radcliffe would not be able to go it alone, Susan F. Lyman '37, chairman of the Radcliffe Board of Trustees, said Thursday.
Lyman said officials of neither College desired a complete merger, and after a complete re-evaluation of Radcliffe's income, the high-level committee developed the present plan to allow Radcliffe to remain independent.
The plan includes not only financial agreements, but a major re-structuring of the administration. Patricia Graham has resigned as vice president of Radcliffe and dean of the Radcliffe Institute. The move may have been prompted in part by a desire to return to academic life, as President Horner commented, but other Radcliffe officials said this week her decision was connected to a future internal re-structuring of the administration.
Officials said they expect that under the new plan, the institute will be consolidated into a larger Research Unit, which will be directed by Horner. Horner said that if the new plan is passed, Radcliffe would not seek a replacement for Graham.
Despite repeated efforts this week, Graham could not be reached for comment.
Horner would not discuss the plan she will present to the Board of Trustees on Tuesday, but she maintains that Harvard and Radcliffe have never "merged" and never will.
The plan will be subject to review again in 1985, and perhaps then it will be clear whether or not Radcliffe is able to maintain its autonomous status.
Robert E. Kaufmann '62, assistant dean of the Faculty for financial affairs, said yesterday, "I believe that when something like this has gotten as far as it has, it is likely that it will be approved" by the Trustees.