The Faculty Council selected four of its members yesterday to advise it on how to address the Corporation's request that faculty members report their outside activities.
The new committee, chaired by Cabot Professor of Natural Sciences John E. Dowling, will form a plan on how the council should attack the complex issue, said John D. Fox, administrative dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
Fox said the smaller committee was formed to address the issue more efficiently than can the 18-member council, which serves as the steering committee for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS).
'Teasing Apart the Issues'
"All the committee is doing is teasing apart the many issues involved and laying out a plan of discussion," Fox said.
"[Forming the committee] is a procedural step and not a substantive step," he added.
Last spring, the Corporation requested that all schools develop mechanisms for their faculty members to report their non Harvard activities annually.
The recent release of the annual report of former acting Dean of the Faculty Henry Rosovsky has added to the discussion and expanded the debate to the larger issue of faculty "citizenship."
In the report, which Rosovsky said was based on anecdotal observations, he raised concerns about faculty teaching obligations and absences from Cambridge. He said that it was his belief that "there has been a secular decline of professorial civic virtue in FAS."
The former acting dean recommended that the FAS create a database on faculty members which would contain information such as course loads, committee assignments and the number of graduate students advised by each professor. In addition, Rosovsky suggested creating a FAS commission to define citizenship and the faculty's obligation to the University.
Other committee members include Professor of Sociology Theda Skocpol, Professor of Medieval Latin and Comparative Literature Jan M. Ziolkowski and Assistant Professor of the History of Science Anne Harrington.