Tien Special Committee

The Special Committee to Study ROTC was established by the University Senate in 1974 to review university policy with regard to ROTC. Led by Associate Professor of Metallurgy John K. Tien, the committee submitted its report to the University Senate on November 21, 1975. In addition to a review of Department of Defense policy concerning ROTC and a study of ROTC programs at ‘peer’ institutions, the report reaffirmed the conclusions of the Mansfield Committee and endorsed previous University conduct with regard to ROTC.

The Tien report also quoted a July 7, 1969 report from Univeristy President Andrew Cordier on his attempt to negotiate a new relationship between the Univeristy and the Navy:

“The Navy was invited to continue its NROTC program exactly as at present with the exception that the Department of Naval Science would be transferred to an extracurricular status. We were informed by the Navy that it would be impossible for them to do so within the framework of the presently applicable laws.”

University Senate Action (1976)

On January 23, 1976, the University Senate adopted a resolution approving the findings of the Tien Special Committee report, and resolved that:

  1. Any arrangement between the Armed Services and the University is subject to the approval of the University Senate and shall meet the following conditions:
    1. Academic credit may be awarded to a program only after the program and contents meet the criteria and standards of the faculty which recognizes such credit.
    2. Service nominees may be charged with instruction and accorded faculty rank only in accordance with the usual appointment procedures.
    3. No degree may be withheld for reasons not within the control of the University
    4. There shall be adequate safeguards for the academic freedom of the participants.
  2. The contract between the Armed Services and a student enrolled in an ROTC program shall permit him or her to withdraw upon repayment, or provision for repayment within a reasonable period, of sums which the service has expended for his or her education without the punitive service liabilities now contingently applicable; nor may the contract require the student to forego the exercise of ordinary civil rights.*

* It is no longer the case that ROTC/NROTC candidates without a prior service contract could be compelled to serve as an enlisted soldier upon withdrawal. Candidates who withdraw may be compelled to repay any funds received, but do not incur a service requirement. This is not true, however, for those candidates who had previously served as enlisted soldiers and received an early termination conditioned upon completing College/ROTC—in such cases, candidates may be required to satisfy the remainder of their unfulfilled prior contract. Additionally, no restrictions are placed on a candidates’ ordinary civil rights, such as the ability to marry, as was once the case.