Board to Discuss Divestment

Joint Committee Planned

The Board of Overseers will decide on Sunday whether to form a joint committee with Harvard's senior governing board to discuss the University's investment policies in South Africa.

Overseers President Samuel C. Butler '51 said that the full Board would vote on a resolution to create a joint committee with the seven-man Corporation, which controls Harvard's investment portfolio.

The plan stems from a Board subcommittee meeting last month. At that time, the panel recommended that the Board not take a formal vote on the divestment issue, but instead form a joint committee with the Corporation to consider it.

At Sunday's meeting, the Overseers will also informally discuss their views on divestment, in accordance with the subcommittee's recommendations. Six of the seven Corporation members will attend the Board meeting to hear these views.

Some pro-divestment activists not on the Board said the discussion will be a straw poll of Board sentiment. But Overseers said the meeting will not necessarily determine the true sentiments of Board members.


If the full Board approves the committee's recommendations, Butler said the body's executive committee would select members of the joint committee.

After the March subcommittee meeting, pro-divestment board members said the impact of the joint committee would not be known until its selection process was made clear.

The Overseer's executive committee supervises all aspects of the Board, including the agenda for Board meetings, Peter H. Wood '64, one of three Overseers to be elected on a pro-divestment platform, said yesterday. "The executive committee does everything," Wood said. "Sure it's aproblem."

But Wood said that he no longer cared about themake-up of the committee. "This is no longer aBoard of Overseers committee," he said. "It is aliaison with the Corporation--basically anotherway of buying time."

Wood said that he was most concerned by thelack of a timetable for the committee. Butler saidhe hoped that the group would act by Commencement,but he had not made any firm guidelines.

"I would hope that some time frame would beintroduced. We have not moved forward on thisissue since December--a lot has happened in SouthAfrica since December," Wood said. "We are on awarped time frame already. We're discussing issuesthat have been relevant for three years.