DESPITE the University's recent decisions to tenure two female professors, Harvard's affirmative action efforts seem to be flagging. Eight of Harvard's 10 faculties employ two or fewer women, and seven of those faculties employ two or fewer minorities. Ten of Harvard's 20 administrative departments employ no minorities in managerial positions and all of the university's administrative clerical departments are more than 60 percent female.
Although Harvard has made a concerted policy to comply with federal affirmative action standards, this commitment seems not to have borne fruit. Officials assert that they are up against new and more stringent barriers in their recruitment of minority and female candidates for tenured and managerial positions. They note that star-systems at other universities make minority and female candidates harder to woo, and point to career trends moving consistently away from education. Unfortunately, these problems have fostered a kind of complacency in many parts of the University with many officials feeling that the times justify a lack of effort. We do not doubt the University's good faith in affirmative action, but we must caution greatly against this complacency.
Harvard must develop a new and more rigorous recruiting policy for tenured and managerial positions across the board. If there are minority applicants, however entrenched they seem in other positions, they must still be actively recruited, whether the chance of success is high or not. Relatively few minorities and women occupy important positions in this university and, if Harvard appears to be lax in its recruiting efforts, an already limited sense of community will be even more seriously undermined. Such laxity will also prey on the recruitment of minority students, already slowing in recent years.
When the latest affirmative action results came out; there was a strange complacency in the University. Although the report showed Harvard very seriously behind in its affirmative action efforts, there was little University comment until the Association of Black Faculty and Administrators began to take notice. We applaud the Association's efforts and hope that they will encourage the University to revamp its affirmative action policy and check a dangerous decline in its once hopeful affirmative action efforts.