In the story "A Whiter Shade of Yale?" {Style, June 4}, writer David Karp conveys the misleading impression that Lee Bass initiated his $20 million grant proposal for a new Western Civilization program at Yale and insisted on choosing the professors and course content. Mr. Bass did not approach Yale; Yale approached Mr. Bass. Specifically, former Yale president Benno Schmidt and a committee headed by Dean Donald Kagan drew up the details of the proposal and prevailed on Lee Bass to fund it.

As the New York Times and other papers later reported, "strident faculty opposition" accompanied by serious efforts to divert the funds to "gender studies" and other "multicultural" programs without informing Mr. Bass or securing his approval delayed implementation of the original program for 14 months.

When Mr. Bass finally learned of the deception, he was justifiably upset, but because of his affection for Yale he agreed to give his alma mater another chance. But in the meantime a new committee headed by leftist professors continued to resist, and President Richard Levin acceded to their wishes. Mr. Levin flew to Fort Worth last December and tried to persuade Mr. Bass to agree to an alternative program but reluctantly agreed to implement the original Yale proposal.

By this time, Mr. Bass was understandably worried, especially after hearing about the views of some of the professors who might be picked to teach the new courses. For example, Yale History Prof. Geoffrey Parker, who teaches a Western Civilization course, calls himself a "British Socialist" and claims "the major export of Western Civilization is violence." Another professor, David Marshall, wrote the New York Times that Shakespeare's play "The Tempest" should be taught as an example of Western colonial oppression. A number of Yale students have told me that Yale teachers regularly bash the West and traditional American values and also ridicule and harass students who disagree.

Under these circumstances, it was certainly Mr. Bass's prerogative to ensure that his money would be put to its intended purpose. He asked only that he be allowed to "endorse" Yale's choice of teachers.

Yale's decision to return the money to Mr. Bass, ostensibly to avoid compromising its academic integrity is disingenuous, given the fact that it wanted to accept the grant under false pretenses. Moreover, Mr. Bass's request to endorse Yale's choices of professors is not at all unusual. The John M. Olin Foundation has reserved the same right in a number of cases, and the universities concerned evidently accepted the conditions as reasonable. JOHN K. McLEAN Alexandria The writer is a member of Yale's class of 1943. The Post's article about the withdrawal of Lee Bass's grant to Yale and undergraduate Pat Collins, who blew the whistle on the issue, seems obviously intent on extenuating Yale's behavior and rebutting Mr. Collins.

The article briefly and dismissively notes Mr. Collins's claim that he is a journalist and not an activist, and that he was simply reporting the facts as he observed them. Writer David Karp devotes extensive space to linking Mr. Collins with the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI), the conservative student group that eventually published his article, suggesting it was all an ideological plot to undermine Yale University.

But as Mr. Karp doesn't mention, Mr. Collins researched and wrote his article -- as an entirely journalistic venture -- quite independently of ISI. Mr. Collins and fellow Yalie Scott Armel undertook the Bass research at my direction in the summer of 1994 as students at the National Journalism Center (NJC), and they were held to rigorous standards of reporting (not polemic) throughout.

And while Mr. Karp is careful to note that I am an ISI trustee (and proud to be such), he fails to mention that I authorized this research without (a) any input from ISI, or (b) knowledge that ISI would eventually publish the resulting article. (Mr. Karp might also have mentioned that one reason the NJC approved this research, somewhat unusual for the center, is that I am a Yale alumnus.)

Although Mr. Karp mentions Mr. Collins's stint at the NJC, he handles it as if it had no particular bearing on the Bass dispute. The fact that Mr. Collins and Mr. Armel undertook the Bass research as an independent journalistic project would, of course, not have fit with the thesis of The Post's piece: that it was all an orchestrated plot by activists to sully the good name of Yale.

M. STANTON EVANS Director National Journalism Center Washington The June 4 story about the Bass controversy has Yale President Richard Levin waiting "for his ship to return to Quito, Ecuador."

For writer David Karp and fellow schoolboys, Quito is 100 miles inland, nestled in the Andes Mountains about two miles above sea level. It would be quite a feat for a ship from the Galapagos Islands, some 600 miles off the South American coast, to make safe harbor in Quito. JONATHAN M. WILLIAMS Bethesda