As the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) prepares to formally debate internationalization plans for the second time today, it appears that discussion will focus on the three proposals which received support at October's FAS meeting.
Almost two weeks ago, Associate Dean for International Affairs Joseph S. Nye released a supplement to his original working paper on internationalization, which was the subject of October's meeting.
In the supplement, Nye said that three of the original proposals--increasing the international student population, creating an international studies concentration and expanding overseas internship opportunities--seemed to have enough Faculty support to merit further consideration.
But absent from that list were two other proposals from the the original working paper, both of which were criticized at the last FAS meeting. Nye said that those two proposals--the creation of a Rhodes-like fellowship for Harvard and the establishment of international relations certificates--did not have strong faculty support at the present time.
At the last meeting, some professors said they thought an international relations certificate would have little meaning, while others greeted the Rhodes-like scholarship proposal with skepticism. Others said they were reluctant to have Harvard create a scholarship modeled after what they said was the "Anglo-centric vision" of the Rhodes model.
So in the supplement, Nye and several other academic deans concentrated on discussing the issues that the faculty had supported. Nye said the report was an attempt to clarify some of the points the first "discussion document" brought up.
"It is just to stimulate discussion," Nye said yesterday. "It is not for legislation."
In the supplement, Nye argues that Harvard should expand its international student population by 200, because it is beneficial for the student body as a whole.
To counter criticisms that Harvard would, as one professor said, turn "into a breeding ground for well-to-do foreign yuppies," Nye quotes studies which demonstrate the social and economic diversity of Harvard's current international student body.
"Foreign students are probably from a high social and economic background," said Akira Iriye, professor of history. "That still does not mean homogenous. There is cultural, ethnic and religious diversity. And I do not think Harvard has to apologize about educating the next world leaders."
The report goes on to outline the proposed International Studies concentration. Nye proposes that the concentration require three years of a foreign language, courses in a foreign country's culture and social sciences, plus one semester of working abroad. Nye also recommends that the College provide students with more opportunities to work abroad.
"By internationalizing we're contributing to the education of the world," said Iriye. "I certainly hope the subject gets good discussion," he added later.
But once the Faculty agrees on which proposals it supports, it must deal with another tough issue--finding the money to fund the programs. Professors expect an expansion of work abroad opportunities and the establishment of a new concentration to incur significant costs.
"How this new concentration is staffed is a central issue," Dillon Professor on the Civilization of France Stanley Hoffmann said yesterday. "Everything costs lots of money."
Unfortunately, lots of money is one thing the Faculty doesn't have these days. Currently, it is looking to cut its budget up to 6 percent.
As a result, Dudley House Master Paul D. Hanson said he expects "The discussion [today] will not get into the nitty gritty practical questions, but whether Harvard can afford it in terms of personnel power and financial power."