K-School Protest Centers On Faculty

Students Bemoan Lack of Diversity

Rallying amidst drumbeats and applause, 300 Kennedy School of Government students protested the lack of faculty diversity and demanded action yesterday in the Arco Forum.

Students charged that the school has failed to meet its aim of tenuring three minority and three women faculty, a goal the administration conceived of in response to a 1990 Department of Labor citation for failure to comply with affirmative action guidelines.

"They told Martin Luther King Jr. to wait until it was more practical, more reasonable, more feasi- ble," said Robert S. Richardson, a second-yearstudent.

"But if he had waited, I'd still be sitting onthe back of the bus and coming in here in the backdoor as one of the janitors and cafeteria staff,which seems to be the only place this school candiversify," continued Richardson, one of the fivestudent speakers.

Second-year student Laurel M. MacLaren toldrally attendants that "I think the administrationcan be characterized as dragging their feet."

Currently, there are no tenured minorityfaculty and only one tenured woman professor, MaryJo Bane, who is on leave this year.


One demonstrator suggested that Kennedy Schoolstudents should withhold 5 percent of theirtuition for 30 days in order to force the schoolto act. About 50 participants indicated by a showof hands that they would be willing to withholdtuition.

Through tuition-withholding and protest, somestudents said they hope to remind the school ofits obligation to serve their needs.

"This is a service organization that hasforgotten its mission...We are its constituents,"said Richardson, a member of the steeringcommittee of the Coalition for Diversity.

MacLaren said she would have participationforms for the tuition-withholding plan instudents' mail boxes by Monday.

The tuition-withholding idea was offered inresponse to frustration expressed earlier by somestudents that the rally would have no effect onthe school's administration.

A Cuban-American second-year student said, "Noone's going to do anything. We can take all thedamn surveys we want, but what is that going todo?"

In an interview yesterday, Academic Dean DavidT. Ellwood said the Kennedy School is trying tomeet student concerns and its own stated goals.

"We've made some very good offers in recentyears," said Ellwood, who sits on the Dean'sCommittee on Faculty Diversity, but added thatattracting minorities is very competitive.

The school made 16 offers last year, only sixof which were to white males, according toEllwood.

The Dean's Committee on Faculty Diversity wasformed by Kennedy School Dean Albert Carnesalelast year as a result of a dialogue betweenstudents and the administration. The committeewill begin to meet next week.

"We're working on it to make it [facultydiversity] happen... I believe in this. It's oneif the reasons I took the job," said Ellwood, whois a Wiener professor of public policy.

The rally ended with a "The Kennedy SchoolRally Song" to the tune of "The BeverlyHillbillies."

One hundred students sang, "If the K-School isthe leader,/ Things are really looking low,/ Itstime we took some action,/ To let the publicknow.

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