Trying to Make The Bad Look Better


The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences did not fare well in minority admissions compared to three other eastern graduate schools, but with the addition this year of a minority recruiter and an organized recruiting program, officials at the GSAS say they hope to do better.

A Crimson survey this week showed Columbia University, Yale University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate schools all offering a greater percentage of places to blacks in their 1974-75 entering classes than Harvard did.

In addition, Harvard had the smallest percentage of black applicants in the total applicant pool, apparently because the GSAS did not engage in the same degree of active recruitment as the other schools.

Of the 854 students admitted to this year's GSAS class, only 25 were black. Eighty of the 1100 persons admitted to MIT's graduate school were black; Columbia admitted 66 blacks, while offering places to a total of 1058 persons.

Following the disclosure of the statistics, Harvard administrators acknowledged concern over the small number of black admissions to the school, and said they are relying on a sixth-year graduate student to improve the situation.


Phillip T. Gay, who last spring was named the minority recruiter for the GSAS, said this week that his major task would be to "generate a greater number of applications from black candidates" and increase the size of the black applicant pool.

Gay said, however, and GSAS administrative dean Peter S. McKinney agreed, that he cannot do the job alone. "To be truly effective, individual departments [which are ultimately responsible for admitting and denying admissions to applicants] have to be involved and the commitment has to be theirs," he said. But getting individual departments involved, Gay said, would be difficult. "Some departments have the attitude that every black admitted is a gamble, a risk you have to take by the hand and lead through," he said.