Faculty stands firm on ROTC

by Alexander R. Edlich | 5/17/94 5:00am

The faculty voted almost unanimously yesterday to reaffirm its stance on the elimination of the College's Reserve Officers' Training Corps program and to invite the Board of Trustees before the entire faculty to explain its decision.

The vote, which came at the first of two Faculty of Arts and Sciences meetings scheduled for this term, stemmed from concern that the Trustees never fully explained their decision to continue ROTC after their Spring term meeting in April.

At yesterday's two-and-a-half-hour meeting the faculty also heard a proposal from English Professor James Heffernan to create a faculty scholarship to benefit a needy junior or senior.

He said 22 professors have already contributed to the fund, bringing the current total to $28,000. He urged other faculty members to contribute in the hopes of reaching $250,000.

Dean of Graduate Schools Richard Bernie discussed a report that will be submitted to the Committee on Organization and Policy today calling for an increase in the number of students involved in the College's 18 graduate programs -- not including Dartmouth's three graduate schools.

The vote to reaffirm the stance on ROTC comes three weeks after the Trustees' decision. At its Winter term meeting on Feb. 28, the faculty voted to recommend that the Trustees eliminate the program because it was incompatible with the College's nondiscrimination policy.

Classics Professor James Tatum and English Professor Bill Cook led the discussion on ROTC at yesterday's meeting.

In his opening statement before the half-filled Alumni Hall, Tatum said, "The Trustee vote indicates they're losing sight of Dartmouth as an education institution."

Cook then made a motion that "the Faculty of Dartmouth College reaffirm its vote directed to the Trustees that ROTC be eliminated" and that the Trustees speak with the faculty to fix the "confusion and bafflement" before the end of the term.

An amendment to the motion called upon College President James Freedman to invite the Trustees to explain their decision to the faculty.

But Freedman said it was unlikely he could assemble the entire Board and said he was unsure of Chairman E. John Rosenwald's schedule and availability.

The vote on Cook's motion, along with the amendment passed, by an overwhelming majority, with only one person dissenting.