February 14, 1969
Yesterday I had a long and potentially encouraging talk with General C. P. Hannum, Deputy Director of Individual Training for ROTC affairs. He feels there is a good chance that the credit and teaching-appointment aspects of the Faculty's February 4th action can be accommodated by Army ROTC in some way.
His first point, which he was anxious to have relayed to you, is that the Army will need some time. For some eight months now, General Hannum has been working on new plans for ROTC. That work has produced two projects. The first is a policy paper on academic credit - the gist of which is Hannum's view that the Army simply can't expect to require academic credit for strictly professional military subjects. If an institution, for reasons of its own, wishes to give credit, fine. So the policy paper recommends that credit for strictly military courses be a matter of institutional choice. The paper is already well along in military channels; the Army Chief of Staff has approved it and it is now in the office of the Secretary of the Army.
The second paper is a detailed draft of a new plan, which will be something like the following:
a. Purely professional subjects will be kept to a minimum (Hannum hopes 1 hour a week for freshman and sophomore years, 2 hours a week for juniors and seniors). Credit may be urged, but it will not be required - institutional choice.
b. Basic academic requirements will be outlined (math, psychology, economics, English, history, etc.). Thus part of ROTC requirements would be met by taking the College's courses. Hence the condition of giving academic credit would be met.
c. The professor of military science would have flexibility to work with his institution to translate the basic academic requirements into the college's existing courses.
This detailed plan has a good deal of unofficial support, but General Hannum has not yet started it through channels. He hopes it will have been approved sufficiently to begin negotiations with individual universities by mid-April, to be implemented "normally" by September 1970. However he expects that "at a few" institutions the new plan could be put into effect for September, 1969.
Hannum is very anxious that this be kept confidential until mid-April. He has a great deal of work yet to do with the complex parts of his own constituencies. He hopes, for example, that we can urge the other Ivy colleges to delay requests for actual negotiations until late April, but without going into much detail beyond saying that we understand that a new and helpful basis for negotiations may well be in force by then. I said it would be hard to convey that limited message but that we would try. (How?)
Regarding appointments, General Hannum feels there is somewhat more flexibility in the title and the relationship of the professor of military science than might appear to be the case. He has checked "visiting professor" with Army lawyers and they say it would meet the requirements of the law. The important substantive elements from Hannum's point of view: (a) the title could, perhaps should, indicate the non-tenured character of the appointment; (b) there could be flexibility in the status and voting privileges of the officer (perhaps appointment to and voting on a university-wide committee on ROTC programs); (c) the appointment should convey some sense of hospitality and standing.
We spent almost all of our time talking about those two issues. Brief talk about the others indicated that resolving the "course catalog" issue is difficult but probably not impossible. A decision to cease free use of space would be very difficult.
One final point about similar matters with the Navy. My personal impression is that there is some chance of our reaching an acceptable agreement. The key, I think, is convincing the Navy that our imperious style of making this change was not meant to be a slap at a proud service, that in fact we want to make changes in a program which a majority of the faculty and the other elements of the University are deeply concerned to keep at Harvard.
The Air Force is hard to read right now.
This letter was taken in April 1969 by demonstrators from files in Harvard's University Hall and published in a "Strike Special" of the Cambridge radical newspaper The Old Mole (Number 3, April 14 1969).