Drew Gilpin Faust: WSJ criticizes her for not attending ROTC ceremony

Historians in the News

Not long after the faculty coup d'etat that removed Lawrence Summers from the Harvard presidency, he made a point of speaking at the school's commissioning ceremony for the Reserve Officers Training Corps, as he had for every year of his tenure. "I believe that our country is best served when great universities like this one stand with those who defend freedom," he said.

One measure of the new Harvard leadership after Mr. Summers is ROTC, and on Tuesday neither acting president Derek Bok nor president-elect Drew Gilpin Faust saw fit to attend the ceremonies for the class of 2007. The university was instead represented by Stephen Rosen, a professor of government.

Harvard's ROTC, founded in 1916, was banned from campus in 1969; and aside from the brief interregnum of Mr. Summers, who was a vigorous advocate for its return, it has since been mostly spurned by the school's administration. Cadets must commute across town to MIT for its program, and receive no course credit -- or really, credit -- for their efforts.

In this Harvard echoes most of America's elite institutions of higher learning, particularly in the Ivy League. Faculties now say they object to the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays, but the anti-ROTC hostility seems more owing to the sentiments of the "antiwar" movement and other ideological academic causes. Chastened by Mr. Summers's toppling, Ms. Faust is no doubt wary of upsetting this constituency, if she is not a part of it herself.
Read entire article at WSJ

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