Tufts Discusses Alleged Sexism With the EEOC

Tufts University officials agreed last Friday to enter conciliation discussions with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to determine how Tufts will respond to EEOC charges of sex discrimination at the university.

In charges filed on March 7, the EEOC ruled that Tufts University committed sex discrimination last year when it fired one woman professor and refused to grant tenure to another. The charges also accused Tufts of Pay-scales that are discriminatory to women.

Christiane L. Joost-Gaugier '55 and Barbara E. White, former professors of Fine Arts at Tufts, contended to the EEOC that they were dismissed from their positions two years ago for reasons of sex.

Jeanne Baker, attorney for Joost-Gaugier, said Yesterday that she has been asked by the EEOC to submit requirements for resolution of the suit.

She and her client agreed to conciliate with other parties immediately after the EEOC charges were released.



However, an informed source said yesterday that Tufts has indicated only a "conditional" willingness to conciliate with plaintiffs Joost-Gautier and White.

The source said he believes the conditional acceptance is merely a "stalling device" that masks the underlying unwillingness of the university to conciliate.

If an agreement is not reached, EEOC can take Tufts to court.

The agency ruling followed a formal complaint by Joost-Gaugier which accused Tufts of engaging in discriminatory practices in promotion, hiring, salary, and reappointment.

Tufts agreed in September 1972 to reinstate the salaries but not contracts of the two women. In August 1973, however, Tufts officials decided unilaterally to terminate salaries of the two teachers without court authorization.

In a letter Monday, the Eastern Massachusetts Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) urged Tufts officials to accept conciliation plans offered by the EEOC. NOW recommended the action to Tufts President Burton C. Hallowell and members of the Board of Trustees.

No Comment

Tufts Provost Katherine A. McCarthy yesterday refused comment on the conciliation proceedings.

Robert Glass, attorney for Tufts, also declined Monday to acknowledge a Tufts compromise.

Everett E. Ware, director of the EEOC, also said this week that by federal statute he could not comment on the conciliation proceedings.

The Tufts case is the first in the Boston area in which EEOC has found "reasonable cause" to believe sex discrimination exists in institutions of higher educations