UPDATED: 7:40 p.m.This evening, Yale College faculty did their part to help “clear the way” for the return of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps to Yale.
A “significant majority” of the roughly 200 faculty members who attended a Yale College faculty meeting late Thursday afternoon voted to discard a set of resolutions that led to the departure of the ROTC from campus about forty years ago, said Yale College Dean Mary Miller.
The faculty approved a new set of rules proposed by the Faculty Committee on ROTC in April with minimal changes in place of the old rules, she added.The new regulations will remove many obstacles now keeping ROTC from campus and help administrators to negotiate its return with military officials, Miller said.
“We want to be sure that students who seek an elite education and want to be able to participate in ROTC recognize that they can do both those things here,” Miller said.
The first resolution requires that all ROTC courses taught at Yale count as enrollment credits that are listed on students’ transcripts, perhaps with a grade. In order for ROTC courses to count towards a Yale College degree, the Course of Study Committee would have to review and approve the credits. The second resolution grants academic rank to military personnel who teach ROTC courses according to their credentials.
The final two resolutions are financial in nature. One states that Yale would give need-based financial aid to students who withdraw from a Yale ROTC program, and the other provides funding for administrative services, necessary facilities and other program costs in the event that ROTC returns to campus.
Before the meeting Thursday, Steven Smith, master of Branford College, told the News that he supports the four new resolutions, as well as a return of ROTC to campus. He said Yale has an obligation to provide an ROTC program for students who wish to serve in the military — a responsibility that he said is reflected in Yale’s motto: “For God, For Country and For Yale.”
He added that he agrees that ROTC instructors should receive academic rank according to their qualifications.
“If these are military people who are also academic scholars, as many are, then I have no problem with them having a title here,” he said.
This vote came two days after Divinity School faculty voted unanimously to allow military recruiters back to campus once “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” — which prevented gay members of the military from serving openly and was repealed in December — is no longer in effect, said Gustav Spohn DIV ’73, director of communications and publications for the Divinity School.
John Hare, a professor of philosophical theology at the Divinity School, said he voted for the proposal in part because military recruiters can serve the needs of students who want to become military chaplains.