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HEW Accepts Columbia Plan And Thaws Contract Freeze

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The Department of Health. Education and Welfare has lifted the freeze on Federal contracts that is imposed on Columbia University on February 14. The freeze resulted from Columbia's failure to submit a satisfactory Affirmative Action Plan to HEW.

An Affirmative Action Plan is an outline of university policy in hiring and promotion of women and minority group members, at present and in the future.

Columbia submitted an interim Affirmative Action Plan on February 24. HEW found this plan acceptable, and lifted the contract freeze pending Columbia's submission of its final Affirmative Action Plan on April 6. HEW also halted legal action that it had initiated against Columbia.

In a related development. Princeton University released the Affirmative Action Plan which it submitted to HEW on March 3. Although HEW will not announce its decision on the plan for several weeks, William R. Ballentine. HEW's Regional Director for Civil Rights, has praised Princeton for its "innovative and positive steps" in the admissions policy of the graduate school and the hiring of construction workers.

In a January review of Princeton's compliance with the goals of HEW Ballentine cited a lack of women and minority-group members in the physical and social sciences and in non-academic positions, and salary inequities between men and women.

Princeton's Affirmative Action Plan includes a provision that if an academic department fills a vacancy with a white male, it must write a report showing how he is superior to the best-qualified woman and minority-group candidate.

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