Investigation Clears Katz Of Grant Bias

College Committee Bashes Arabs' Injurious Rumors

A College-commissioned probe investigating a complaint by the Society of Arab Students that a Harvard Foundation student officer mishandled its grant application exonerated the student Tuesday, clearing him of charges of racial bias.

The committee also recommended that the Foundation's Student Advisory Committee, which doles out $20,000 in grants to minority groups each semester, change its procedures to allow student groups to represent themselves.

The investigators said they found no evidence that Kenneth A. Katz '93 had any racial biases when he presented the Society of Arab Students' (SAS) grant application to the Foundation's Student Advisory Committee last October. SAS officers charged that Katz, an editor of The Crimson, had demonstrated racial biases in his editorial columns.

The investigating committee, led by Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III, criticized SAS for making accusations of racial bias based on "alleged past publications and membership in unnamed organizations," according to the committee's statement released yesterday to The Crimson.

"We found no other issue more injurious to good race relations than these rumors," the statement read. "Such rumors created a climate of suspicion that led in substantial part to the allegations against him."


An investigation into the presentation of the grant began last November when then-SAS President Laila F. Sahyoun '94 alleged that Katz withheld information from the committee.

Katz's misrepresentation of SAS's proposal, Sahyoun said, resulted in the Foundation's granting SAS only $60. Last spring the society received $700 for similar proposals, Sahyoun said.

Katz maintains that he presented all the information he was given and that SAS received a lower grant this fall because this year's committee adhered more strictly to the rules for the grants.

"I think had last year's Student Advisory Committee adhered to the guidelines they would have done the same thing we did this year," Katz said.

Sahyoun said she was displeased that the commit- tee had made no statement indicating that SAS's grant would be changed.

Epps, however, said that the committee examined Katz's conduct, not the grant proposal.

"Those were two separate matters, but I don't think the issue of additional money will be re-opened," Epps said.

In a letter to The Crimson, Katz wrote he was "pleased" by the committee's decision, and that SAS's accusations only add to racial tensions on campus.

"It paints me to have to defend myself against accusations of racism. I am not racist or anti-Arab," Katz wrote. "False and unsubstantiated charges of racism--like those with which Ms. Sahyoun and [current SAS President] Ms. [Haneen M.] Rabie attacked me--are a source of racial and ethnic tension on this campus, not a solution to it."

Sahyoun said she was not surprised by the committee's statement since the committee had indicated its opinions at past meetings.

"The letter didn't say anything new," she said. "I pretty much knew what was going to happen. I wasn't surprised at all."