Kennedy School students, who have pushed all term for more aggressive affirmative action policies, this week finally seemed to be making some progress.
Administrators decided to allow two students on each of the school's three admissions committees--one of a series of requests a students affirmative action subcommittee made last month.
Earlier in the week, school officials revealed they are close to hiring the first female associate professor in the school's history. The appointment of Education Department deputy assistant secretary Mary Jo Bane, an associate professor on leave from the Ed School would be effective spring term.
Administrators downplayed each action, noting that students had been members of one admissions committee until 1979, and that Bane, while at the Ed School, had already taught a K-School mini-course.
Lori A. Forman, who chairs the student affirmative action unit, said she is "surprised with the immediacy" of the move. Her committee had requested student membership last month among its affirmative action demands--which included the hiring of a full-time recruiter for minorities, and a day-long mandatory seminar for faculty on institutional racism and sexism.
Bane, who today leaves the moribund Education Department--where she called herself a "lame-duck bureaucrat"--reserved comment on those demands for now. "I don't know the internal structure of the Kennedy School, so I'd rather not comment" on the students' sweeping recommendations, she said.
But, told she will be the highest-ranking female faculty member in the school's history, she said simply, "I think that's too bad."
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