IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE FACULTY
JOINT COMMITTEE ON NROTC
FROM THE CHAIRMAN:
March 13. 1969
To the Faculties of Columbia College and of the Schools of Engineering and
I transmit herewith the hard-fought report of the NROTC Committee. It embodies not the individual views or wishes of any Committee member but rather a composite conclusion on the best course for the University.
Harvey C. Mansfield
Professor of Government
REPORT OF THE NROTC COMMITTEE
March 14, 1969
I. The Committee and its Work
The Committee on NROTC is one of a number of interim joint committees established by virtue of action announced by the Executive Committee of the Faculty on October 28, 1968. The student members of the Committee were volunteers for this purpose from the "pool" of students elected on November 6 and 7 for service on these committees. The faculty members were chosen by the Committees on Instruction, on nomination of the Deans, of Columbia College and of the Schools of Engineering and of General Studies. The roster of the Committee's membership was completed in the first week of February, and an organizing session was held on February 12, 1969.
The Committee was charged to:
". . . review previous reports on the NROTC and actions taken in implementing them: after a full consideration of the present situation and of arguments in favor of and opposition to the continuance of the NROTC at Columbia, the Committee will present its recommendations for continuation, change or abolition to the faculties concerned; i.e. to Columbia College and the School of Engineering."
The Committee reviewed the report of the previous committee chaired by Dean Truman and dated June 24, 1966, that dealt with the NROTC curriculum, and the modifications made in consequence, which among other things increased the proportion of civilian instruction and reduced to 9 the number of credit points allowed for naval science courses in satisfaction of bachelor's degree requirements. The Committee gathered documentary materials on actions taken or proposed this year, regarding the ROTC at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Cornell, Brown and Stanford. It received the full cooperation of Captain Rehnberg of the Department of Naval Science in furnishing relevant documents and other information, and in responding to questions from its members. It advertised in campus newspapers and by posted notices, inviting interested organizations and individuals to present written statements of their views, by March 1. During the succeeding week it heard such of these as requested an opportunity to make oral presentations, including spokesmen for Students for a Restructured University, Students for a Free Campus, Students for Columbia University, Student Homophile League of Columbia University, and the Undergraduate Dormitory Council of Columbia University. The individual statements received, numbering approximately a dozen, were preponderantly in favor of continuing the NROTC.
A little discussion was sufficient to disclose that the membership of the Committee spanned a wide range of opinion on its assigned subject. Some thought that the NROTC program, having only recently been thoroughly examined and modified, should be supported in its current direction of development; or in any event that it should be available to students who choose it. Some thought that standards should be fixed, whether or not the NROTC could meet them and survive; or that NROTC should be abolished. Others held various intermediate positions, giving more or less weight to one or another of several general considerations. The issues characteristically stirred passionate convictions.
In these circumstances unanimity of views was out of the question, and informal tests of sentiment found the committee frequently split, the student members in roughly the same ways as the faculty. There was nevertheless, in a spirit of accommodation, nearly unanimous acceptance of four specific recommendations which are set forth in the next section of this report. For many members, however, these were acceptable only with strings attached; and the strings pulled in differing directions. Two issues polarized opinion, and were deliberately not resolved by the specific recommendations; the lines of cleavage they opened up did not coincide. One issue was whether the University should, while insisting on the stipulations specified, affirmatively express its desire and intention to continue to cooperate in making available a viable NROTC program for Columbia students. The second issue was whether the University should insist that, apart from furnishing facilities for counseling services, whatever NROTC activities may continue must take place off-campus. A middle body of opinion held that neither of these issues need be resolved now, nor could be; let them await the outcome of discussions which other Ivy League institutions, as well as Columbia, have yet to initiate with the Department of Defense. Accordingly, overlapping coalitions of equal voting strength - eight votes apiece with 13 members in attendance - could be formed against either of these proposals by allying the center position with one wing or the other.
Appended to the recommendations, therefore, are the separately-signed statements of some Committee members.
The University administration should take prompt steps, in concert with other like-minded institutions if practicable, and with due regard for the interests of students presently enrolled, to terminate the present arrangements with the Navy Department for the NROTC program and seek instead a relationship in which:
1. After this academic year, any course offered as part of the naval training program shall carry credit toward the satisfaction of degree requirements only if it is also listed in the offerings of a regular academic department.
