Military Science Minor - ASCRC Review 2003 (addendum)


Other concerns raised by the committee from a philosophical, political, ethical, emotional perspective include the following.

1.       Is it appropriate for The University of Montana to certify an academic minor taught by military officers from the Department of Defense materials? Structurally, the Military Science department is made up of rotating US Army appointees, with relatively frequent turnover, accountable for their curriculum and position directly to the Department of Defense, not the University of Montana.

          The faculty members do not have academic credentials in the field which they are teaching, but rather are eligible and trained to teach the courses because of their rank in the military.

          The proposal lists teaching faculty with titles such as Recruiting Operations Officer and Supply Technician. This seems contrary to traditional academia.

          The faculty are hired and paid by the U.S. Army and not subject to University personnel procedures.

          The program maintains a separatist position from the university system with little interaction with academic units.

          The program dedicates at least part of its energies to the recruitment mission of the military. ROTC in fact is an acronym for the Reserve Officer Training Corps.

          As evidence that the curriculum is in fact linked to the Department of Defense, last spring course proposals were submitted to change the titles of military science courses to comply with the Department of Defense recommendations to create consistency among Military Science programs.


2.       There seems to be a theoretical divide between the academic purpose/mission of the university and the mission of a military science program. To accord "the highest priority to the rights and opinions of all" as "a forum for bringing together the diverse cultures and views of the people of the state, nation, and world," compared to military training.


3.       Some members expressed reluctance to identify the University of Montana more directly with the Department of Defense or the military-industrial complex. The pending legislation to establish an International Higher Education Advisory Committee could be a possible tool for political intrusion by the military into American civil liberties in academia.


4.       Noted was the contradiction in ASCRC's suggestion to reduce the military science credits to 9 in the 18 credit minor and the justification for disapproval that an academic minor in military science should have more courses directly related to military science. The problem seems to be that the majority of upper-division military science courses are not open to non-contracted students. An academic minor must include 2/3 of upper-division courses. Thus, the committee suggested a compromise of an interdisciplinary minor in military studies.