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President Neil L. Rudenstine appointed James F. Hoyte '65, former state secretary of environmental affairs, as Harvard's new affirmative action coordinator yesterday.
Hoyte, 48, will assume the post of associate vice president for equal opportunity and affirmative action on November 1. The post has been filled by an acting coordinator since Hoyte's predecessor Ronald Quincy stepped down last year.
In his new position, Hoyte said, he plans to develop programs with the help of other administrators and faculty to attract and hire women and minorities.
Hoyte, a graduate of the Law School and the Business School and a member of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association, said he plans to attract existing talent to the Faculty and administration and to encourage women and minorities to pursue academic careers.
"We must prime the pump or increase the pipeline," said Hoyte. "I think Harvard ought to take a leadership position in identifying programs that encourage women and minorities to join academic institutions and take academic positions."
Joining the administration at a time of continued student protests for faculty diversity at the Law School and the University, Hoyte said his approach to easing tension is "first trying to understand the particular situation and spending time with all the parties involved."
"It's important to understand all the perspectives of the issue, looking at the administration's past response in addressing this issue and considering the reasons for its success or lack of success," Hoyte said. "I don't think that there are any ready-made solutions to the problem."
In a prepared statement, Rudenstine lauded Hoyte's experience in reforming programs in government institutions.
"James Hoyte is a person of serious commitment and great integrity who has a rare ability to bring people of diverse views together on a wide range of problems," said Rudenstine.
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