2. Personnel assigned to the training program as instructors shall not be ex officio members of any faculty of the University, and shall not hold academic rank unless appointed according to regular procedures.
3. The University may furnish office space and related facilities to the Navy for the administration of a counseling service to students in connection with an NROTC program, but shall not allocate free space on campus to the Navy for drill or for instructional purposes, whether or not for academic credit.
4. The contract between the Navy and a student enrolled in an NROTC program should, like an NDEA loan, permit him to withdraw upon repayment (or provision for repayment within a reasonable period) of sums the Navy has laid out for his education, without the punitive service liabilities now contingently applicable; nor should the contract require the student to forgo the exercise of ordinary civil rights, like marriage.
|Richard Bates||Harvey C. Mansfield, Chairman|
|Lawrence B. Cohen||Davis Ross|
|Alan D. Entine||S. Perry Schlesinger|
|Elmer L. Gaden||Winthrop W. Smith|
|Loren R. Graham||Peter Sordillo|
|Norman Mandelbaum||Michael Wood|
Appendix I. Considerations bearing on the future of NROTC at Columbia
(prepared by the drafting subcommittee, consisting of Richard Bates, Harvey C. Mansfield and Winthrop Smith).
The Basis for Evaluation
Consideration of the NROTC issue on this campus may be based either on questions of fundamental principle or upon some combination of principle and pragmatism. Previous committees dealing with this question have taken as given that there was to be an official place for NROTC on this campus. The majority of our committee felt that, in the present climate, basic considerations of principle were an important part of its mandate. The following resolution was adopted by the committee:
"The Committee believes that a conception of certain of the general principles which should guide the University is helpful for making decisions about NROTC. We find the guiding principles that follow, as set forth in the recent 'Report of the Columbia University Committee on Relations with Outside Agencies' (Henkin Report), provide such a basis:
l) The external relations of the University, like all its activities, should be determined by the degree to which they contribute to or detract from its principal purposes of instruction and research.
2) The University should afford public and community service consistent with its character as a university and subject to its basic functions of instruction and research.
Some members of the committee and the University community feel that although the intellectual pursuits at a university are recognized to be primary, national interest and purpose, self-sacrifice for the group, etc., are not to be excluded as relevant considerations. We should be concerned with the whole man.
Some members hold that the NROTC program is a service to a significant number of undergraduate students who wish to prepare for military service while completing the requirements for the first college degree rather than afterwards.
Free Choice and Freedom of Inquiry
The key issue concerning NROTC is the degree of control of a university program from outside the University and the freedom of the University to set its own academic standards. The position of this committee (and of the Henkin Committee) reflects a sense of a new direction in official University policy since former President Kirk's statement of the University's relations with outside organizations, as quoted in "Crisis at Columbia," page 64:
"In making the facilities of the University available, the University does not undertake to make any value judgment about any of the organizations concerned . . . Whenever the University institutionally undertakes to espouse this or that position, in a partisan situation, it jeopardizes the long-run autonomy which is the heart and soul of all University life."
This statement does not provide the answer when that autonomy is said to be
jeopardized by either the continuance or the abolition of NROTC on campus.
Almost all groups on campus would agree that the University should be maintained as a free and open campus. There is not general agreement, however, on what this means. The position of Students for a Free Campus, for example, is that:
" ... institutional neutrality is the foundation of academic freedom and must be maintained . . . . By maintaining an NROTC program the University neither endorses nor opposes any particular government policy. . . . Since the option to join NROTC is entirely a matter of free choice, questions of morality should not enter into the dialogue at all . . ."
Another view holds that if the University is to promote freedom of inquiry and critical thinking, it cannot properly sponsor any activities that are incompatible with these. If the military is regarded as an institution that thrives on unquestioning discipline and discourages the questioning of basic assumptions, it is clear that the (ideal) university stands in direct contrast to this attitude. In that view there is no place for the military in such an institution.
The University and the National Interest
A number of the members of our committee and of the University community agree with the ad hoc Committee on ROTC at Princeton that:
". . . as long as there is national need for the existence of military forces, it is important that there be military officers with the kind of broad liberal education which Princeton provides. The infusion of such men into the services improves the officer corps and helps to maintain civilian influence in the military forces. Princeton should not abandon this historic mode of service to the nation."
All able-bodied men may be called upon to perform military service, and some
Columbia students elect to serve as commissioned officers. Many of us believe
that this should continue to be available to Columbia students.
