A report on the status of women's sports teams at Harvard will be presented to the Standing Faculty Committee on Athletics around the end of the academic year, a committee member said yesterday.
Last Thursday, the committee convened for a regular meeting, according to member Howard A. Stone, who is McKay Associate Professor of Applied Mechanics. Among other topics, the committee discussed women's athletics at Harvard.
A similar report given to the standing committee two years ago demonstrated that the total amount of money Harvard gives to its men's teams was more twice as much as the funds allocated to women. Some claimed the report showed Harvard to be in violation of Title IX, part of a 1972 law which guarantees "equal athletic opportunity for members of both sexes."
After the contents of the report were made public, Harvard announced a program to increase the resources available for some women's teams.
Senior officials in the athletic department, including Senior Associate Director of Athletics Patricia W. Henry, have not returned repeated phone calls or have refused to comment for this story.
Harvard currently supports 21 men's teams and 20 women's teams, more than any other university.
"As far as I can tell, Harvard makes a serious effort to provide for its students equally," Stone said.
Women's basketball coach Kathy Delaney Smith said she has found the resources allocated for her basketball players to be sufficient.
"If more money is given to the men, I'm not missing it," she said. "My needs are being met."
Nevertheless, some women's coaches see disparities between women and men's sports, Delaney Smith said. For example, many women's teams lack strong programs of "friends," alumni and others who frequently donate to individual teams.
"There are so many facets of equity that some may perceive it's equal and some may not," Delaney Smith said.
Athletes at dozens of schools, including three Ivy League universities, have filed legal claims alleging that their colleges failed to provide the benefits mandated by Title IX.
This week, Brown will respond to claims of discrimination by women athletes in the U.S. District court.
"This case will set a precedent," Delaney Smith said. "Schools will sit up and pay attention, finally."