Matina S. Horner, president of Radcliffe, told a group of students at Quincy House yesterday that "the issue of merger is one of the least important problems confronting Radcliffe now."
Speaking at a luncheon in the Senior Common Room, Horner said that she is less concerned about working for a merger than "making opportunities at Harvard equally accessable to men and women."
"A single admissions department won't guarantee that men and women will have equal access in getting into Harvard," she added. She said she would like to see the admissions officers remain separate until different standards for male and female applicants are clearly defined.
Earlier this year Horner asked the Harvard and Radcliffe admissions offices to apply their own formulas for admission to each other's applicant pools. The experiment has not been completed, but Horner said that she hoped it would establish the different criteria used by the two departments.
Horner explained that she did not want equal access to mean applying the same standards to men and women applicants, "because the process would be inherently unequal."
She said that although a Harvard and Radcliffe applicant may be equally talented, "a female will be first violin in her high school orchestra, while a male may play in a symphony." "The weight that Harvard admissions gives to athletes would also be unfair to women," she added.
The group discussed the results of several studies that have been made on women in careers. Horner said that she was disturbed to see that the number of women receiving PhD.s has decreased since World War II.
"If men are going to adjust to working with women and having women as bosses in the outside world, then they must be accustomed to having women professors in college," she said.
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