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Playing the numbers games

Remedies for social inequities


Application fervor

A record 11,258 people applied to enter the Harvard-Radcliffe Class of '81 this year, but the number of blacks applying dropped 8.5 per cent to 609. Minority applications as a whole rose, however, largely because of a 33 per cent increase in the number of Asian-Americans applying.

Two boys for every girl

The Class of '81 will hold Harvard's record for the lowest male-to-female ratio ever, with 1.8 men for every woman admitted to the class.

The statistics earned the admissions office a great deal of praise from everyone for its smooth implementation of the sex-blind equalaccess policy adopted by the College two years ago.

You don't need a Ph.D. to know which way the wind blows

Applications to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences declined again this year, at least partly because the job outlook for Ph.D's. is horrendous.

And the GSAS has adopted a new technique for chastising unqualified applicants: rejection letters that stress the fact that the person should never have applied at all. And don't try it again, buddy.

Professional decline

Following a national trend, applications to Harvard's professional schools declined or leveled off this year, after rising steadily for the last three years. The "new mood" theorists aren't going to like this, kids.

Static progress

The annual report on affirmative action at Harvard reported that while there has been progress in hiring women and minority group members in some areas, in others, the situation has remained level or deteriorated. The report was called a "status report" rather than a "progress report" for the first time--an indication, apparently, of just what the overall picture looks like.

Quality, if not quantity

The Business School decided that it wasn't having any trouble with minority applications, so the school dropped its special minority admissions program this year. The number of minority students admitted for next year remained level, but B-School administrators say their qualifications are better.

Last-minute action

For a while, as minority applications to the Med School dipped in the fall, it looked as if the controversy sparked last spring over an of Bacterial Physiology, charging that the Med School lowered its standards for minority School lowered its standards for minority students, would have lasting effects. Some last minute recruiting brought the figures up to their normal level, however.

In ivy towers

Harvard's Asian-Americans petitioned the University this year for official recognition as a minority group. Although the Department of Health, Education and Welfare does give Asian-Americans minority status, the University argued that the group is already adequately represented in the community here, and refused the request.

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