February 1, 1996
I want to thank you for agreeing to serve on the ROTC Task Force. This important activity will proceed in parallel with our continuing efforts to achieve further change in DOD policy regarding the service of homosexuals in the military and their access to ROTC.
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.
The role of the Task Force is to enable the Faculty to establish an informed position regarding the future of MIT's relationship with ROTC and the access of MIT students to its programs. The charge to the Task Force is to assemble relevant information on the issue at hand in order to evaluate progress since 1990, to summarize and disseminate this information to the MIT community, to engage the community in an informed discussion of the issues, to frame these issues for the Faculty, and to recommend a course of action.
The Task Force is requested to divide its work into three tasks, all of which should be completed by March, 1996:
1. Gathering of Information
In order to evaluate progress, the Task Force will gather information about MIT's ROTC programs and the implementation of the 1993 DOD policy governing sexual orientation and conduct in the armed forces and about prospects for future policy changes by the Executive Branch, the Congress, or the courts. This effort will include, but not be limited to:
* data regarding MIT's ROTC programs such as enrollment, dismissals, financial aid, disciplinary actions, etc.,
* relevant actions on other campuses,
* MIT's contractual agreements with the Federal government, regarding ROTC, and
* summary of executive, legislative and judicial actions and prospects for future actions.
A compilation of this information will be made available to the MIT community through a number of media such as Tech Talk, The Tech, the Faculty Newsletter, and a home page on the World Wide Web.
2. Gathering of Community Input
The Task Force will solicit the input and feedback of the MIT community, including suggestions of possible actions that MIT might consider and their consequences. This will be accomplished through a variety of mechanisms such as an e-mail comment address, community meetings, and targeted forums. The Task Force should hold individual meetings with various groups or their representatives, such as the commanding officers of MIT's ROTC units, the Faculty Policy Committee, ROTC students, GAMIT, the Committee on Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid, and various other student and faculty groups. All community input will be welcomed and reviewed by the Task Force as it organizes its findings.
3. Presentation of Final Report
Based on the review of the findings from the sources described above, the Task Force will prepare its final report. The Task Force should present its report to the Faculty at the March 1996 Faculty Meeting.
Thank you again for undertaking this important task.
H.R. 1530 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1996
SEC. 541. ROTC ACCESS TO CAMPUSES
In General.--Chapter 49 of title 10, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:
"Sec. 983. Institutions of higher education that prohibit Senior ROTC units: denial of Department of Defense grants and contracts.
"(a) Denial of Department of Defense Grants and Contracts.--(1) No funds appropriated or otherwise available to the Department of Defense may be made obligated by contract or by grant (including a grant of funds to be available for student aid) to any institution of higher education that, as determined by the Secretary of Defense, has an anti-ROTC policy and at which, as determined by the Secretary, the Secretary would otherwise maintain or seek to establish a unit of the Senior Reserve Officer Training Corps or at which the Secretary would otherwise enroll or seek to enroll students for participation in a unit of the Senior Reserve Officer Training Corps at another nearby institution of higher education. "(2) In the case of an institution of higher education that is ineligible for Department of Defense grants and contracts by reason of paragraph (1), the prohibition under that paragraph shall cease to apply to that institution upon a determination by the Secretary that the institution no longer has an anti-ROTC policy.
"(b) Notice of Determination.--Whenever the Secretary makes a determination under subsection (a) that an institution has an anti-ROTC policy, or that an institution previously determined to have an anti-ROTC policy no longer has such a policy, the Secretary--"(1) shall transmit notice of that determination to the Secretary of Education and to the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate and the Committee on National Security of the House of Representatives; and "(2) shall publish in the Federal Register notice of that determination and of the effect of that determination under subsection (a)(1) on the eligibility of that institution for Department of Defense grants and contracts. "
(c) Semiannual Notice in Federal Register.--The Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register once every six months a list of each institution of higher education that is currently ineligible for Department of Defense grants and contracts by reason of a determination of the Secretary under subsection (a).
"(d) Anti-ROTC Policy.--In this section, the term 'anti-ROTC policy' means a policy or practice of an institution of higher education that--
"(1) prohibits, or in effect prevents, the Secretary of Defense from maintaining or establishing a unit of the Senior Reserve Officer Training Corps at that institution, or
"(2) prohibits, or in effect prevents, a student at that institution from enrolling in a unit of the Senior Reserve Officer Training Corps at another institution of higher education.". (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of such chapter is amended by adding at the end the following new item: "983. Institutions of higher education that prohibit Senior ROTC units: denial of Department of Defense grants and contracts.".
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