Faculty Council Hears Report On Affirmative Action Progress
The Faculty Council yesterday received a report on the Faculty's progress toward its affirmative action goals set in 1976, showing that while the Faculty fell short in the actual number of women and minorities employed in teaching positions, it has met most of its percentage goals because the size of the Faculty is smaller than projected.
Among tenured Faculty, Harvard is one short of its projections for both minorities and women as of March 1, 1978, but due to a smaller total of tenured Faculty than expected, the Faculty has actually slightly exceeded the percentage figures for both women and minorities.
The total number of tenured posts fell short of projections because budget cuts forced a decrease in the number of hirings and a change in the method of counting professors with joint appointments in more than one department, said Thomas E. Crooks '49, special assistant to Dean Rosovsky, who presented the figures.
Although the entire Faculty is close to its goals, Crooks listed six departments which, according to the method of calculation used by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW), should have at least two more tenured women.
The departments are Anthropology, English, History, Psychology, Romance Languages and Sociology. None of the departments employs any tenured women except Romance Languages, which has one.
Crooks said last night HEW expects Harvard to hire women and minorities according to their percentages in the applicant pool for the different teaching levels in that field. The Faculty often does not agree with HEW or with each other on how to determine the applicant pool, Crooks said.
"No one says we should not hire more women and minorities," Crooks said, but there is disagreement on what progress each department can reasonably be expected to make given the applicant pool and the availability of openings.
Besides the six departments, Crooks named, there are other departments with no tenured women and some with no minorities. However, these departments are not officially "underutilizing" women and minorities because the availability of qualified applicants in those fields is low.
For associate and assistant professors, the Faculty hired one more minority member and nine fewer women than predicted. The Faculty exceeded by eight its goals for women in "other instructional" posts, but fell short of its goals for minorities by seven.
The Faculty has 221 associate and assistant professors and 75 "other instructors."
Crooks also presented figures for new hiring in 1977-78 which show a four-point increase from 1976-77 in the percentage of minorities among newly-hired Faculty members at all teaching levels and a decrease of five points in the percentage of women.
The drop from 23 to 18 per cent in 1977-78 reversed a five-year trend of increases in the percentage of women among newly-hired teachers, but Crooks said the figures for 1978-79 are back up to 21 per cent.
"I have no explanation for the temporary drop," Crooks said. "As far as I know the availability of women was no different that year and no more women than usual who were offered posts, turned them down."
Crooks pointed out that since the number of women and minorities on the Faculty and the number of posts open each year are small, percentage changes are not very significant.
The council also yesterday heard David C. McClelland '69, professor of Psychology, discuss the correlation between standard measurements of academic achievement like grade point average and achievement tests and performance five or ten years after graduation from college or graduate school.
Citing several studies, McClelland concluded that while most admissions tests predict grades in college reasonably well, grades and tests do not predict performance later in life.
McClelland's discussion, part of an ongoing council review of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, was designed to shed some light on the problems the GSAS faces in trying to choose applicants who will later be outstanding scholars