The Kennedy School is in the final stages of contract negotiations with a woman slated to become the highest-level female faculty member in the school's history.
Mary Jo Bane, deputy assistant secretary of the Department of Education and an associate professor on leave from the Education School, said yesterday she will become an associate professor at the Kennedy School at the start of spring term.
Albert Carnesale, professor of Public Policy and chairman of the school's faculty appointments committee--which recommends appointments to the K-School faculty and to Graham T. Allison Jr. '62, dean of the School--said yesterday the faculty has approved Bane's appointment but that "some formalities" probably remain in contract negotiations between Bane and Allison.
"I'm certain it's not much," he said of the remaining "formalities."
Allison, in Mexico until next Tuesday, was unavailable for comment yesterday.
The school has never had a female professor or associate professor, the next-highest "tenure track" position on the school's "ladder" of faculty posts. It has hired women assistant professors--the level below associate professor--including Linda B. Miller '59, on leave this term.
Though associate professorships are not tenured posts, they are considered "tenure track" jobs because associate professors are eligible for vacated tenured professorships.
Though Bane called herself "eminently qualified" for the K-School post, she added, "Let's just say it didn't hurt that I was a woman."
"I don't think the fact that she's a woman helped her or hurt her," Carnesale said, adding that her approval by his committee and by the faculty was not on the basis of sex."
He said the unusual mid-year appointment stems from the school's "targeted opportunitites" program, in which it seeks departing government employees qualified for K-School posts. "This is a school of government, so we keep our eyes especially peeled every four years for practitioners," Carnesale said.
William Hogan, professor of Political Economy and vice-chairman of Carnesale's committee, said yesterday that though the school has a "very aggressive" affirmative action search policy, it evaluates candidates "on their own merits."
He added that in Bane's case, the search policy "didn't help her much at all," explaining that "We already knew about her--she has a Harvard connection."
Bane, at the Ed School until 1979, taught a mini-course at the K-School on "Federal Policy Toward Women" while an Ed School associate professor.
"It's not as if this is some chance appointment. She's a respected scholar known to people here," Carnesale said. Hogan called Bane "very talented," adding, "I'm delighted she's coming, and I'm delighted she's a woman."