MIT ROTC Task Force Final Report


Appendix I: 1990 Faculty Resolution

The ROTC Task Force is charged with conducting the evaluation and forming the recommendations required by a 1990 Resolution of the MIT Faculty regarding ROTC and the Department of Defense policy governing homosexual orientation in the armed forces.

Specifically, the 1990 Faculty Resolution indicates:

...that a task force be established by the President near the end of the five-year period to evaluate progress and to recommend a future course of action, with the expectation that inadequate progress toward eliminating the DOD policy on sexual orientation will result in:

i) making ROTC unavailable to students beginning with the class entering in 1998

ii) giving notice of the impending termination in all appropriate MIT publications no later than the fall of 1996, should it be decided that ROTC is to be unavailable at MIT.

Appendix II: Faculty Motion, approved April 17, 1996

The Faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology resolves that:

I MIT senior officials and the ROTC Oversight Committee, in partnership with the Department of Defense, will develop a pilot ROTC program that is more inclusive and better aligned with the values and mission of MIT, with the following components:

a. The modified ROTC program will be open to all qualified MIT students. They will be able to participate in all parts of the program without discrimination or differential treatment. The ROTC Oversight Committee will make an annual report to the Faculty on progress towards this goal which will serve as the basis for faculty discussion and possible further action.

b. MIT will reinsure MIT students who lose ROTC scholarships due to their sexual orientation with a financial-aid package consisting of the standard need-based MIT scholarship, plus an optional supplement contingent upon public service.

c. The President and the Chair of the Faculty will appoint a committee consisting of students, faculty, and staff, with the mission of promoting changes in Congressional, Executive, and Department of Defense policies in order to eliminate discrimination against homosexuals in the military. This group will report annually to the Faculty.

II The document, "Final Report of the ROTC Task Force, March 20, 1996," as amended April 17, 1996, will be a permanent source of reference indicating the motivation, intent, and expectations of action underlying this motion.

Appendix III: ROTC Task Force Outreach Activities

In accordance with its charge from President Vest, the ROTC Task Force has engaged in a spectrum of outreach activities to both educate and gain input from the MIT community over the past five months. The results of these outreach efforts have helped us to frame the issues, to explore a variety of options, and most importantly to gain a sense of the varying opinions and experiences of many members of our community. The Task Force has conducted these outreach activities in a variety of forms, summarized below.

Report Distribution

To encourage engagement of the MIT community, three thousand copies of the Interim Report were printed and distributed. This included mailing to all faculty and senior administrators, and distribution in lobbies 7 and 10, the student center, the medical center, and at open forums. The report was also available through the world wide web.

World Wide Web

The Task Force created a home page early on in its work. Included in the page is background on the history of MIT's involvement in the ROTC issue regarding the discrimination against homosexuals in the armed services, the Task Force's Interim Report and Final Report, and a comment form. As of this writing, there have been over 1400 visits to this page.

The MIT home page and the Alumni Office home page each listed the work of the ROTC Task Force as a highlight for the course of a few weeks.


The Task Force as a whole, and in some cases individual members, have hosted or participated in over twenty five meetings with various individuals and groups at MIT and beyond.

The Task Force held meetings with the three MIT ROTC Commanders; the MIT director of financial aid; a group of thirteen ROTC cadets from all three ROTC branches representing all four participating schools; a group representing GAMIT (Gays Lesbians Bisexuals and Friends at MIT); a group of fifteen faculty and staff who have served on the ROTC Oversight Committee; the Academic Council; the Corporation's Executive Committee; the Engineering Council; and the Faculty Policy Committee.

The Task Force organized two open campus forums which were attended by over fifty students, faculty and staff. The task force extended an invitation to meet with living groups and dormitories; meetings were held at Senior House, Random Hall, WILG and Baker House.

Members of the Task Force attended departmental meetings to discuss the Interim Report and solicit feedback from faculty; discussions were held with the faculty of Ocean Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Aeronautics and Astronautics, Chemical Engineering, and the Sloan School. The topic of ROTC was also discussed at a faculty dinner hosted by Professor Jay Keyser.

Beyond MIT, the Task Force has engaged many other universities, and lobbying and advocacy groups such as the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, the American Council on Education, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Lambda, a national gay rights organization.

Written Communications to the Task Force

Through the use of an e-mail comment address and the home page comment form, the Task Force has received over eighty electronic communications. In addition, we have received approximately forty letters or faxes.


The Task Force has been in steady communication with Tech Talk and The Tech over the course of the past five months. Both papers have printed several articles providing updates to the MIT community. In addition, the ROTC Task Force has contributed to articles appearing in the Faculty Newsletter and in Technology Review.

Appendix IV: Activities of MIT ROTC Working Group

The MIT ROTC Working Group was established in October, 1991 in response to the mandate of the 1990 Faculty Resolution that the MIT administration develop a five-year program of action by MIT individually and in concert with other universities and organizations, to work to change the DOD policy regarding sexual orientation.

