When the Indians sold the island of Manhattan to the Dutch for $24-worth of beads in the late 1600s, they got what might be called a bad deal.
But one big difference between the Indians and the Harvard administrators who have agreed to take on the full responsibility of Radcliffe undergraduate education is that the Indians did not know what the future of Manhattan would bring.
The Faculty of Harvard College knows all too well how many beads Radcliffe women are worth. They even have developed formulas to compute the future expenses they will incur.
In fact, ever since the late 1960s, when the cost of undergraduate education exceeded Radcliffe's budget, Harvard has been picking up the tabs, so the agreement signed yesterday by Presidents Bok and Horner does not present any big surprises to anyone.
The agreement might be described as a general compromise. Radcliffe alumnae will once again have the opportunity to provide graduate education for women, and Harvard no longer has to pay for it. In the exchange, Radcliffe will contribute less than half the financial aid for Radcliffe undergraduates.
The president of Radcliffe will still be consulted in managing undergraduate affairs. however.
Horner and Bok both say they are "pleased" with the new arrangement. The cloudy "non-merger, merge" deal made in 1971 caused endless headaches for both of them--especially Horner, who as the new president of Radcliffe College, did not know if she was coming or going.
Horner said this week that when she began her presidency here, she often found herself at administrative meetings without a clear role to fill.
Although she rapidly asserted herself in the policy-making decisions here, the new agreement provides clear agreement on her administrative function.
But Horner is not the only Radcliffe official who has been looking for a job. Judith Walzer, who resigned two weeks ago as Director of the Office for Women's Education (OWE), will take the post of Senior Tutor at South House next year.
Walzer said this week her decision was made by her desire to become closer to undergraduate life.
The OWE will no longer exist in the re-organized structure of the Radcliffe administration.
Patricia Graham, who also resigned several weeks ago as vice-president of Radcliffe and Director of the Radcliffe Institute said this week that she hopes to return to teach at Harvard, that she has not yet determined her final plans.
Administrative and financial agreements have little effect on the lives of undergraduates at Harvard Radcliffe women will continue to receive diplomas from Harvard, co-signed by the president of Radcliffe.
Women will also continue to be enrolled in Radcliffe as well as Harvard and tuition checks will be made out to Harvard and Radcliffe.
What pleases Radcliffe administrators and alumnae most about the new agreement is that they can now call Radcliffe an independent institution. "Radcliffe has wanted to continue its responsibility for the education of women and we will be ablso to do so," Horner said.