WHEN A NEW administration takes office in an atmosphere of high expectations, its first year generally closes on a sour note of fturstrated hopes, even a sense of betrayal. By the middle of its second year, however, it has a better feel for the lay of the land and has learned from its early mistakes. Then, once its newness has worn off, it can settle down to its business. So it is with Radcliffe.
This Fall Radcliffe enters its second year under President Horner's leadership, sporting a new look in its upper echelons. Structurally it is now minus two offices, plus two new ones and plus even more new faces. On balance, the new lineup completes a transition from the days when Mary I. Bunting was president to the era of Horner's tenure. The new group will lead Radcliffe toward fulfilling the many roles it has claimed for itself.
Horner's concerns run the gamut of issues affecting women and are hardly limited to the fate of female undergraduates at Harvard. Last year she had to wrestle with more general problems of Radcliffe's budget and of the 1971 non-merger contract defining the Harvard-Radcliffe relationship. Yet she also found time to initiate several privately-funded research projects she hopes will have national repercussions. Her lack of public visibility left many women confused by her priorities and disappointed by her performance. The deluge of new appointments over the spring and summer, however, reveals more clearly what Horner has in mind for Radcliffe.
Most significant for Radcliffe students is her new Office of Admissions, Financial Aid and Women's Education. The "office" is actually embodied in a person, its dean, who will coordinate the functions of three separate directors working under her.
Last Spring the Harvard Corporation appointed Alberta B. Arthurs, formerly an associate professor of English at Rutgers, dean of the three part post. Working with her as director of admissions is Mary Ann Schwalbe '55, who has worked in the office for the last eight years. Sylvia T. Simmons will continue as director of Financial Aid and as an associate dean of admissions. The Office of Women's Education (OWE) is the competely new component in Arthurs's office. As yet it has no director, although a search committee has been interviewing candidates for several months. Arthurs said last week that she hopes the new director will be at work by the end of this month.
In other areas of the Radcliffe administration, the new appointments include Patricia M. King at the Schlesinger Library and Charlotte Davis as director of a new Radcliffe office of Program Development. Susan S. Lyman, Chairman of the Radcliffe Board of Trustees, has been serving as acting dean of the Radcliffe Institute since June and will continue to do so until a permanent dean for the Institute is found. In fact, the dean's post at the Institute and the directorship of OWE are the only appointments still unfilled.
ARTHUR'S POSITION makes her a key person in the Radcliffe administration. She will be executing many of Horner's projects and supplying the Radcliffe governing boards with much of the concrete data that will figure in their decisions concerning the Harvard-Radcliffe relationship.
In addition to her Radcliffe responsibilities, Arthurs will sit on the Administrative Board and the Faculty Committee on Educational Policy. The English department has given her a courtesy appointment and this Fall she will teach an undergraduate seminar, "The Country House in English Literature."
Radcliffe is new turf for Arthurs and she has enthusiasm and ideas aplenty. Like Horner, Arthurs stresses that her office is not meant to duplicate existing Harvard agencies. "I am committed to the idea of utilizing Harvard's resources for all students," she said in an interview last week. "We shouldn't be seriously separatist but should work in the broader community to force and challenge the available sources to work their damnedest for women."
Although many projects she plans for the OWE will have to wait until after the appointment of its director. Arthurs said that the office will function as an "ongoing, undramatic, insistent and assertive advocacy group for women." She explained that the OWE will work on small investigative projects and liaison efforts to "identify the points where women can exert pressure on the University."
Arthurs said that when she assumed her post on August 1, she expected the admissions office to occupy a small part of her time. Six weeks later, she has found that all three offices to be equally demanding. In fact, she has begun to feel that admissions is a touchstone for dealing with all the questions in her purview.
"I really didn't guess at the magnitude of questions arising out of the admissions procedure. They key into central administrative questions about the size of the college, the size of different departments," she said. Accordingly, she said, many of her studies will involve both the offices of admissions and of women's education.
ONE OF OWE'S initial projects will be a study of the distribution of women in academic concentrations, and of how departments in which women are under-represented treat their female members. Arthurs said that her office will work closely with secondary schools to encourage women with natural aptitude in mathematics, economics and the natural sciences to pursue their interests. Simultaneously. Arthurs said, the office will work with Harvard departments so that (1) female applicants with these interests will choose Harvard over colleges such as Stanford or Yale which already have special programs, and (2) once here, they will continue in non-traditional areas of concentration.
Despite this increased emphasis on pre-admissions recruiting. Arthurs said that Radcliffe is not moving to a point where a potential science major has an edge over an applicant interested in English.
"It is a very ambitious scheme but it is important if we are going to persuade the departments that we can 'woman' them with students," she said. "It is a question of bringing both the students and the departments together, and in this sense, we will be acting as a special agency for women."
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