Faculty Loosens Rules On Off-Campus Courses

Harvard students will have an easier time next year receiving credit for off campus courses, but will find it slightly harder to pursue independent study for credit.

The changes come from two pieces of legislation that the full Faculty approved yesterday in its second meeting of the year.

Sidney Verba '53, associate dean of the Faculty, for undergraduate education, said after the meeting that the legislation will probably go into effect next term.

The revision of outside study regulations allows students for the first time to take courses outside their concentrations at other universities. Under current rules, at least half the course work done outside Harvard in a term must count forward concentration requirements.

The legislation also transfers responsibility for approving outside study programs to a special faculty committee. Currently, a student's concentration office must approve all outside study.


But the new rule does not change the limit of eight half courses that may be taken for credit outside Harvard.

The second change approved yesterday requires for the first time that students pursuing independent study write an "analytical paper concerning the term's work." In addition, a student's advice must submit a midterm grade based on a preliminary report of the project.

At the meeting, Verba argued to the roughly 100 Faculty members in attendance that current rules allow "projects that one might think were dubious." He singled out a recently approved independent project which the student's official described as "study for the insurance agent's licensing exam."

In his remarks at the start of the meeting, President Bok told the assembled professors of his lobbying efforts this year against a Congressional proposal to eliminate the mandatory retirement age of 70.

Since tenured professors' appointments are limited only by retirement, eliminating the requirement would have "a very serious effect on the opportunities for younger people to renew the faculty, not to mention its effect on affirmative action, Bok explained.


Neither proposal aroused strenuous dissent, but lively interchanges peppered both discussions.

The loudest laughter of the meeting came after Professor of Government Jorge Domin guez asked Verba a long string of detailed questions about the independent study revision. When Dominguez sat down. Bok commented, "Dean Rosovsky has authorized me to tell you that had you asked a single further question, we would have traded you to the Law School for a top draft choice."