Supporters of NROTC regard it as a service to the nation and to the individuals involved that is not presently provided by any other (less flexible) program such as OCS. They would go to considerable lengths to see the program continued at Columbia in some form. Other members of the University community with whom we have spoken feel that the University can best serve the national interest by "doing its thing" well, in the spirit of free inquiry, and that the program is so secondary to the primary duty and interests of the University that it should be sacrificed if necessary so that the University can get on with its main business. Another school of thought holds that the maintenance of the military establishment is not in the national interest at all. We do not accept this last view but we feel that the other two positions outlined need not be irreconcilable.
The Committee is aware of the considerable political questions which are posed by ROTC. Many members feel that, if this nation were not involved in an unpopular war, the nature of ROTC would never have been questioned. The SDS opposes ROTC "because it is clearly a tool for protecting U.S. imperialism in Vietnam and throughout the world." Many of the members of the Committee feel strongly that decisions on the future of NROTC must be made independent of present-day political considerations. Yet others feel that retreat into an ivory tower, by ignoring the political ramifications of our recommendations, is being unrealistic.
Some members of the Committee consider the NROTC issue to have been "cause for some of the most flagrant violation of personal and civil rights. Our decision will lend encouragement to some students and deter others. In other words, we affect who goes, and who stays. This vital point should not be lost amid all other discussion. Our decision will reach the public, and could result in the first favorable public impression [of the University] in a long time."
Many members of the Committee worried about establishment of a line of reasoning for NROTC which is not consistently applied to all parallel situations in the University.
Most of the members of the Committee have tried to approach our recommendations with reference to our own conceptions as to the nature of a university and the principles that derive therefrom. We recognize the existence of other institutions and situations on the campus, in addition to NROTC, to which our principles might be applied. We have not discussed these as a committee and take no stand on any matters aside from NROTC.
The Present Program
As a result of the recommendations of the President's Committee on the NROTC program, 24 June 1966, the Columbia NROTC program has been substantially revised. Academic credit for the technical courses has been greatly reduced, and several courses are now taught in other departments. Formal drills and ceremonies have been practically eliminated. The Commander has exercised considerable initiative in developing a program consistent with the academic climate of the University. Many members of the committee feel that this pilot program should be formalized and the program be given the test of time to determine its suitability. Others object that, no matter how the program is structured, if it is externally controlled and officially recognized, it is unacceptable.
Faculty Status for Naval Personnel
The NROTC faculty, who are sent to Columbia on a limited tour of duty, remain professional military officers who legally and ethically owe primary loyalty to the Navy, to the armed forces, and to the U.S. government. No matter how well qualified they may be as teachers and scholars they cannot at the same time have a primary commitment to Columbia and to academic inquiry. This represents a conflict of interest in the classical sense as the government itself recognizes for its own employees in other situations. Public servants are expected to avoid such situations, as are university faculty members (under less strict rules to be sure). This argument has been used as a reason for denying faculty status to military personnel in charge of ROTC programs (e.g. in the Stanford Ad Hoc Senate Committee on ROTC, Feb. 7, 1969). On the other side of the argument one must recognize that, from the point of view of those students voluntarily in the ROTC program, close association with the University may have a leavening effect on the local ROTC program as well as on the armed services at large. NROTC personnel who are assigned to the campus and who do not have advanced degrees are encouraged by the Navy to work toward them, on their tour of duty.
The general principle against external control provides the best argument that we have found with regard to faculty status. The majority of the Committee believes that all naval appointments, if any, should be made in accordance with normal University appointment procedures and not on an ex officio basis as at present.
Academic Credit for NROTC Courses
The majority of our committee believes that any and all courses for which credit is to be granted toward the several degrees awarded by the faculties of Columbia University must be under the full direction and control of those faculties. This seems to us to be vitally bound up in our conception of the basic nature of the University. In the majority view, regardless of good intentions on the part of instructors, courses for credit in the various Columbia curricula, should not be exposed to possible conflicts of interest between free inquiry and loyalty to external commitments.
Contracts and Financial Aid
The Navy program provides substantial financial assistance to approximately fifty Columbia students, and some support to another forty. To receive this aid, the student is compelled to sign a contract agreeing to serve a specified number of years on active duty in the Navy. The contract stipulates that a breach of contract (e.g. poor academic standing, getting married before commissioning, or pursuing certain specifically ineligible courses of study) may result in being "ordered to active duty in [an] enlisted status . . . for a period not to exceed 4 years." Though this condition of the contract is rarely invoked, many members of the Committee feel that its presence is unreasonable, and that the contract should be reworded to reflect actual practice.
