“We have already matched last year’s rather sorry total,” Summers said.
He and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) William C. Kirby did not commit to any new procedural changes aimed at tenuring more women, but did say Harvard would look into changes like increasing the availability of day care that would make it easier for women before the tenure review process began.
“Our results in appointing senior women are unacceptable,” said Kirby. “Last year should have been and will very quickly become an anomaly.”
Of the 32 tenure offers made last year, only four of them—or 13 percent—went to women. These numbers have declined successively every year since 36 percent of all offers went to women in 2000-2001, the last year that Neil L. Rudenstine served as University president.
Professors who spoke at yesterday’s meeting expressed near-unanimous approval for measures aimed at increasing tenures of women.
Dean for the Humanities Maria Tatar said that while female students are present at Harvard in numbers comparable to their population in society, “women and minorities begin to vanish” when it comes to professorial positions.
While initial tenure recommendations are made by individual departments, Tatar referenced yesterday a plan announced earlier this fall through which the four divisional deans will make sure that departments are considering women and minorities throughout the hiring stages.
“There will be some reviewing” of tenure searches, Tatar said.
Jones Professor of American Stud