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Statement on ROTC from the dean for undergraduate education

Statement on ROTC from the dean

for undergraduate education

MIT encourages its students to consider careers committed to serving the public good. I am glad that such considerations lead some students to choose careers as military officers.

The Institute welcomes -- and should continue to welcome -- qualified individuals whose sponsorship is provided by military programs, including ROTC scholarship programs.

Current Department of Defense policies that exclude gays from participating in its ROTC programs run counter to the values of inclusion and equality which are at the foundation of this institution. I find these and other policy differences between the military and MIT deeply troubling.

Our attention should be directed to affecting national policy so that ROTC scholarship eligibility encompasses all talented people who might choose to attend MIT.

In addition, we should evaluate the current and potential compatibilities of MIT and ROTC policies overall. ROTC programs enjoy a special status at MIT as compared to other scholarship programs which also carry training, employment, or internship obligations. Special status usually derives from a special compatibility between partners. Our consideration of the MIT-ROTC partnership is underway already.

In anticipation of institutional deliberations about ROTC, last year I appointed an ad hoc committee to identify critical issues arising from the differing missions and practices of ROTC and MIT. Chaired by Professor Kim Vandiver, the committee completed its work this past fall and submitted its report to me in October, 1989. The committee's work included a thorough compilation of historical documents and a review of the evolution of the MIT-ROTC partnership.

The issues delineated by the report are a reference point for the current work of the presidentially-appointed standing Committee on ROTC. Its AY90/91 members have agreed to begin their terms immediately to ensure continuity of attention to the important matters at hand. Professor Alvin Drake is Chair.

Margaret L. A. MacVicar->

Dean for Undergraduate Education->

(Senior MIT officer responsible for ROTC)->