One member of the Committee feels that the freedom of choice of the individual is essential to the maintenance of academic freedom. Any contract signed by the student before the student graduates represents a restraint of the freedom of choice necessary for liberal education, even if the student enters into such a contract of his own free will. Many members of the Committee, however, feel that a contract which the student has the option to sign is by its very nature voluntary and outside the purview of the University.
Many members of the Committee are worried about the withdrawal of scholarship support by the Navy if the program is removed from campus. Several argue that the University must be prepared to accept financial support of those affected, while others decry the elimination of this means of providing higher education.
A proposal by one member has found support by the Committee:
"Financial support coupled with a contract as currently supplied should be eliminated. Instead, a program similar to the NDEA loan program should be instituted. This would provide full tuition and fees for the student. If, after graduation, he served in the Navy for the specified four years, he would be exempt from repaying the loan. However, if the student should decide not to enter the Military Service, he would repay the sum over a ten year period and subject to nominal interest. Thus financial support would not be withdrawn, yet the individual would maintain freedom of choice."
Allocation of Space on Campus for NROTC
Space on the University campus is severely limited. We therefore believe that allotment of space to NROTC, if any, should be determined on a priority basis in much the same way as would allotment to any regular extra-curricular student activity. As a service to present and future students in the NROTC program, we recommend that the University make available to the program on campus such space as is needed for the advising and counseling of students. The University should not make available free space on the campus for drill or instructional purposes, however.
Students Now in the Program
Widespread concern has been indicated by all universities studying ROTC programs and by nearly all the members of this Committee for the protection of those participants in the current program who would be affected by any changes implemented by this University before their graduation. Consideration of the ultimate outcome of the program must not be confused with realistic steps to protect those currently involved. To that end, most members of the Committee advocate changes in the program which would result in gradual change rather than sudden revision. Many members feel that a change in the program which would induce the Navy to withdraw financial support to currently enrolled students would obligate the University to provide equivalent aid.
Appendix II. Separate views of Committee members
The undersigned members of the NROTC committee are in substantial agreement with the committee's recommendations but prefer the following as a firmer and clearer statement of our position:
Whereas, the present NROTC program provides for a degree of external control over faculty appointments, curriculum, and student conduct which we consider incompatible with our understanding of the proper autonomy of a university
Whereas, we also respect the right of individual students to enter into agreements with the armed services and further affirm our support for a program which would enable them to make such agreements to their own best advantage.
1. The University administration should take prompt steps to terminate the present arrangements with the Navy Department and seek instead to establish an off-campus NROTC program. In any arrangement, the following conditions must be met:
a. No course offered as part of a naval training program shall carry credit toward the satisfaction of degree requirements unless it is listed in the offerings of a regular academic department.
b. Naval personnel shall not hold academic rank unless appointed according to regular University procedures.
c. The University shall not allocate space on campus to the Navy except for a counseling office for students in the NROTC program.
d. Descriptions of the NROTC program shall not appear in academic course catalogs.
2. The University administration should negotiate with the Navy to create a transitional period during which presently-enrolled NROTC midshipmen can complete their program.
If adopted, these resolutions would in essence provide for a clean and amicable divorce between the University and the NROTC, with a suitable property settlement, leaving each to be master in its own house and leaving students a choice of living in one or both.
The above recommendations are made in the light of the following considerations.
The minority believes that a conception of certain of the general principles which should guide the University is helpful in making decisions about NROTC. We recognize that such principles are subject to historical change and that no single definition has gained universal agreement. Nevertheless, we find the following principles as set forth in the recent "Report of the Columbia University Committee on Relations with Outside Agencies" (Henkin Report), provide such a basis:
"The external relations of the University, like all its activities, should be determined by the degree to which they contribute to or detract from its principal purposes of instruction and research.
The University should afford public and community services consistent with its character as a university and subject to its basic functions of instruction and research."
A commitment to the creation and dissemination of knowledge, in an environment
of free intellectual activity, is essential to the functions of instruction and
Throughout the deliberations of the NROTC Committee a genuine effort was made to separate the issue of NROTC from the issue of the Viet Nam war. It was felt that the major questions were academic ones. Nonetheless, it should be admitted that the academic arguments against NROTC on campus have been as valid for over twenty years as they are today. Why, then, are they now causing such controversy that one university after another is considering basic alterations of the program? Unless we wrestle with this question we will not be displaying the honesty and the quality of rational inquiry in which every university prides itself.