The group was chaired by former Provost Mark S. Wrighton and included Ms. Sarah E. Gallop, Office of the President, Mr. Stephen D. Immerman, Office of the Senior Vice President, Kenneth R. Manning, Professor of the History of Science, and J. Kim Vandiver, Professor of Ocean Engineering. The following summary outlines the principal activities of the group.

November, 1991: MIT participated in a national survey sponsored by Rutgers University focusing on ROTC programs and sexual orientation issues. The information was gathered to serve a collaborative effort to influence Congress and DOD.

January, 1992: MIT officials and representatives from the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges (NASULGC), University of Pennsylvania, University of Kansas, California State, University of Massachusetts, University of North Carolina, and Duke University met with DOD Assistant Secretary Christopher Jehn to discuss the conflict between the DOD policy and the universities' nondiscrimination policies.

April, 1992: MIT established the "Area Institutions Group" in an effort to work collaboratively to develop local strategies to bring attention to the issue. Representatives from the University of Massachusetts, Harvard, Wellesley, Tufts, and Northeastern joined the MIT Working Group in a series of subsequent meetings.

May, 1992: President Vest endorsed the Military Freedom Act of 1992 sponsored by Representative Patricia Schroeder (D-CO) which would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the armed forces. MIT officials attended the press conference in Washington D.C. announcing the legislation and offered to assist Representative Schroeder in forwarding her efforts.

December, 1992: President Vest participated with 100 other individuals and organizations in an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sponsored full page appeal in the New York Times urging the reversal of the ban.

Beyond these formal actions, the Working Group and the MIT administration engaged in a variety of more informal activities. For example, President Vest articulated MIT's support of reversing the ban on gays in the military during congressional and administration visits in Washington before and after the new legislation was implemented in 1993.

Members of the Working Group maintain ongoing communication with other universities, NASULGC, the American Council on Education (ACE), ACLU, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) and members of Congress in an effort to monitor the implementation of the regulations and to identify opportunities to work together.

Appendix V: Errata from and Addenda to the Interim Report

Errata From Interim Report

Page numbers refer to the Interim Report of the ROTC Task Force , February 1, 1996.

Page 6: The interim report stated that "at the current time, DOD determines reimbursement policy for ROTC scholarships on a case-by-case basis." In fact, one aspect of the policy was revised according to a memo to the secretaries of the military departments, from John Deutch, dated May 17, 1994, concerning "Recoupment of Education Assistance Funds, Bonuses and Special Pay from Persons Disenrolled or Separated on the Basis of Homosexual Conduct." The relevant passage reads as follows:

"...a member's statement that he or she is a homosexual, though grounds for separation under the current policy if it demonstrates a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts, does not constitute a basis for recoupment, as defined above. This does not preclude recoupment, however, if the member making such a statement has otherwise failed to complete his or her term of service "voluntarily or because of misconduct." In particular, recoupment would be appropriate where, based on the circumstances, it is determined that the member made the statement for the purpose of seeking separation."

Page 6, paragraph 3: in 2nd line change "cadet" to "midshipman".

Page 16: The interim report stated that prior to 1958, a two year ROTC program was mandatory for students. In fact, the two year program was mandatory only for students who were US citizens.

Page 17, paragraph 4, next-to-last line: add "the" before "aforementioned".

Page 21, paragraph 1: change the sentences referring to Navy and Air Force commissioning figures to read as follows:

"The Navy commissioned 2,546 naval officers in FY 1995, of which 1,006, or 40%, came from NROTC programs. The Air Force, in the same year, commissioned 3,234 line officers, 1,458 of them (or 45% of the total) coming from the AFROTC programs, compared with 959 officers commissioned from the Air Force Academy."

Page 23, paragraph 1, line 1 under "Estimated Scholarship...": delete "Vice President"

Addenda to Interim Report

1. The Army has approximately 316 ROTC units across the nation; the Air Force has 150 units; and the Navy has 68 units.

2. Since the interim report, the Servicemember's Legal Defense Network has issued its second annual report, entitled "Conduct Unbecoming: Second Annual Report on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Pursue.'" According to the report, which uses Pentagon reports as one of its sources, new statistics on discharges and commander violations of the new policy include:

-- DOD discharged 722 people under the new policy in FY1995, a 21% increase from 1994.

-- 21% of those discharges were of women, who constitute 13% of the military's active force.

-- There were 363 commander violations of the new policy between March 1, 1995 and February 27, 1996, up from 340 in the previous period. ( note: there is often more than one "violation" per affected service member. Thus, the number of affected service members is less than the number of violations. In the previous period, there were 182 service members affected by violations of the new policy; this was the figure included in the interim report).

3. The Defense Authorization bill was signed February 10, 1996, and included the "ROTC Access to Campuses" legislation. To understand the potential impact of this legislation, in FY95 DOD funded $55.9 million of research on campus (15.4% of total research funding on campus), and funded Lincoln Laboratory for $280.5 million (81.4% of total).

Introduction| Section 1| Section 2| Section 3| Section 4| Appendices

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