Ever since affirmative action became a widely acknowledged issue, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences has been trying to design a policy to recruit, admit and keep minority Ph.D. candidates.
But none of the programs so far has been outstandingly successful--in part, administrators say, because qualified minority candidates are attracted to professional schools, where they can get much more marketable degrees than the Ph.D.
So earlier this year, when an ad hoc committee of minority GSAS students charged that the school's minority recruitment program was a complete failure and recommended wide-reaching changes in the program's structure, the Faculty was willing to take the suggestions seriously.
The proposals were debated at length in the Faculty Council, and this week, Dean Rosovsky announced that the school will adopt a new program, along the general lines of the students' proposals.
The changes include the creation of a new minority admissions administrative post and a special Faculty committee to oversee minority admissions and an expansion of financial aid for minority students.
The students had argued that without such a position, the GSAS had pushed minority student issues onto a back burner. They also suggested that a minority administrator could help minority students once they had enrolled in degree programs.
The duties of the administrator will be determined by the Faculty committee.