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Survey of Professors Reports Harvard Has Best Departments

By Steven J. Sampson

A newly-released portion of a nationwide survey shows that 47 per cent of responding college Faculty members list a Harvard department among the top five in their field, placing Harvard first among American universities.

Portions of the study released last month showed Harvard trailing Stanford and the University of California at Berkeley in the total number of departments ranked in the top five.

The study said that Harvard had the nation's "best" departments in Biology, Chemistry, Economics, Government, History, Medicine, and Philosophy.

And I Helped

Four thousand randomly-chosen faculty members from 138 four-year colleges responded to the survey, which was conducted in 1977, Seymour Lipset, a Stanford sociology professor who helped conduct the study, said yesterday.

Stanford, Berkeley, the University of Chicago, and Yale were among the schools close behind Harvard, according to the recently released data.

Some professors questioned the significance of the survey and the effect it would have on successful departments.

Bert Parks

"It's not very clear what they're being asked to rate," Christopher S. Jencks, professor of Sociology, said yesterday. "It's a kind of academic Miss America contest," he added.

"The new survey has the drawback of making departments who do well feel that the quality of education or the espirt de corps isn't what matters, but how you rank," David S. Riesman '31, Ford Professor of Social Sciences, said yesterday.

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