It is obvious that the war in Viet Nam is a factor in causing the current criticism of NROTC. The role of the war has been to weaken, in the minds of many people at the university, the justifications which were given in the past for granting the NROTC exceptions from normal academic practices. Those exceptions - irregularities in faculty appointments, external control over curriculum, unusual student rules - were justified in earlier years by the widely-held opinion that there was a congruence between the best interests of the nation and the current military policies of the nation. That opinion has now weakened to the point that many members of the academic community believe that granting exceptions to the Navy from normal academic practices is no longer justified. Thus, the minority has made specific recommendations for an off-campus NROTC program, separate from the University in all respects except for a counseling officer on campus. We do not consider this an act of political defiance of the government but merely the reassertion of normal academic control over the university curriculum and faculty. Several of us admit that if in the future sufficiently extreme conditions should arise - a situation similar to World War II, for example - we would be willing to grant again those exceptions from regular academic practices necessary for the presence of an on-campus NROTC. We see here a certain consistency of policy rather than an inconsistency, and we would enunciate our underlying assumption in the following way: We believe that it is impossible to have on-campus military or naval courses taught by active-duty officers without violating at least some of the normal academic procedures which attempt to guarantee the autonomy of the university; we admit, however, that in certain extreme circumstances exceptions to these procedures may be granted, but maintain that these exceptions should always be approved by the university community and should be subject to termination by that community. We interpret the present period of change as a cancellation of those exceptions from normal procedures which were granted to the Navy during or immediately after World War II. We regret that we did not take such action before the present mood on campuses was created, but we cannot refuse to take steps to correct an academically-irregular situation merely because that mood exists.
Objections to NROTC
The present NROTC program falls under the jurisdiction of the United States Navy, and results in an unacceptable degree of external influence upon the University. The materials in the naval science courses are under the control of the Department of the Navy. The committees-on-instruction of the University have not been able to supervise the naval science courses as they have other offerings.
The teaching personnel in the Department of Naval Science are active-duty officers who legally and ethically owe primary loyalty to the Navy and to the U. S. government. They simultaneously hold academic rank although they are not appointed to the University in accordance with normal University procedures. They are subject not merely to normal civil laws and academic customs but to the Universal Code of Military Justice. No matter how well qualified these officer-instructors may be as teachers and scholars they cannot have a primary commitment to Columbia and to academic inquiry.
Just as the officer-instructors are subject to unusual rules and constraints, so are the students, who are prohibited from taking certain majors such as art, music and religion; who may not in every case exercise ordinary civil rights such as that of marriage; and who may not voluntarily disassociate themselves from the program in every case without punishment. They are also subject to unusual political controls, as was revealed by the fact that one of the officers commented that some types of political activity by a midshipman would warrant a conference with the commanding officer.
Refutation of pro-NROTC arguments
We would like to consider several pro-NROTC arguments in order to illustrate the reasons that, in the end, we were not able to accept them.
1. Is it not a denial of minority rights for students who would like to take NROTC to be prohibited from doing so?
2. Is it not better for officers to be trained in liberal arts institutions than outside them?
3. If the University decides against NROTC because it is controlled by external authorities, would it not also have to decide against such activities as the Newman Club (a Catholic organization) and the Young Republicans?
4. If the University admits that as a "humane institution" it should not engage in activities directed toward the destruction of human life, would not similar moral considerations lead to an argument for banning SDS as an "immoral organization"?
I. If one makes the argument that those students who wish to take NROTC as a
part of a regular University program should be able to do so, then one must say
that any appreciable group of students who would like to have a University
program in hotel management, air force officers' training, animal husbandry,
etc., should be permitted to do so. The whole system of
committees-on-instruction and university control of curriculum assumes that some
courses and majors will not be permitted even if students want to have them. It
should be noted that the University has in the past said certain majors are not
permitted - hotel management, etc. - even though such a major, if permitted,
would have been entirely under the control of the University community. In the
case of the NROTC, both the type of course concentration and the control over it
are more than dubious in terms of our conception of Columbia University.
