Faculty debates DOD funds
By Daniel Crean
The proposed formation of a committee to examine military support of campus research highlighted the monthly faculty meeting held Wednesday.
Many faculty members and students had asked for the formation of such a committee, according to Arthur C. Smith, chairman of the faculty.
Vera Kistiakowsky, professor of Physics, attributed the interest to "observations of what is happening in the national scene." She cited a shift in the amount of money spent on research and development towards military-oriented research.
"It is a question of what flavor of campus one would like to have," Kistiakowsky continued[how 'bout Heavenly Hash? Pistachio!!].
"There has been considerable concern by many students about what kind of jobs are available," she said. Many students are afraid they will be limited in their choice of jobs if they do not wish to work in defense-related areas, Kistiakowsky added.
Leo Marx, professor of Science and Technology in Society, also expressed concern over the amount of military spending at MIT. He quoted warnings of President Eisenhower and others about the ties between the military and universties.
Judith T. Kildow, associate professor of Ocean Engineering, complained about the lack of research grants available from outside the Department of Defense (DOD). "The diversity of funds at this university disturbs me," she said.[all of it is green]
President Paul E. Gray '54 suggested that the DOD was more adept at sponsoring research because it has more experience than other government agencies.
The percentage of research conducted on MIT's campus funded by the DOD has ranged between 11 and 16 percent during the last decade, Gray said. "There's been some fluctuation but it's been in a narrow range, and you can't put a trend line through it," he added.
Hidden Grades Continued
The faculty also unanimously approved a recommendation from the Committee on Educational Policy to continue permanently the current system of hidden second-term freshmen grades.
The current plan was implemented by the faculty in November, 1982. At that time they approved the plan on a three-year trial basis, Smith said.
Freshmen presently receive letter grades on their grade reports at the end of the Spring semester. The grades are then erased from the Registrar's records, he said.
Departments are required to keep permanent records of grades freshman receive in their classes, Smith said. Students who need freshman grades for applications to graduate or medical school can get a letter verifying the grade from the appropriate department, he added.
Dickson discusses Kendall Square
"There's a considerable amount of development" around MIT, said Senior Vice President William R. Dickson '56, as he described current and planned construction in Kendall Square.
The Harvard Cooperative Society may open a store in Kendall Square, Dickson said. "I understand the talks are pretty far along. If they do this they will certainly not have a store of the same size [as they have now] at the Student Center," he added.
Dickson pointed out that developers are planning several office buildings for the area. MIT could not afford to purchase the land for a building which will be constructed on the corner of Memorial Drive and Main Street, he said.
The planned office building there will possibly have the highest office rental rates in the Boston area, Dickson conjectured, in order to cover the cost of the property.
A Marriot hotel with approximately 400 rooms will be built in Kendall Square, Dickson added.
The great number of new buildings may cause a glut of office space in the area, he said. "Somebody is going to have a hard time selling space, at least for a short time."
Dickson said there is no construction planned for the campus, largely due to a lack of land. "We have purchased land over the last 30 or 40 years and managed to use it all," he said. "It appears that for next two or three years we won't be building anything."