GSD Delays Its Debate Of Hartman's Allegations

The Graduate School of Design faculty voted 13-12 Wednesday to delay until next fall its resolution of the seven-year-old charges of a former faculty member that the GSD did not rehire him in 1969 for personal and political reasons.

The ex-assistant professor, Chester W. Hartman '57, had asked for additional time to respond to the April 17 report of the GSD's Academic Policy Committee, which recommended that the faculty take no "remedial action" toward Hartman.

Committee Attacked

In his written statement to the faculty Wednesday, Hartman called the committee's report a "totally one-sided presentation" of the findings of the Hartman Review Committee (HRC), a University panel that filed a 300-page report last September, three years after beginning its inquiry.

The 32-page Academic Policy report, Hartman continued, was "void of any of the HRC's many findings supportive of my claims and any of the extensive material criticizing the GSD." He added that the policy committee's conclusions, "whiteswashing the GSD, are completely inappropriate."


Although it agreed to postpone its debate from the scheduled May 26 and June 2 sessions, the faculty voted over-whelmingly to deny Hartman's two additional requests that it allow principals in the case no longer at the school to attend the fall meeting or be represented by counsel.

A member of five-man Academic Policy Committee, William A. Doebele, said yesterday that the panel recommended against this pair of motions because Hartman will be allowed to submit a statement and because the committee feels the HRC and policy panel's reviews have exposed all the issues and facts of the controversy.

Those who opposed the motion to postpone also argued that the issues and facts of the case had been laid out by Hartman's previous statements and the two committee reports. However, the Academic Policy Committee disagreed, favoring Hartman's request for a delay that passed after an hour-long debate.

Kilbridge for Debate

Among those asking for immediate debate, Doebele said, was Maurice D. Kilbridge, dean of the GSD, who turned over the chair to Charles W. Harris, chairman of the Landscape Architecture Department, because of the administrator's involvement in the Hartman dispute.

Hartman, who now lives in California, said last night he is "outraged" that he will not be permitted to attend the faculty meeting next fall and is "shocked" at the closeness of the vote to delay.

The Hartman dispute dates back to 1969 when the assistant professor of City 1969 when the assistant professor of city planning--then prominent in a reform with the students who occupied University Hall--learned he would neither be reappointed or promoted.

In June 1970, with his appointment about to expire, Hartman filed his charges that procedural and substantive deficiencies in the school's decision not to rehire him violated his academic freedom.

After two years of haggling with Hartman, the GSD set up the Hartman Review Committee, which reported over three years later--last September--that Hartman had "legitimate" grievances. However, that panel also said it was "not prepared to assert" that Hartman's academic freedom had been violated.

The investigation, Harvard's first into a non-hiring case, also labeled the school's reappointments procedures "grossly inadequate" and execrable; attacked several GSD faculty members for limiting their cooperation with the inquiry and Dean Kilbridge for his "seeming defensive posture"; and criticized "intrusion of subjective elements" into the school's decision on Hartman.