Text of Dowling Committee Report

VI. Concluding Remarks

Already it has been advocated by some that any plan put forward by our Committee be rejected unless it provides provision for involving students more directly in all decision-making processes within the College, including tenure decisions, curricular offerings, and requirements for degrees. It is perhaps instructive to recall what the Fainsod Committee had to say in this regard:

"The case of vesting faculties with the final responsibility for appointments, curriculum, and degree requirements rests on their professional qualifications and on the fact that they must live with their decisions over many student generations rather than over a short time span. To emphasize this is not to derogate the abilities or perspicacity of students, nor is it to reject the need for a student advisory input on the curriculum and related matters..."


Our plan calls for continued advisory input on curricular matters to the Faculty via CUE and the Faculty Council. Few question the effectiveness of CUE in helping to shape educational policies over the past decade, and many of the initiatives for reforms from CUE have been student generated. Thus, student input to educational matters has not only been significant but it has been welcomed by the Faculty-at-large.

The success of CUE has prompted us to suggest establishing two similar Student-Faculty Committees, on Housing and on College Life, that we hope will be at least as effective as CUE. Indeed, we expect these two Committees, dealing with matters that most directly affect student lives, to be even more responsive to student views and concerns, and to exert a powerful influence on decision-making related to these issues in the University. In this regard, we affirm the recommendation of the Fainsod Committee that "students should enjoy as much autonomy as possible in regulating their affairs outside of the classroom."


We finally propose that the Student Council have complete autonomy in certain areas, particularly in the funding of new and financially-troubled student organizations and in the planning and financing of social events.

An effective Student Government which is an integral part of the governance structure at Harvard is our goal and, we believe, the goal of all students, faculty and administrators at Harvard. We hope the plan put forward in this report represents a significant move in this direction.

John E. Dowling, Professor of Biology, Chairman

Archie C. Epps III, Dean of Students

Elizabeth A. Gray, Associate Professor of Celtic Languages and Literatures and Aliston Burr Senior Tutor in Kirkland House

Robert J. Kiely, Professor of English and Master of Adams House

Joseph F. McDonough '81, Member of Student Assembly

Nancy J. Northrop '81, Member of Committee on Undergraduate Education

Natasha Pearl '82, Member of Student Assembly

Elizabeth E. Ryan '81, Member of Committee on Houses and Undergraduate Life