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The HEW Zeroes in on the GSD


By Steven Luxenberg

The University's affirmative action plan for hiring women and minorities first returned to the spotlight this week when the Department of Health. Education and Welfare ordered the Graduate School of Design to end discrimination in its faculty hiring practices.

HEW released a nine-point report that calls for the University to establish "goals and timetables" and "standards and criteria" to increase the representation of women on the GSD faculty.

HEW first began its investigation of the GSD in July 1971 after receiving a complaint from Franziska P. Hosken, a 1944 alumna of the School. Hosken contended that two applications to the GSD in 1970 and 1971 were ignored, although her qualifications made her eligible for several teaching positions.

Until this Fall, the Design School had only two women faculty members. Five more were added for 1972-73, although there is no indication that the GSD followed any written criteria in selecting them. One new faculty member M. Christine Boyer, assistant professor of City and Regional Planning says she first learned of her GSD appointment from an MIT faculty member.

Maurice D. Kilbridge, dean of the GSD, promised the GSD Committee on the Status of Women last Spring that lists of qualified women eligible for faculty appointment would be compiled by each department. Kilbridge also said that each department would organize search committees for pursuing the women named on the lists.

Although Kilbridge maintains that these procedures have been implemented, one committee member says that Kilbridge has never produced the lists or identified which faculty members serve on the search committee.

Although the University is still negotiating the affirmative action plan with HEW--there is considerable disagreement over "goals and timetables"--HEW says the GSD inadvertantly established a written criteria when Kilbridge released a statement detailing the reasons Hosken wasn't hired. Robert Randolph, head of the HEW investigating team, said this week that HEW will use Kilbridge's letter as the GSD's temporary written criteria for hiring women.

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