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OCR Officer Will Not Sign Harvard Compliance Report

By Nicole Seligman

The assistant director of the Boston Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has refused to sign a long-awaited report on Harvard's compliance with affirmative action guidelines, claiming that it does not reflect a verbal summary he received from its authors.

Robert Randolph said yesterday he is dissatisfied with the report, which should be released within six weeks, because "it does not communicate what it is supposed to."

"I've been told one thing, but the report does not communicate that," he said.

Some Difficulties

Although the compliance report, written after a team from the OCR visited Harvard several times last spring, indicates there are some difficulties with Harvard's compliance, Randolph said there are no "blatant problems."

Randolph declined to comment further on the report, but sources said yesterday the initial report, written by a team headed by Walter A. Patterson '61, did not adequately discuss the issue of non-teaching employees.

"When they came in, they came looking at the Faculty--the issues raised by Sherman Holcombe and others, such as promotions, will be either not addressed or will be addressed in a very minor way," one source said.

Walter J. Leonard, the University's affirmative action officer, Phyllis Keller, the Faculty's affirmative action officer, and President Bok were unavailable for comment last night.

Fred Houn '79, spokesman for the Task Force on Affirmative Action, which last March sponsored a demonstration marking the presence of the compliance team and protesting Harvard's alleged discriminatory practices, said yesterday he thinks changes recommended by the report will be "cosmetic ones."


There will probably be some points made about the Faculty, he said, but added that he thinks the issue of "non-teaching employees will be a whitewash."

The report has been delayed periodically since the OCR team, a division of the federal Department of Health Education and Welfare, visited the University.

Houn said he believes the office is "sitting on their hands waiting for major revisions to come out--the final recommendations for changes in affirmative action."

Final Approval

Although final approval of the OCR report must come from John D. Bynoe, director of the OCR regional office, before it is presented to Harvard, Randolph said "once I have signed off on it, he basically signs it."

Randolph has discussed his dissatisfaction with the authors of the report, but he said he has not yet formally written to them of his objections.

Randolph also said the written word of the report needs to be reworked, explaining that "a lot in the report does not say anything."

He added that it is also very long. "It does not need to be a third as long as it is," he said.

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