ROTC discussions underway between Yale and Defense Department

President Richard C. Levin has spoken directly with U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates to underscore Yale’s interest in pursuing the opportunity to have the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) return to Yale. The President said he spoke with Secretary Gates over Yale’s winter recess and has since had a positive follow-up conversation with a senior military official.

Last month, President Levin asked General Counsel Dorothy K. Robinson, Secretary Linda K. Lorimer and Yale College Dean Mary Miller to initiate conversations with relevant officials in Washington to understand what would be required to bring an ROTC unit to Yale.

Dean Miller noted that any arrangements that might be formulated regarding ROTC, should they differ from the guidelines set forth by the Yale College faculty about 40 years ago, would need to be reviewed by the Yale College faculty as well as by the Faculty of Arts & Sciences Executive Committee. The Dean also said, if Yale determines that the military has an interest in sponsoring an ROTC unit at Yale, that an open forum would be held to share findings and information regarding ROTC.

Regarding discussions between Yale and the military, Dean Miller said Yale would seek to understand what would work from the vantage point of a particular Armed Service, and the University would wish to convey to the military leaders what arrangements would be consistent with Yale academic practices and standards.

“It is premature to speculate on which branch or branches of the Armed Services might be most interested in Yale,” the Dean said. “We look forward to having these conversations with the goal of finding a way to return ROTC to the Yale campus.”

When he announced that Yale would be reaching out to military officials in Washington regarding ROTC, President Levin stated, “We are very hopeful that these discussions will enable us to begin a new chapter in the long history of Yale’s support of the U.S. Armed Services.”

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