Alexander Named to Plan Harvard Minority Hiring
The Harvard Corporation yesterday appointed Clifford L. Alexander '55 to develop a comprehensive minority hiring program for the University.
Harvard will award no new construction contracts until Alexander makes his recommendations.
Alexander, a black Overseer, was counsel and special consultant for civil rights under President Johnson and chairman of the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunities Commission from 1967 to 1969.
He was forced from the latter post early in the Nixon Administration, after pressure from the late Sen. Everett M. Dirksen (R-Ill.).
Two Separate Programs
Alexander will develop two separate programs for Harvard:
One will deal with minority-group hiring and promotion in all non-teaching jobs in the entire University.
The second will concern the hiring of minority workers in conjunction with construction contracts and the use of minority subcontractors.
For the University to use black or Puerto Rican subcontractors, Alexander said last night, will require "Harvard going to those who do know what labor is available."
Alexander will not replace Archibald Cox, Samuel Williston Professor of Law, as the University's chief negotiator with OBU,
L. Gard Wiggins, administrative vice-president of the University, said yesterday that Harvard has hired a Boston consulting firm to determine the percentage of minority-group working people in the Boston area.
Wiggins said the University would use whatever figure the consulting firm comes up with as a goal for minority hiring.
OBU spokesmen were not available for comment last night.
Alexander reportedly warned Administration officials last Fall that the University's hiring practices desperately needed overhauling. Just before Christmas vacation he spoke with representatives of OBU about their demands.
He consulted with University officials over the vacation and talked with two Corporate-on members in New York a few days ago. But he said the appointment was not definite until yesterday.
The Corporation's announcement of the appointment said Alexander would "recommend for implementation" the program he develops. His recommendations are expected to carry great weight with the governing boards.
"I know they knew exactly what I have stood for in this field," Alexander said. "The point is to get black and Third World workers on decent jobs. It would be ludicrous not to realize the great symbolic value of Harvard doing what it should in this area."
Alexander said it is essential to come up with "a very clear and specific program" to ensure that minority-group workers receive adequate training, where necessary, and that they are able to receive promotions regularly.
He declined to speculate last night on how long it will be before the programs are ready for implementation.
Although now a partner in the Washington law firm of Arnold and Porter, Alexander plans to spend a considerable amount of time in Cambridge while developing the programs.