Presidents Bok and Horner this week refused to join 19 other college presidents who signed a telegram to President Nixon supporting the controversial affirmative action program.
Opposing the length rather than the content of the one-sentence statement. Horner and Bok both said they are sending Nixon letters of their own supporting the Federal program to end discrimination against women and minorities on university faculties.
Horner said the statement sounded "innocuous." She is a member of the ad hoc group of New England female professors and college administrators which drafted the telegram in November at Hampshire College. "Car troubles" en route kept her from the meeting.
Bok said this week he "went to great pains to write a thoughtful analysis" of his position in a two or three page letter he sent to Nixon last month. "I think you can have more of an impact by arguing the issues rather than just signing a statement." he explained.
The affirmative action program has been under heavy attack from male professors and administrators who claim that Federal pressure to end discriminatory hiring patterns against women and minorities will result in "reverse discrimination" against white males. Jews or other groups.
But Robert Smith '62, director for higher education in the Office for Civil Rights, said yesterday that personnel changes at HEW will influence the future of affirmative action much more than lobbying, telegrams or letters.