And, of course, the topic of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, came up. One wonders if it would have come up if there was ROTC on the Harvard campus? Here are the key paragraphs from the story.
Harvard’s president, Drew Gilpin Faust, speaking the day after the US Senate declined to take up a measure that would have repealed the “don’t ask, don’t tell’’ policy, said vestiges of antimilitarism on campus dating to the Vietnam War are largely gone and she would now welcome the opportunity to “regularize our relationship’’ with the armed forces.Frankly, I don't care if Harvard has ROTC. I would be gladdened if Seccretary of Defense Robert Gates issued a directive to each of the Services and all DoD agencies, directing them to de-fund all contacts with Harvard, including sending students to the JFK School. If ROTC is not good for Harvard, because of DADT, surely sending Colonels and Navy Captains and high ranking civilians to Harvard is wrong.♠ Sure, Harvard is a distinguished university, with a distinguished faculty—the second oldest on the continent—but still, if they want to demonstrate rectitude, we should help them. The Viet-Nam War is long over, the original cause of their discomfort. The current excuse is just that. It is an excuse.♥
“We are very much looking forward to the end of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ ’’ Faust said. “It will be a very important moment to us when that happens.’’
Faust’s comments on the university’s relationship with the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps came during a wide-ranging discussion with reporters and editors at the Globe, kicking off a day of events at which she sought to highlight the university’s contributions to the city of Boston.
Maybe DoD should even stop taking political appointees from the Harvard Staff. The Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, The Honorable Ashton Carter, must be extremely discomforted by DADT. If he submitted his resignation now he could be back teaching at Harvard with Professor Larry Summers at the start of the new term. On the other hand, if he stalls around, the US Congress could kill DADT, or sufficiently modify it, in the lame duck session in December, after the Secretary of Defense reports out on his studies of the impact of changing DADT, obviating the need to show the strength of his convictions. If Congress should fumble this he should show the courage of the Faculty's convictions and resign and go home.
Regards — Cliff
♠ In the interest of full disclosure, my Brother, then a GS-15 or an SES, attended the short program. An Air Force Colonel, who had been a "personnel" officer before she came to work for me, and went on to gain two stars on a totally different career path (ending up as a Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations at No Such Agency), was sent off to Harvard JFK School for a year. An Army Colonel who, in retirement talked me into coming up here in my own retirement, went for a year. My buddy Juan did the short course as a Navy Captain.
♥ That said, Harvard President Drew Faust, like Harvard Presidenty Larry Summers, before her, has been more than generous with those Harvard students who take ROTC over at that neighboring Morriell Act (Land Grant) college, MIT.