An ongoing investigation of Harvard's affirmative action programs is nearly over and could soon produce sweeping initiatives, a University official said yesterday.
Associate Vice President and Assistant to the President for Affirmative Action James Hoyte has spoken with affirmative action officials in all the schools, focusing on their minority faculty hiring practices and suggestions.
The process, which began soon after Hoyte arrived at Harvard last year, is in the "last stages," he said. President Neil L. Rudenstine has also spoken with deans from the various schools, Hoyte said, and "specific proposals" will be available soon.
"I think it will be something that goes a lot farther than Harvard has ever gone before in this area," Hoyte said.
No new program can become public, however, until it is authorized by the proper authorities, he said.
"Any initiative would need to be approved by the dean involved and the president," Hoyte said. "There are a lot of people one needs to touch bases with."
Pressure for new action on the issue in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences was recently applied by the Coalition for Diversity, a group of student minority leaders which has called for greater faculty diversity.
Affirmative action efforts in the FAS must start with the individual departments because the departments nominate their candidates. But Hoyte hinted his plans could call for more concrete incentives for departments to increase the diversity of their nominees.
In the Law School, a series of student protests have called for more minority and female professors, and the Kennedy School recently lost its only tenured female faculty member to the Clinton Administration.
The University is also waiting for the release of the annual Affirmative Action report. The report was scheduled to come out this week, but it has been delayed until next week