CIA Chief Visits University

'Off Record' Event Said to Break No Harvard Rules

The nation's top spymaster travelled to Harvard last week to give a closed-door briefing to the University's national security experts.

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Robert M. Gates spoke on "The Future of American lntelligence" at a dinner seminar sponsored by the Olin Institute for Strategic Studies, according to the institute's director, Samuel P. Huntington.

Huntington, who is Eaton professor of the science of government, refused to reveal the specifics of Gates's Friday afternoon talk.

"He came here under the understanding that it would be totally off the record," Huntington said. Huntington also declined to say whether relations between the CIA and Harvard were discussed at the meeting.

The meeting apparently was not in violation of Harvard guidelines on relations with the CIA, but the secret nature of the seminar makes it difficult to know for certain. Gates has criticized the University's guidelines in the past.


The seminar was held at the Harvard Faculty Club in a room guarded by five Secret Service agents and University Police Sergeant John M. Francis, who refused to say what was going on inside. The event was not listed on the weekly calendar of events posted at the Center for International Affairs.

About 30 graduate students and professors attended the invitation-only event, officials said.

Covert relations between the CIA and Harvard have been the subject of controversy in years past. Huntington, for example, was investigated by the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in 1986 after he acknowledged doing scholarship funded by the Agency.

In May 1977, the University issued regulationsprohibiting covert relationships between the CIAand Harvard employees, particularly with respectto sponsored scholarship, consulting andrecruiting.

Gates has been an advocate of ties between theCIA and universities. In a speech at Harvard in1986, Gates said, "In defending the nation and ourliberties, the Federal Government needs to haverecourse to the best minds in the country,including those in the academic community."

In the same speech, Gates called Harvard'srules about relations with CIA "restrictive."

Those regulations notwithstanding, VicePresident and General Counsel Daniel Steiner saidMonday that "there are no special standards" forthe CIA speakers.

"The same rules would apply to the director ofthe CIA as would apply to any other visitingspeaker," Steiner said. He said groups that invitespeakers may limit the audience.

CIA spokesperson Mark Mansfield refused tocomment on the specifics of the meeting, saying itwas "off the record."

"Director Gates is well aware of Harvardguidelines on relations with CIA, and his remarkswould not have been in conflict with them,"Mansfield said.

Huntington seems to be less aware of theHarvard guidelines. "As far as I know, there areno specific guidelines on relations with the CIA,"said Huntington, who invited Gates to visitHarvard.

Told of the 1977 report of the Committee onRelationships between the Harvard Community andUnited States Intelligence Agencies, Huntingtonsaid, "I have a vague recollection of there beingsuch a report."

Huntington said Harvard guidelines about theCIA have "no relationship" to Gates' recent visit.

"The CIA's future role, what sort ofintelligence we need, is a very important issue,"Huntington said. "It is a public policy questionabout which it is obviously very desirable to havediscussion and debate."

Huntington said that Visiting ProfessorChristopher M. Andrew's weekly seminar onintelligence and international relations focusedon such policy questions, and that Gates was anappropriate speaker for the final meeting of theseminar.

Andrew could not be reached for comment