2. Yes, of course it is, and the chances are good that the termination of on-campus NROTC units will lead to an officer corps with an even more liberal education. An engineering student in NROTC, for example, has at least some of his non-technical elective credits consumed by naval science courses and by other courses specifically designated by the Navy. The freedom of such a student to shop around with his elective credits is restricted. Under the old system, this restriction was so severe that some engineering students lost most of their non-technical electives. Under the newer system the restriction is not as severe as before, but there is still a loss of the freedom which the elective system is supposed to create.
If NROTC units are dropped, or produce fewer officers as a result of their being moved off the campuses, the Navy will still have to find, somewhere, that large pool of junior officers which it needs for 3-6 years to fill the lower ranks of its officer corps. The only realistic source is among the pool of university graduates in the country, who would then go to Officers Candidates School (OCS). Many of them would necessarily be liberal arts graduates; others would be engineering students with a broader education than under the NROTC system as the result of their greater freedom in choosing electives. An expansion of the Navy Academy will not satisfy the need for junior officers from the standpoint of the Navy because every midshipman in Annapolis wants to feel, and is told, that if he is moderately successful he can look forward to a permanent career in the Navy. An expansion of Annapolis would mean that legions of officers would have to be dropped after 3-6 years, since the Navy needs many more junior officers than senior ones. Annapolis does not want to be expanded on the scale that replacement of NROTC as a junior officer source would require, since this would mean a tremendous dilution of the home of the professional officer corps with short-timers.
It is, of course, theoretically possible that the Navy would draft 18-19 year-old boys and run them through a 2-3 year officer training program. At least two years would be necessary to give these young men the mathematical and technical training required by a modern navy. But this would amount to the creation of another service academy, and a very inferior one; no boy who had hopes for either a regular college education or a permanent navy career would wish to go to it. And in practice it would break down. If NROTC units decline in importance, the Navy will need large numbers of short-time junior officers fast, and there is only one feasible source outside the remaining NROTC units: the recent university graduates. We would be better off as a nation with this kind of a Navy, since it would be heavily influenced by the values of university education which the above question assumed to be a desirable goal.
3. Columbia University as an institution has not made an agreement with the Catholic Church or the Republican Party in order to have a campus Newman Club or a Young Republican Club. Columbia University as an institution has made an agreement with the United States Navy. Even beyond this central fact there are many differences: the degree of outside control in the case of the NROTC is immensely greater than in the case of the Young Republicans or the Newman Club. Take the case of disaffiliation: the NROTC regulations say clearly that a person who voluntarily drops out may be called to serve four years as an enlisted man. There is nothing remotely approximating this in the case of the Newman Club or the Young Republicans. If we are concerned about the rights of a minority to engage in an activity, we should also be concerned by the rights of that minority to get out of that activity without punishment, if they should desire. Any activity or course of study at Columbia should be voluntary, both in terms of joining and disaffiliating.
4. The University should, in the final analysis and after the most careful deliberation, be willing to apply a moral concept of the university as a humane institution, decided upon by its members, to all of its activities. But the analogy between NROTC and SDS is a poor one because of their different statuses in terms of university regulations. SDS is a student activity, NROTC is a university function based on a contract with the government. Taking sanctions against SDS on moral grounds would be the equivalent, in terms of regulations, to taking sanctions against a student-run rifle club or military drill activity which declared its support of the Viet Nam war. The latter case is far-fetched, even though dropping an official University connection to the Navy is not.
|Norman Mandelbaum||Sylvana Foa|
|Loren Graham||Davis R. B. Ross|
|Michael Wood||Alan D. Entine|
The following items helped determine my opposition to an on-campus NROTC. In part because of the time deadline for these reports and a desire for brevity, these arguments did not appear in the minority report. I, therefore, wish to submit them as an individual.
(1) The University: While any member of the university community may enter into any private contractural agreements, I believe there are some contractural arrangements which the university, as an institution, should avoid. NROTC is one of them because:
A. The NROTC program violates the autonomy of the university. It is the university's right and obligation to establish, maintain, and judge its own standards of academics, course of study, and student conduct.
B. "Whenever the University institutionally undertakes to espouse this or that position, in a partisan situation, it jeopardizes the long-run autonomy which is the heart and soul of all University life."1 A case made that the present NROTC program is a de facto acknowledgement of a partisan position.
A. The goals of all undergraduate courses should be to further the students' historical awareness, methodological awareness, and self-awareness. The goal of NROTC courses, is to educate a potential officer. There are, I believe, important differences between educated men and educated officers. The armed forces do not and cannot operate by reason, rather they operate by obedience to authority.
