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HEW Officer Says Enforcement Of Minority Hiring Is Lagging


The Federal Government's program to enforce equal hiring and promotion opportunities for women and minorities on college faculties is "losing ground" to a growing rhetorical backlash from male faculty members and administrators, the director of the Office for Civil Rights said Wednesday.

J. Stanley Pottinger '62, whose office in HEW is responsible for enforcing affirmative action programs, said he has not been able to destroy "the myth" that the program would result in reverse discrimination against male professors. He also disclosed that his office is investigating 15 such complaints from male faculty.

However, in responding to Pottinger's comments, President Bok said yesterday, "Every year we have had more women and minority members on the Faculty. It's not 'losing ground' here, nor have I suggested so in rhetoric."

Grumblings From Harvard

Bok also said that none of these complaints have come from Harvard faculty. "I have heard second-hand some reports of grumblings from assistant professors, but I have received no complaints or protests," he said.

Pottinger also accused many college administrators Wednesday of privately promising to support HEW's efforts but publicly failing to defend the program.

Bok, in response, said yesterday that it was not his usual policy to issue public statements on government programs and that Pottinger had not asked him to do so in this case.

He also disclosed that he has had Walter J. Leonard, special assistant to the President respond to inquiries by three Congressmen into the implementation of the Federal program.

In a September letter to Congressman Benjamin S. Rosenthal, Leonard flatly denied that the program has resulted in reverse discrimination at Harvard. "We think that such remarks are unfounded and come basically from those who may have less than all the facts concerning the ways by which equal opportunity must be pursued," he wrote.

Under the affirmative action program, colleges and universities holding con- tracts with the Federal Government, of which Harvard has over $60 million worth, must survey their personnel lists for imbalances in the hiring of women and minorities in comparison to white males.

The schools must submit to HEW an acceptable affirmative action plan under which the school promises to take positive steps to seek out qualified women and minority-group members. The plan must include "target figures" for hiring from these groups

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