NEW YORK--A committee of top-level Columbia University administrators and faculty probably will recommend that the university become coeducational, the Columbia Daily Spectator reported.
Quoting unnamed sources on the committee, the newspaper said the administrators want to end Columbia's all-male status to attract more and better applicants.
Columbia now is affiliated with Barnard College, a women's school, and talks are underway to increase ties between the colleges. However, one administration source said, "The environment for a merger is not yet around. Admitting women is a way of acting immediately."
The panel, the Dean's Standing Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid, is investigating ways to increase the pool of applicants to Columbia, which now accepts about half of those who apply.
"The gist of the coeducation argument is if you admit women, more students will apply and you can be more selective," one source close to the committee said. Other committee members said Columbia's all-male status deters potential applicants.
The Columbia Student Council two weeks ago released results of a survey of Columbia and Barnard undergraduates in which 82 per cent of students said the single-sex status of the colleges adversely affects student life.
More than 70 per cent of those polled said that when they applied to Columbia or Barnard, they were misled about the degree of interaction between the two colleges.
Most of the Columbia undergraduates polled said they favor admitting women even if Columbia-Barnard relations improve.
However, the student council on September 21 disavowed the survey findings on the ground that too few people had participated.