B. The university should exclude from instruction any training preparatory human destruction. Naval Science course C1021x is entitled "Weapons system analysis."
A. The NROTC midshipman is subject to a double punitive code.
B. Students should not be bound by law to maintain standards set by an external agency, especially when that agency also participates in determining whether or not such standards have been met.
C. The present contractural arrangements between students and the Navy are the only university-sanctioned and sponsored contracts I know of which bind undergraduates, often minors, to service.2
1Crisis at Columbia, p. 64
2Extensive use in preparing this document has been made of the majority report of Stanford University.
We, the undersigned members of the Committee on NROTC, have signed the preceding
document in the sense that it is a factual report of the deliberations of the
Committee and the disagreements in principle which arose therefrom. Although we
endorse many of the constructive proposals contained in the four
recommendations, we reject completely their negative sense. We urge the
University to reaffirm its commitment to maintain a viable NROTC program,
consonant with the highest academic standards of Columbia, for its students. We
wish to see a better and more useful program at Columbia - not its elimination.
We view the NROTC program as a service to a significant number of its undergraduate students who wish to prepare for military service while completing the requirements for the first college degree rather than afterwards.
We also recognize that there is a substantial body of faculty and student opinion which regards the maintenance of the NROTC program on campus as a form of "public service." We furthermore accept as a criterion for such public service functions of the University, the simple guideline put forward by the Henkin Committee, namely:
"The University should afford public and community services consistent with its character as a university and subject to its basic functions of instruction and research."
We realize that there is a body of faculty and student opinion which regards
the NROTC program as "inconsistent with the character of the University." From
the evidence received by the Committee, we have concluded that this opinion is
neither correct nor shared by the majority. We also believe that the current
concern with the NROTC program reflects much more a response to an assault by a
small minority on the campus who have chosen to use this as an admittedly
incidental but useful issue in a greater struggle. We do not accept this as a
valid basis for terminating the program.
Our views of the specific issues covered by the four recommendations in the Committee report are amplified below:
Course of Instruction
Courses of instruction should be offered in the University only where there is
both student demand and educational value. Instructional activities dealing with
specific aspects of military training which are limited in appeal or educational
value should be remanded to the administrators of the NROTC program for extra-curricular
It follows, as a matter of operational control, that any and all courses for which credit is to be granted toward the several degrees awarded by the faculties of Columbia University must be under the full control of those faculties. Furthermore appropriate catalog space should be provided for all such courses.
All courses offered under the faculties of the University should be taught by regularly appointed instructors selected for their knowledge of the subject and ability to present it. It follows that we oppose the granting of faculty appointments to the staff of the NROTC merely because they are members of that program. It also follows that no officer assigned to the NROTC program should be denied a faculty appointment if he is qualified to receive one according to the same criteria used for other faculty members.
In accepting the view that the maintenance of an NROTC program on campus constitutes a legitimate activity for the University and is not inconsistent with its basic functions, we recommend that the University continue to make available to the program such space as is needed for administration of the program, advising and counseling, and for meetings and instruction of students enrolled in the program.
We strongly support the proposal, contained in the fourth recommendation of the Committee's report, suggesting that the existing contract policy be revised toward an education loan arrangement for NROTC candidates.
|Elmer L. Gaden, Jr.|
|S. Perry Schlesinger|
Separate Statement D
As members of the committee holding a "moderate" position, we find that we do
not agree fully with either of the other minority positions. Briefly, we give
here our own position followed by an alternative set of recommendations based
on, but extending, those of the full committee. We regard the considerations
given in Appendix A as our basis. We
regret that we were unsuccessful in our effort to achieve near unanimity for
this position from the adherents of the more extreme views, yet we remain
convinced that other alternatives exist regarding NROTC. We note parenthetically
that division within the committee was never along lines of students against
faculty - both groups remained roughly evenly split. Our sympathies lie more
with the first separate statement than the others, but we feel that it is
The key issue concerning NROTC is the degree of external control of any University activity. Maintaining NROTC as a formal department that is externally controlled is incompatible with the nature of a university. Restructuring the NROTC program to be entirely extracurricular remains unacceptable if it is externally controlled. However, restriction of all possible forms of NROTC from campus represents the same type of prejudice by the University and is equally unhealthy in the opposite extreme.
