ROTC Committee Issues Interim Report to Faculty

An interim report on Harvard's relationship with ROTC was presented in a meeting of the full Faculty of Arts and Sciences yesterday.

Pforzheimer University Professor Sidney Verba '53, chair of the standing committee examining the issue, read from the report, which summarized the various arguments for and against severing ties with the program.

Verba emphasized that the main issue now facing the committee and the entire Faculty is an apparent inconsistency between a Department of Defense policy barring gays and lesbians from serving in the military and Harvard's policy of nondiscrimination.

Verba said the committee had yet to reach any conclusions.

The ROTC committee was formed in February to research the issue for the Faculty Council, which two years ago recommended severing ties with ROTC this May if "insufficient progress in resolving the issues of discrimination" was not made.


The committee was expected to issue an extensive report by the beginning of May but has asked for an extension. The Faculty Council earlier this month voted to grant an extension until the fall.

After the report's presentation, several faculty members raised questions about the content and the message of the material.

Everett I. Mendelsohn, professor of the History of Science, urged Harvard to sever ties with ROTC, citing a "clear" case of discrimination.

"I think it is absolutely essential that we disaggregate the issue of financial aid from the principle here," he said. "We ought to move past the crude array of partially relevant arguments to make our anti-discrimination policy take effect."

But Professor of English and American Literature Elaine Scarry argued that cadets offer unique perspectives which may disappear if Harvard cuts ties with the program. She also said that other means of funding must be found for these students if the University ceases to accept ROTC scholarships.

After the meeting, Verba said he was surprised by the amount of response from his colleagues on an interim report. he was surprised by the amount of response fromhis colleagues on an interim report.

"I thought that there would be some questions,but I didn't think there would be a big debate onthe subject," Verba said.

In other business, the Faculty votedunanimously to approve a masters and Ph.D. programin modern Greek. While courses in the subject arecurrently offered, Dean of the School of GraduateSchool of Arts and Sciences Brendan A. Maherexplained that the degree program had never beenofficially approved.

The program will be reviewed by the Facultywithin five years of its establishment