Overseers Begin Convention

Committee Discusses Misconduct in Historical Research

The Board of Overseers, Harvard's lesser governing board, kicked off its bi-monthly convention yesterday with the meeting of its Institutional Policy Committee at the Office of the Governing Boards in Loeb House.

The Overseers will hold a long series of meetings today.

Yesterday's Institutional Policy Committee meeting included a discussion on misconduct in historical research, according to overseers interviewed outside Loeb House yesterday.

According to Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, president of the Overseers, the committee discussed philosophical issues surrounding misconduct in historical research.

Approached outside the governing boards' offices at 17 Quincy St., Hesburgh said the committee discussed how the institution would respond if professors or students made "wild claims" or used "false evidence."


He denied that the discussion was prompted by any particular event.

"If you want to be involved in [institutional governance], you have to keep ahead of the curve," Hesburgh said. "This is probably the most philosophical committee we have at the moment."

Overseer John D. Nichols Jr. '53 said that the committee discussed the kind of assumptions that were ethical and appropriate in historical research.

According to Renee Landers, chair of the Institutional Policy Committee, the president and vice president of the American Historical Association made presentations to the committee.

Overseer Dr. Bernadine Healy, another committee member, said the group also discussed the problem of diversity in undergraduate houses.

Outgoing Dean of the College L. Fred Jewett '57 randomized the first-year housing lottery last month. The group did not take a stand or come to a consensus on the issue, according to Overseers interviewed. There were no presentations from Jewett or incoming Dean Harry R. Lewis '68, Healy said.

But the committee did hear from the masters of Cabot House and Mather House about diversity issues in the houses, according to Nichols.

Kennedy School Dean Search

Several Overseers, an adviser to the governing boards who requested anonymity and a Loeb House staff member who also requested anonymity all said that approval of a new dean for the University's Kennedy School of Government is not on the official agenda for today's Overseers meetings.

The search for a successor to Albert Carnesale--who presently holds the offices of University provost and Kennedy School dean--is about to enter its 14th month.