Leonard May Ask for Change In Personnel Job Description
Walter J. Leonard, special assistant to President Bok, said yesterday he may ask for revisions in a Personnel Office job description that requires of applicants a "thorough knowledge of the University," because the description could unnecessarily limit the pool of applicants for the job.
The job description, which John B. Butler, director of Personnel, placed in this week's University Gazette, asks for applicants for the position of employee relations representative in the Personnel Office.
Leonard said yesterday that "as far as the principles and spirit" of Harvard's affirmative action plan, job descriptions should be as broad as possible.
"I don't think knowledge of the University should be a requirement," Leonard said.
Leonard said he will call in today the person who placed the description to ask why the job requires knowledge of Harvard.
Why The Requirement
"If it had said the person should have knowledge of the University, I could have gone along with that," he said. "But when it's a requirement I have to find out why."
Harvard's affirmative action plan requires the publication of job descriptions before any new appointments to non-teaching positions, in order to widen the pool of potential applicants--especially minorities and women--for jobs.
The Personnel Office's job description apparently limits the pool of applicants for the employee representative post to people currently employed at Harvard.
Butler said yesterday that while "we want someone who has knowledge of the University" for the job, familiarity with Harvard is not "a strict, final requirement."
There are women and minorities among the pool of people now employed at Harvard who might qualify for the job, Butler said.
He said the new employee representative will be charged with "building up communications" between the Personnel Office and employees.
The Personnel Office now has three employee representatives, including one minority man, one minority woman and one white woman.
John G. Bynoe, regional director of the department of Health, Education and Welfare, which approved Harvard's affirmative action plan, would not comment yesterday on the Personnel Office's job description.
Bynoe said, however, that requirements in job descriptions "should relate to the actual responsibilities of the job."
Daniel Steiner '54, general counsel to the University, said yesterday that "we should be careful about it, but if knowledge of Harvard is really necessary for the job it's not an affirmative action violation to require it."