We feel that the NROTC program in the traditional sense should be eliminated at Columbia (the current Columbia program is far from typical: it represents a dynamic response to the problems posed by the past rigid structure, and can only be recognized as a healthy evaluation on the part of the Columbia unit.) A pre-professional program similar to the pre-medical program of study should be established, drawing from courses existing in the University and calling for creation of other suitable academic courses by the University if necessary. All courses should be taught by regular members of the University staff whose primary responsibility is to the University, not to any external party. These courses must be open to all members of the University.
An Armed Forces Advisor's office, similar to the religious advisors (externally supported but officially recognized and provided reasonable space), should be created on campus. This office should be concerned with career guidance for both officer candidates and individuals concerned with the draft. The door should be open to anyone, whether in an ROTC program or not, who wishes to use these services.
The formal part of the current program should be completely isolated from the campus as alien to the spirit of free choice. Two basic alternatives might be considered: a) summer cruises aimed at providing military instruction, service orientation, and a look at naval life; in essence, this could b an educational experience much as a summer job in a hospital, is for a pre-med; academic year activities on campus should be limited to courses in regular University departments and student-organized and run extra-curricular programs; or b) a program with all non-academic NROTC activities provided at locations off campus; with the large number of educational institutions of higher learning in New York City, the combined Armed Forces might consider providing a centralized location for pre-service orientation. This drastic change in the program seems to us appropriate for Columbia. We hope that the University will move in this direction in consultation with other like-minded universities and the Department of Defense.
We support the statements in Appendix A concerning the contract between the Navy and NROTC students. We urge that the present form of the contract be modified. A program of financial support similar to the NDEA loan program should be initiated. This would provide full tuition and fees for the student in return for his participation in an NROTC program. If, after graduation, a student serves in the Navy for the specified four years, he would be exempt from repaying the loan. However, if the student should decide not to enter the Military Service, he would be required to repay the loan over a reasonable time. Thus financial support would not be withdrawn, yet the individual would maintain freedom of choice.
These proposals are not designed to eliminate NROTC. If the program is restructured to encourage free inquiry by concerned
individuals, a viable form may yet be established. The indoctrination of the OCS
and Academy approaches should be offset in a system of checks and balances by
the free-thinking elements of our society. Elimination of NROTC by the
University would propagate the current inequities in the military; it would also
deny Columbia students a favorable means of satisfying their military
obligation. We should see to prevent an irreparable schism in our society:
military vs. civilian; the civilian influence and leavening of our Armed Forces
must be maintained.
In this spirit, we summarize our recommendations as follows:
I) After this academic year, any course offered as part of the naval training program shall carry credit toward the satisfaction of degree requirements only if it is also listed in the offerings of regular academic departments.
2) Personnel assigned to the training program as instructors shall not be ex officio members of any faculty of the University, and shall not hold academic rank unless appointed according to regular University procedures.
3) A pre-professional program shall be initiated and recognized by the University.
4) An Armed Forces Advisor's Office shall be created on campus and provided with reasonable space. The University shall not allocate space on campus to the Navy for drill or for instructional purposes, whether or not for academic credit.
5) The training program should either be concentrated in the summer cruise periods or established off campus during the year.
6) The contract between the Navy and a student enrolled in an NROTC program should, like an NDEA loan, permit him to withdraw upon payment (or upon provision for repayment within a reasonable period) of sums the Navy has laid out for his education, without the punitive service liabilities now contingently applicable; nor should the contract require the student to forgo the exercise of ordinary civil rights, like marriage.
|Richard D. Bates, Jr.|
|Winthrop W. Smith|
Joint Committee on NROTC
Loren R. Graham, Associate Professor of History
Harvey Mansfield, Professor of Government
Winthrop W. Smith, Assistant Professor of Physics
Michael Wood, Assistant Professor of English
Engineering and Applied Science
Lawrence B. Cohen, Professor of Industrial Engineering
Harold Elrod, Professor of Engineering Science
Elmer L. Gaden, Professor of Chemical Engineering
S. Perry Schlesinger, Professor of Electrical Engineering
Alan D. Entine, Assistant Professor of Economics
David Ross, Assistant Professor of History
Richard Bates, Faculty of Pure Science
Sylvana Foa, Graduate School of Journalism
Norman Mandelbaum, Faculty of Pure Science
Peter Sordillo, Columbia College
Stephen Wang, School of Engineering