Grants grow, but most schools pay for peace studies themselves

The growth of peace studies takes money, along with all the thought and energy described in this special section. For the first time, after years of effort, there is a congressionally authorized national peace institute, and it has some funding to offer, as described below.

More important, there has been a surge of private funds into war-prevention programs. This has been attributed, in large part, to the adversarial tone of the Reagan administration before its more recent publicized peace ventures. The early talk about ``limited'' nuclear war by some members of the administration, along with its rapid weapons buildup, prompted a quick response in the private ``funding community'' of foundations, churches, and others.

``For people who understand what nuclear weapons are about, it was very alarming,'' said a grant officer with one of the major foundations, speaking of the ``limited-nuclear-war'' talk.

But foundation officials shun words like ``disarmament'' and ``peace.'' ``We don't consider ourselves part of the peace movement,'' says Arthur Singer of the Sloan Foundation. Rather, he says, they are trying to help the country ``better understand the nuclear age.'' Small, but growing fast

No matter. At least 74 private foundations are contributing in this area, and from 1982 to 1984 their grants increased by over 200 percent, to $52 million. That may be scarcely pocket change by the standards of Pentagon procurement; it's not even 1 percent of the giving of the nation's 22,000 private foundations. But it's enough to make people much more aware of the dangers of the arms race and of the tensions that lie beneath it.

The new foundation support did not necessarily mean flush times for education in the arts of peace, however. The biggies like the Ford Foundation have tended to support high-level policy research rather than education. A survey last year by the Forum Institute of Washington, D.C., found that almost three-quarters of the foundation money went to think-tank types, rather than to public information, citizen diplomacy, and kindred endeavors.

This ``elite policymaking mentality,'' as one former foundation official put it, has made colleges in the hinterlands feel left out. ``The foundations are set up to deal with experts,'' says the director of one peace studies program. Money for training faculty

There have been exceptions. The Sloan Foundation, for example, is committing half a million dollars a year, for six years, to training faculty for undergraduate programs -- 420 instructors by the time the program is through.

There's evidence, moreover, that some of the big foundations are changing their views. As Fritz Mosher of the Carnegie Foundation said, having bestowed all this money upon the scholars, they then had to ask, ``Who's going to pay attention?'' Accordingly, Carnegie made a grant to Nuclear Times, a periodical that is critical of the weapons industry, to help it translate scholarly research to the general public. MacArthur Foundation

In a similar vein, the MacArthur Foundation, second-largest after Ford and the No. 1 contributor in the field of international security, made a grant to National Public Radio for two new correspondents. And about half a dozen foundations, headed by Sloan, are helping to underwrite a 13-part public television series called ``The Nuclear Age,'' complete with book and classroom materials.

Then too, at least some of the scholarly research has filtered down into the public debate, the ``nuclear winter'' controversy being one prominent example.

The smaller foundations, meanwhile, have been involved much more in local education projects. An example is the Peace Development Fund (PDF), a new foundation based in western Massachusetts that quadrupled its fundings -- generally less than $5,000 per recipient -- between 1982 and '84.

One PDF project is an international work camp program based in Vermont. It enables young people from the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe to visit the United States and work with Americans on local projects (in one case, for example, cleaning public beaches and repairing the beach house). The program started with three work camps and will have 40 next year.

Money has also been available for curriculum materials for local schools. But amid all this activity, colleges launching peace studies programs for undergraduates have pretty much fallen through the cracks. Eight of 10 such programs do not receive outside support, according to George A. Lopez, head of the peace studies program at Earlham College and a frequent consultant to institutions setting up peace education programs. In-house resources

Forced to rely on catch-as-catch-can strategies, the colleges have been tapping resources such as these:

Internal resources. A survey of faculty at West Virginia University turned up 50 courses already being offered that might connect to a peace studies curriculum now in the planning stage. Most programs draw heavily from existing faculty and courses in other departments.

Church affiliations. The United Church of Christ gave $8,000 to Pacific University in Oregon to help launch a program there.

Alumni and friends. Pacific University received a $50,000 donation from the chairman of its board of trustees, a high-tech entrepreneur, for philosophy and peace studies.

When Joan Kroc gave $6 million from her McDonald's hamburger fortune to Notre Dame for a peace studies institute there, it set mental wheels turning all over the country. ``People are going to be eating a lot of hamburgers around here,'' the coordinator of one fledgling program joked.

They may also be sending more letters to their congressmen. Just getting into gear is the new United States Institute of Peace, established by Congress in 1984. The institute is required by law to dispense at least a quarter of its funds -- $1 million, this year -- to institutions around the country. Barely a box of rivets to the Pentagon perhaps; but (if it survives the Gramm-Rudman budget cuts) a token at least of the nation's desire to explore the arts of peace.

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