To the Editors of The Crimson:
I am distressed that my classmate R. Jerrold Gibson '51, director of the Office of Fiscal Services, should so casually dismiss the proposal of Boston University's President John R. Silber for a tuition advance fund. Harvard's endowment, twice its nearest competitor, may yield immunity from the problems of financing higher education but the rest of the nation is not so blessed. Mr. Gibson's contempt for this plan, however, was not shared by his Harvard colleagues in 1968. As one of Dean Ebert's associate deans at Harvard Medical School in that era, I helped the dean promote the national adoption by all medical schools of the Educational Opportunity Bank, one of the precursors of Dr. Silber's proposal. Since the Ed Op Bank had seemed too bold for universities, the medical schools suggested it on a pilot scale. The plan foundered not because it was fiscally unsound but because universities and parents somehow were coping with pre-inflation tuitions and change was politically unpopular.
Today Harvard regrettably appears content with the status quo, confident that Harvard parents will sacrifice anything. As an alumnus, I find this position hubristic. As an educational administrator, I hope Harvard will revive the leadership role in financing higher education demonstrated by its own Medical School a decade ago. Bayler F. Mason '51 Special assistant to the president, Boston University