The Faculty Council yesterday moved one step closer to approving a series of minority student committee proposals for the reorganization of minority recruitment and admissions at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in an hour-long question-and-answer session with representatives of the student group.
The GSAS students propose that the Faculty establish a committee to oversee GSAS minority admissions to change restrictions on financial aid funds to enable GSAS to compete for top minority applicants more effectively and hire a minority recruiter for the graduate school.
Joel S. Migdal, associate professor of Government and a member of the Faculty Council, said last night he saw "no overt opposition from faculty members to any of the student proposals in broad outline" at yesterday's meeting.
Migdal added he believes "the students have done their homework very well and presented a very compelling case."
Faculty Council members also received a written statement from Peter S. McKinney, acting dean of GSAS, outlining the graduate school's appraisal of the student proposals.
McKinney reportedly supported the students' basic proposals on financial aid and for the first time explicitly endorsed the creation of a GSAS committee to review minority admissions policy as well as draft the job description for the proposed minority recruiter post.
Michael Harris, a spokesman for the GSAS student group, said yesterday McKinney's statement was "totally unexpected," adding, "a careful reading of McKinney's statements leads me to believe that the differences between our suggestions of policy and those of GSAS have been minimized."
McKinney said yesterday his written statement does not represent a movement from his former position but that "a certain stridency of tone" on the part of the students had "clouded the issues before."
McKinney said he still disagrees with the students on the issue of the responsibilities of the proposed minority recruiter. He said he believes the minority recruiter should have less "external" contact with other colleges and be more active in "internal" GSAS admissions activity with individual departments.
One Faculty Council member said last night that McKinney moved yesterday to allow a faculty committee to determine the responsibilities of the minority recruiter because "he found himself in an untenable position."
The Faculty Council will try to finish discussion of the student proposals and move to a final recommendation on the reorganization plan during the next two weeks, Phyllis E. Keller, assistant dean of the Faculty said yesterday