The Sacrifice of Isaac


When an ad hoc committee recommended last spring that Eileen J. Southern, lecturer on Afro-American Studies, be given a joint tenured post in Afro--a move that made her appointment all but official--it seemed that the controversy over the tenuring process for Afro had been defused.

However, that assumption proved to be false this week when the Fulltime Faculty Committee on Afro released a report asking President Bok to disregard the ad hoc committee's work.

Though the report gave full support to the tenure recommendation for Southern, it alleged that Ephraim Isaac, an associate professor of Afro to whom the ad hoc committee denied tenure, had never seriously been considered because of instructions given to the committee to consider only those candidates proposed for a joint post or who were interested in becoming the department's chairman.

Isaac, who had been proposed for a position solely in Afro and had expressed no interest in becoming the department's chairman, did not fit into any of the categories for ad hoc consideration, the report alleges.

When questioned about the report last week, Dean Rosovsky said that he found some "serious inaccuracies" in it and that "it is simply untrue" that the ad hoc committee members were instructed to consider only candidates for joint appointment.

Rosovsky said that in addition, the report's assertion that the Faculty is interested only in finding joint appointments for Afro is incorrect.

"We have always contemplated both joint appointments and appointments emanating from Afro," he said.

No one instructed the ad hoc members to recommend only those candidates interested in becoming chairman of Afro, he added.

The reason that Afro was not allowed to make the nominations for permanent posts in the department, as is normally the case, Rosovsky said, is because "tenure decision have to be made by tenured people" and Afro had only one tenured person, Eward Guinier '33, chairman of Afro.

Rosovsky disagreed with the Afro committee's demand to discount the ad hoc proceedings and its feeling that Isaac was treated fairly. "Issac was considered by the established rules" and procedures of the University he said.

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