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In a paradoxical series of events last week at the Divinity School, financial difficulties moved the school's women's program toward unwelcome budget cuts, despite the widespread support for the program expressed by students, faculty and the dean proposing the cutback.
Krister Stendahl, dean of the Divinity School, last week supported a resolution urging the continuation of the full program, the only such project at Harvard. The resolution was passed by the faculty, and strongly supported by student meetings and petitions.
But he also recommended that the office of coordinator of the program be abolished for budgetary reasons.
The move is very similar to his proposal last spring that only two of five proposed research associates be hired to teach under the program's auspices.
Last spring, after the students and faculty objected to the cuts, the dean finally decided to hire five people.
This year's proposal, a response to the school's $21,000 deficit in fiscal 1976, may in effect end the program, M. Brinton Lykes, the program's coordinator, said last week. She added that it is being cut because of the women's program status as a special feature of the curriculum--a feature which is generally considered marginal.
Stendahl, who agrees that the cut will weaken the program he helped to start, said last week that it was chosen merely because the untenured coordinator's contract happened to end this year, in a period of financial difficulties.
Whatever the dean's motivation, the school's current financial situation may make a repeat of last spring's last-minute salvation of the program impossible.
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