Faculty members yesterday began considering a proposal to offer undergraduate a formal interdisciplinary program in Latin American Studies roughly equivalent to a minor concentration.
The program, which would involve about five courses, a tutorial, and a thesis, would result in a certificate in Latin American Studies to complement a regular degree Harvard currently accredits no plan of study other than a field of concentration
The proposal for the certificate came from the Committee on Latin American and Iberian Studies (CLAIS), one of seven interdisciplinary Faculty bodies that coordinate teaching, research, and study in a variety of fields
CLAIS members, all of whom approved the certificate proposal last fall, have arqued that the certificate would encourage under graduates to pursue Latin American studies improve the quality of undergraduate work in that area, and possibly and its recipient in employment or graduate school admission
Jorge I. Dominguez, chairman of CLAIS and professor of Government, who presented the proposal yesterday to the Faculty Council predicted that about five or six students per class would work towards the certificate based on a recent survey of undergraduate enrollment in courses on Latin American affairs
The existing CLAIS budget would cover all the costs othe certificate program he added
Noting that yesterday's discussion of the program was inconclusive. Faculty Council members yesterday said the greatest source of concern about approsing the certificate that dozens of other small areas of study in the University will flood the Faculty with requests for similar certifying programs
"The idea of concentrated work in a such field is a good one , but we don't want an explossion of different credentials added to the diploma, said council members Sidney Verba `53 associate dean of the Faculty for under graduate education
But Dominguez rejected that argument saying. "If the idea is a ggod one, we should adopt if and not be afraid of facing other proposals along the way." He added, "We should not turn drown one good proposal just because we fear we'd be too gutless to turn down others."
Edward I. Kennan '57 deen of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and chairman of the interdisciplinary committee on women's studies said yesterday that ap- proval of the Latin American an Studies certificate would not prompt the committee he chairs to seek similar accreditation.
A Faculty Council member. Keenan predicted the Latin American program would not gain approval saying. "In academic politics, fine proposals die the death of a thousand strokes--a little slice here, a slice there.
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