$1.9 Million Contract Will Go Through As Columbia, HEW Reach Agreement

The Federal government has reached an agreement with Columbia University, and will no longer delay its release of a multimillion dollar contract with the institution.

The Department of Health, Education and Welfare had held up the contract pending investigation of a complaint lodged by two campus groups that the University had violated its Affirmative Action Plan.

HEW will now definitely go through with the $1.9 million contract, Glen Waggoner, assistant vice president for Administration at Columbia, said yesterday.

The Columbia Administrative Staff Association and the Women's Affirmative Action Coalition had chared that two recent Columbia appointments were illegal, according to a report in The Columbia Spectator.

The groups contended that one appointment to an administrative position was illegal because an outside applicatnt had been accepted over many experienced Columbia administrators.


In another case, the groups said that the availability of a post had not be advertised on campus.


Columbia agreed last week to revise its proceedures for monitoring the Affirmative Action Plan, providing for more frequent reviews by the Federal agency of the University's hiring, Waggoner said. It will allow HEW to oversee the proceedures used to select a new administrator before a position is finally filled.

This will ensure that searches for administrators are non-discriminatory, and that attempts are made to inform minority groups and women of the availability of posts, Waggoner continued.

No spokesman for the Women's Coalition could be reached to comment on the changes."

Waggoner stressed that the suspension of funds was only temporary, and that Columbia was merely investigated, not held in official non-compliance with the Affirmative Action guidelines.

"The changes made had already been agreed upon internally," he said. "No adversary relation with HEW developed. We merely speeded up implementation of the changes."