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Women's Faculty Group Mails Report on Women To Members of Faculty

By Carol R. Sternhell

The Women's Faculty Group (WFG)-created last December-has mailed to every member of the Faculty a preliminary report on the status of women at Harvard.

The report, prepared at the request of Dean Dunlop, proposes the creation of a Faculty committee to study the status of women in the Faculty, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS), and the Administration.

The report also formulates a series of questions that such a committee might deal with.

"There's a great difference between asking 'Is there a problem?' and asking 'What can we do about the problem?'," Carolyn W. Bynum, assistant professor of History and a member of the WFG steering committee, said yesterday. "At Harvard in the past four months there has been a change from asking the first question to asking the second."

WFG representatives first asked Dunlop to appoint the committee in January, Mrs. Bynum said. At that time Dunlop requested a memorandum-presented to him by the group on March 11-documenting the need for such a committee.

Dunlop has not yet officially replied to WFG's request. However, Mrs. Bynum said that he met last week with three members of the WFG steering committee and "expressed interest" in the proposed committee.

"At present women are regarded as exceptional in the Faculty, not as a normal and permanent component of the Harvard scene," the report-written by the eight-woman steering committee-states. "The fact that women do not reach the highest positions in the Administration contributes further to the impression that at Harvard women cannot expect to attain rewards commensurate with their abilities and training."

The report points out that there are at present no women full or associate professors on the Faculty. Beginning on July 1, 1970, one woman full professor will hold the Zemurray-Stone Radeliffe Professorship, established specifically for women.

There are 441 male full professors.

Of women holding positions in the Administration, the report continues, only 8.1 per cent are in the highest ranks (dean, associate and assistant deans, directors, and associate and assistant directors). Twenty-eight per cent of male administrative employees are in the highest ranks.

"A general impression exists among women that they are paid less than men

at the same administrative level," the report adds. "The feeling persists even where the titles are equivalent ... the impression is so widespread that it should be either proved or disproved."

The report suggests several factors that may be important in the effort to increase the number of women on the Faculty:

mechanisms of recruitment, established many years ago for the recruitment of male academics, may prevent the identification of possible candidates for appointment;

stereotyped opinions of the female role prevent Faculty members from recognizing that changing career/family patterns now make it possible for more women to engage in full-time academic careers:

institutional changes such as part-time appointments would further increase the number of qualified women who could pursue academic careers.

"It must be emphasized, however, that women should not be assigned automatically to part-time positions," the report adds.

GSAS women, the report charges, "feel that, because of their sex, every stage of graduate education is more difficult for them: admission to graduate school, competition for financial aid and teaching fellowships, and especially job placement."

The recommended committee-as proposed by WFG-would include two female Faculty members, two male Faculty members, one female research associate or fellow, two administrators (one male, one female), one female graduate student, one Radcliffe undergraduate, and one Harvard undergraduate.

"The Women's Faculty Group hopes that wide distribution of its preliminary report will stimulate individual departments to examine whether their recruitment procedures are functioning to locate and hire qualified female scholars," Mrs. Bynum said.

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