President Neil L. Rudenstine yesterday defended the University's 1994 Affirmative Action Report against claims by the America council on Education [ACE] that the report underestimates the number of minority Ph.D. recipients nationwide.
"They did not strike me as being the most data-rich and measured comments I've read," Rudenstine said of the claims made Monday by Reginald Wilson, an ACE senior scholar.
"I'll be extremely said surprised if we're wrong," Rudenstine said. "I think we know that data pretty well."
According to the FAS section of the report, "the rates of new Ph.D.s among Blacks and Hispanics actually decreased and the rate of new Ph.D.s for Native Americans remained close to zero" in the five-year period between 1987 and 1992.
The report attributes and lack of progress on the part of the University in hiring minority faculty members to this decrease in the pool of Ph.D. recipients nationwide.
But Wilson said the numbers of new Hispanic and Native American Ph.D.s have actually increased by 3.4 percent respectively between 1991 and 1992.
"I would suspect he's talking about all Ph.D.s," Rudenstine said. "And what you will find you have to look availability data. You must do it field by field according to the fields that you have."
Rudenstine said data which includes all fields of graduates education, including those not available at Harvard if inaccurate.
"If you look at all Ph.D.s earned by ethnic group, then you must know what are the specific fields included in that," Rudenstine said. "For instance, if you're including clinical psychology, and you don't have any or large clinical psychology programs at your institution, then the number of minority, or women, or men Ph.D.s in that category bears no relation to you."
He said that there are many fields in which Ph.D. recipients are not hired by FAS.
"If you're looking at education, Ph.D.s in education will mater when you'relooking at staffing in the Graduate School ofEducation," Rudenstine said. "It will not matterat all when you're looking at Arts and Sciences,because we don't hire people with Ph.D.s ineducation."
He also said reliable data must compare thenumber of minority Ph.D. recipients in particularfields with the number of minority Ph.D. facultyin those fields.
"I would like to see [Wilson] aggregate thedata," Rudenstine said. "Because I have aggregatedthe data, and we have it in enormous detail."
According to Vice President for AffirmativeAction James S. Hoyte '65, the University probablyreceived its figures from the ACE.
But Wilson said Monday that the ACE did notprovide the University with what he calledinaccurate data.
Assistant Dean of the Faculty Joseph K.McCarthy said he could not remember the source ofthe data.
Rudenstine said that the Ivy League schoolshave hired a researcher based at ColumbiaUniversity to study why minority Ph.D. recipientsseem to be concentrated in a relatively smallnumber of fields-a phenomenon generally referredto as the "pipeline problem."
He said the University will receive an updateon that research at the next Ivy League meetinglate spring