Several faculty members said yesterday that Harvard scholars might lose credibility abroad or find foreign research in jeopardy, in the wake of a statement last week by Adm. Stansfield Turner, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, that some faculty members are working with the CIA in violation of Harvard guidelines.
Turner's statement could be "inhibiting or embarrassing" for professors engaged in international research, Milton Katz '27, director of International Legal Studies, said yesterday.
"We need a tremendous amount of credibility to ask sensitive questions," Joel S. Migdal, associate professor of Government and research fellow in the Center for International Affairs (CfIA), said yesterday.
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Migdal said that Turner's statement--as well as any actual use of academics as CIA operatives--would "hinder social science work throughout the world."
Some professors said that Turner's statement would not jeopardize foreign research because Turner had not specified what types of relationships with the CIA Harvard faculty might have.
The Harvard guidelines, established in May 1977, ask faculty members to report any consulting arrangement with the CIA to the administration, and to notify any member of the Harvard community they recommend to the CIA as a possible operative that he might be recruited.
Turner's statement is "very, very dangerous for people who rely on personal contacts for their research," Juan Marichal, professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and chairman of the Committee on Latin American Studies, said yesterday.
Samuel P. Huntington, Thomson Professor of Government and Director of the CfIA, said yesterday it was "highly unlikely" Turner's statement would affect foreign research.
Huntington said he agreed with Turner's position that Harvard's guidelines unfairly single out CIA connections. Harvard should have a general rule requiring professors to report all outside research contacts, or have no rule at all, he said.
"Everyone knows there are faculty with contractual relationships with the CIA for purposes of research," Roy M. Hofheinz Jr., professor of Government and director of the John K. Fairbank Center for East Asian Research, said yesterday.
Hofheinz said that professors who were disobeying the guidelines should "bring their objections out into the open so they can be discussed."
Katz, commenting on the role of academic researchers in intelligence-gathering, said, "Scholars in scholarly journals often carry more valuable information through open channels than all this cloak-and-dagger stuff.