The University announced last week that the former executive recruitment manager in the Office of Human Resources would replace the outgoing coordinator of Harvard's affirmative action program.
Harvard also announced that Ronald Quincy would be dubbed an "associate vice president," a title not previously granted to the University's point man on affirmative action.
"There's a change in the title, but the job is the same," said Robert H. Scott, vice president for administration, of Quincy's appointment.
Scott said that although Quincy will have the same respnsibilities as his predecessor, John B. Williams III, the new name is "a clear statement by the University that this is an important function." He added "that doesn't mean it was less important when John did it." Williams' title was "assistant to the president".
Scott said that a search that began in February ended with Quincy's selection from a field of about a dozen serious candidates. "We found him very much committed to the principles of affirmative action and to constructively helping Harvard to solve the problems it has," said Scott, who served on the search committee which picked Quincy for the job.
Quincy said he applied for the job "out of both professional and personal commitment to equal opportunity and affirmative action."
Quincy served as director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights from 1982 to 1985. Before that, he was an adviser to Gov. James J. Blanchard (D-Mi.) on civil and individual rights.
Williams would not discuss his departure other than to say that this year brought an end to "a three-year agreement" and "I stepped down because I wanted to."
Quincy said he thinks it is necessary to"aggressively seek" women and minorities to fillHarvard posts. He said he felt confident that theUniversity is heading in the right direction. "TheUniversity has made a lot of progress--we have adistance left to go," Quincy said.
The newly-tapped associate vice president saidhis appointment comes at a time when college anduniversity hiring is very competitive. Harvard isnot alone in its lack of newly-hired women andminorities, he said.
"I think quite clearly, universities across thecountry are finding it more and more difficult tofill senior level faculty positions. In thatregard, Harvard is no different from many otherhigher education institutions across the country,"Quincy said.
Although Quincy would not specify the plans hehas for his new job, he said, "We want to be ableto build on the momentum of [William's] efforts."
According to a University report on affirmativeaction, in 1983, the 886 tenured facultythroughout the university, excluding the Medicalarea, included 4.4 percent women and 5.5 percentminorities. By 1986, the pool of 928 tenuredfaculty included 5.8 percent women and 6 percentminorities