The New Gen Ed Lottery System, Explained
Armed Individuals Sighted in Harvard Square Arraigned
Harvard Students Form Coalition Supporting Slave Photo Lawsuit's Demands
Police Apprehend Armed Man and Woman in Central Square
107 Faculty Called for Review of Tenure Procedures in Letter to Dean Gay
The article "Council Urges Harvard to Cut Ties to Irresponsible Firms" (News. April 6) left out the key point of the divestment bill that passed through the UC on Monday night: the reasons Harvard shouldn't be investing in the corporations of Exxon, Chevron, Mobil, Texaco and Shell.
Students, faculty, alumni, and now the Undergraduate Council are calling for divestment because these companies are part of the Global Climate Coalition, an industry group working to undermine the broad scientific consensus that human induced global warming is a threat to human health and the environment and are severely violating human rights in Nigeria
The GCC is actively obstructing government actions that would curb global climate change, including the Senate ratification of the Kyoto Protocal, an international agreement that would obligate the United States to limit emissions of greenhouse gases. Calling for divestment demands that these companies stop funding the GCC, stop obstructing actions that would curb global warming and start implementing responsible solutions to global climate change.
Several years ago, the Undergraduate Council passed a resolution calling for divestment from the oil companies with operations in Nigeria due to the human rights violations being committed in this country. Renewing the call for divestment from Shell Oil and other oil corporations operating in Nigeria sends the message to these companies to begin involving local citizens in the Niger Delta Region in the decision making processes of oil extraction, and to uphold financial, social, and environmental responsibility to these same communities.
Frank J. Gorke
April 6, 1999
Harvard Hypocrisy on ROTC
To the current debate regarding whether or not to support a return to campus of ROTC (News, April 5), please allow me to add further considerations.
Whether one likes it or not, military service remains in this country a major conduit to power. For a great university to absent itself from injecting into the mix its own ideas and values is a gross neglect of duty and is a disservice to the nation.
Contrary to common assumption, ROTC is not mainly a refuge for the economically disadvantaged, but rather a path for those who seek to oversee and influence millions of dollars, service-members, voters, or what have you. For many, military service fulfills some inchoate, societal obligation and reflects honor upon the individual and the individual's family and associates.
Reflect upon this: Is Harvard a leader? Is Harvard in the business of producing leaders? Why then would Harvard recoil from producing 'certain' leaders? If the Harvard community objects to the values and ideals of a particular segment of authority, shouldn't it, rather than abrogating its influence, seek to make louder its say? Disagree with current military thinking? Change it!
Seize the opportunity to indoctrinate future leaders with all the tenets and philosophies inherent in a liberal education.
If one truly has faith in the innate rightness and righteousness of a broad, liberal arts education and its ability to deliver truth even to the most unenlightened, does it not follow that the proper course is to dispatch as many missionaries as possible, even into war, wilderness and the lions' den?
David J. Risgin
New Haven, April 7, 1999
Support Our Army Here Too
I find it ironic that many of the same people who support sending 18- to 22-year-old American ground forces to fight and die in Kosovo also argue that they can not support the return of ROTC to campus because it makes certain 18- to 22-year-old Harvard students "feel uncomfortable." The self-righteous arrogance of the ivory tower never ceases to amaze.
John H. Whitehouse III '99
April 8, 1999
MIT Not Alone in Discrimination Problems
Carol Thompson, Harvard's Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, was reported to have stated that Harvard does not have the same discrimination problems as MIT (News, March 23). How does Thompson know? The Committee for the Equality of Women at Harvard (CEWH), an activist alumnae group, has repeatedly requested that Harvard produce a meaningful report on the status of women other than the federally mandated Affirmative Action plan. Harvard has ignored the request. The fact is that despite the occasional lawsuit or letter of protest by faculty women, no one at Harvard has been willing to investigate the possibility of discrimination.
While the number of tenured faculty women has been slowly increasing in recent years, the current figures remain disheartening. As reported by Elizabeth Doherty, only 58 out of 433 tenured faculty, or 13.4 percent are women. Some of the discrepancy occurs because of the low turnover of professorships, which means that there are relatively few vacancies, but this is an insufficient explanation. Dean of the Faculty, Jeremy Knowles, in a meeting with CEWH members suggested that there were not enough top women in the pipeline. In fact, in many fields the pipeline is overflowing.
CEWH believes that the dearth of women faculty is attributable to Harvard's failure to broaden recruitment efforts. CEWH has suggested to President Rudenstine that Harvard's results do not reflect availability. We have pointed out that it would be reasonable to assume that candidates would be in the availability pool ten to 15 years after the Ph.D. Given that women earn close to 50 percent of the Ph.D.s in the social sciences and humanities, we would expect that this percentage would be reflected in the number of new tenured women faculty.
For ladder faculty, availability is normally one to four years after the Ph.D. Since women are just as likely as men to earn their degrees from prestigious universities and since studies have shown that there is no discernible difference in the amount or quality of publications, it is difficult to find any explanation for the dearth of women other than discrimination.
While it is not possible to get figures on individual salaries, a report of the American Association of University Professors showed that in 1995-6, women's salaries at the full professor level at Harvard were 88 percent of men's, the actual difference between male and female full professors being $13,200.
A comparison of Harvard with other elite institutions including Yale, Princeton and Johns Hopkins showed that all institutions paid women less than men, but women's salaries at Harvard were the lowest relative to men's.
We cannot report on the kinds of subtle discrimination that were uncovered at MIT because Harvard has not been willing to study the facts as MIT did. CEWH established an escrow account to which approximately 2,000 alumni/ae have donated money that is being held until Harvard takes some appropriate steps to ensure women's equality. Such steps have not been taken, and we are now forced to explore alternative uses for the money.
We hope that Associate Dean Carol Thompson will document her statement that Harvard does not have the same discrimination problems as MIT. If she is unable to do so, then Harvard owes it to students and alumni/ae to investigate and take action now.
Ann R. Shapiro '58
March 20, 1999
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