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Questioning the Authorities

By The CRIMSON Staff

It is not often that the president of this University chooses to address undergraduates in a highly visible, open setting. And so it is with great anticipation that we look forward to tonight's town-hall dialogue with President Neil L. Rudenstine. Both Rudenstine and Assistant Dean of the College David P. Illingworth 71 will be on hand to answer questions from the audience. No topic has been formally set for the discussion. And while the talk may very well be wild and free-ranging, there are several specific issues that Rudenstine and Illingworth should address. For the benefit of those attending the meeting, we have enumerated a short list of questions that undergraduates might consider asking the University administrators.

The Next University President

During the presidential searches at Stanford and Princeton, student representatives occupied a formal role. Why has Harvard refused to consider anything other than informal student input?

Can you list, in order, what the priorities of the incoming president should be? Where does fundraising fall on that list? Are there any tasks, tailored specifically to the presidential post, that are currently unfinished and that may need attention in the upcoming years?

Student Life

Harvard is currently acquiring land and constructing new buildings left and right on the drawing board is the Knafel Center, an art museum and new land in Allston. But are there any plans to build a thirteenth House? If not, why is this not a higher priority, given that House masters and students alike have frequently complained about overcrowding?

The purpose of the Undergradaute Councils Days of Dialogue is to bring undergraduate students together. Do you think this campus is more fragmented that when you first arrived? If so, do you think this is a bad thing?


President Rudestine, when you came to Harvard as president, you also became a tenured professor in the English department. But besides that, there hasn't been an internally tenured professor in that department in a long, long while. Doesn't the quality of undergraduate education suffer when almost every member of the junior faculty is looking for work elsewhere?

President A. Lawrence Lowell, Class of 1877, created the Core Curriculum during his tenure as the president of the University. To what extent should the president of the University be involved in the shaping of undergraduates academic curriculum? If the president should be involved, what is your opinion of the current status of the Core Curriculum?

This town hall meeting is part of the Undergraduate Councils Days of Dialogue, which beings at 6:30 p.m. in the Fong Auditorium in Boylston Hall. It promises to be a rare and valuable opportunity for students to take their concerns directly to the top.

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