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December 09, 1971 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1971-12-09

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ht £ir4igan Dailij
Eighty-one years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

Combating sexism on campus

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorials printed in T,hhe Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.




'U' and HEW: A year after

THE UNIVERSITY has been charged during the past year with
implementing an affirmative action program adopted after
the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare demanded a
corrective plan against sex discrimination in employment practices.
Last month, however, University women filed a formal com-
plaint with the Department of Labor, claiming the University
is acting in "bad faith" concerning the plan, and that the plan
itself is "distorted, confused, and deficient."
The articles on this page examine some of the issues involved
in the current dispute over sexism in hiring at the University.
RUTH BENSON is president of the Connecticut chapter of
the Women's Equity Action League (WEAL), a group of profes-
sional women which is sponsoring a petition drive asking the
dissolution of the American Council for Education's advisory
board to HEW, of which President Robben Fleming is a member.
GAYE CROUCH is president of PROBE - the coalition of
University women which filed the recent charges - and is also
national coordinator for University compliance for the National
Organization of Women.
VIRGINIA NORDIN is the chairwoman of the University's
Commission for Women.
..:::"..:.Y:: r:." ::l . . !r :..:C:::'i:i:::t:4..".......: r:::ti Y '

A YEAR AGO this week, the Univer-
sity entered into a shotgun com-
mitment toward ending discrimination
against women in its employment prac-
tices. Threatened by the government
with non-eligibility for federal con-
tracts, University administrators sub-
mitted a detailed affirmative action
program to the Department of Health,
Education and Welfare.
Although the program was termed
"historic" by the Nixon administration,
local women's groups were wary. They
suggested that the goals and timetables
for its implementation would not bring
the percentage of women employes on
campus sup to minimal nationalfigures,
-- much. less, deal with the more subtle
types of employment discrimination.
But they were willing to wait and
see whether significant improvements
would be made by the University.
LAST WEEK, they stopped waiting. In
a formal class action complaint to
HEW, PROBE - a coalition of pro-
fessional women - charged that the
University has failed to implement
even the lackluster goals of its "his-
toric" plan.
Sadly, PROBE appears to be correct
in its assessment.
One of the more important aspects
of the University's program is the goal
of achieving equal salaries for male
and female employes in the same job
category. The University also pledged
the payment of back wages to female
employes who had received lower sal-
aries than men holding the same
positions. -
However, the actual efforts of the
University have been less than faith-
ful to its promises. In the only case
of sex discrimination reviewed since
the plan was submitted, the University
refused to allocate back wages to

reveals that the University has pro-.
moted a much higher percentage of
men than it had projected in the ac-
tion plan, while the percentage of pro-
motions for women has been much
These examples of lagging achieve-
ment are -even more distressing if one
considers that the actual goals and
timetables are themselves rather lim-
ited in scope.
The affirmative action program
pledges an increase in female academ-
ic positions of only 2.1 per cent by 1973-
74 - a miniscule figure which seems to
contradict the University's public com-
mitment to "vigorously" recruit women.
IT IS CLEAR that the attitude of the
University is decidedly against mak-
ing the alleviation of sexism a high
priority. And this is most unacceptable
in a public institution which is sup-
posed to closely observe the law - in-
cluding its requirement of equal op-
portunity regardless of sex.
This is one of the most crucial pre-
cepts of American society, for it is in-
tended to allow all human beings the
opportunity to realize their full po-
tential - despite barriers set up by
cultural and social traditions.
Since it is evident that the Univer-
sity has not accepted the burden of al-
leviating its discriminatory employ-
ment practices, it was particularly dis-
quieting to learn last week that the
chief executive of the University, Pres-
ident Robben Fleming, is one of five
college officials who will represent the
nation's colleges on the American
Council of Education's committe to ad-
vise HEW on ending employment bias.
For Fleming and the rest of the Uni-
versity administration have been less
than honest in their public pronounce-
ments on this question. The statistics
clearly bear out the view that the ad-
ministration is more concerned with
maintaining its eligibility for federal
contracts than with firmly pursuing a
policy toward equal employment of
THE UNIVERSITY of Michigan has
had a full year. It is time for the
federal government and members of
the University community to step in
and insist that the University's dis-
criminatory practices be ended.

Women: Facing a backlash

THE BACKLASH against affir-
mative action to end sex dis-
crimination in universities began
the moment women filed their first
complaints with the Department
of Health, Education and Welfare,
The University of Michigan, for
example, appealed to other schools
to join it in resisting HEW en-
forcement in November, 1970.
But these very early efforts to
obstruct compliance were primi-
tive and unorganized - for one
major reason: The universities
could not believe that anyone
could take the oppression of wom-
en seriously. These first efforts
to block compliance were, there-
fore, as crude and unimaginative
as later efforts to achieve com-
This stage did not last' long. It
is now obvious that the backlash
has intensified and is gaining
"respectable" institutional support
and structure: A recent case in
point is the appointment of five
presidents to an "Affirmative Ac-
tion Committee" by Logan Wil-
son, president of the American
Council on Education (ACE) a
prestigiousnorganization of univer-
sity presidents, funded partially
by universitysmembershipdues.
The purpose of this "committee"
is, in the language of the ACE
newsletter of Nov. 19, to seek the
"cooperation" of HEW in estab-
lishing "uniform guidelines on sex
and race discrimination.
WHO ARE THESE 'Commitee"
members and what exactly do
they represent? Derek Bok of Har-
vard, currently under HEW inves-
tigation. Robben Fleming of the
University of Michigan, now un-
der HEW investigation. Clifton
Wharton, Jr. of Michigan State,
now under HEW investigation.
Terry Sanford of Duke, not under
HEW investigation, and not in
compliance with HEW guidelines
either. Martha Peterson of Bar-
nard/Columbia. Columbia is un-
der HEW investigation. Most of
Barnard's tenured faculty is white

Imagine that Alcoholics Anony-
mous set up a committee to nego-
tiate with the government to ban
all liquor advertising. Imagine
that they appointed to this com-
mittee the presidents of Schen-
ley's, Seagram's, Johnnie Walkers,
Jack Daniels', and Gilbey's. Im-
possible? Ludicrous? Apparently
not, if one were to follow ACE's
standard of eligibility.
Needless to say, the ACE ac-
tion prompted immediate protest.
Members of the Women's Equity
Action League, Professional Wom-
en's Caucus, the National Organi-
zation of Women, and many other
women s groups have joined in a
nation-wide petition campaign
against Wilson's incredible action.
In addition, university presidents
are being asked to withdraw from,
the ACE.
The response has been imme-
diate, intense, and imaginative.
It's hard for women in the move-
ment to believe that men still
think they live in a penalty-free

ask HEW not to demand confi-
dential records, not to insist on
retroactive pay (one of Fleming's
special interests), not to inter-
fere with admissions sex quotas.
More generally, this committee
will ask HEW simply to lay off.
But if HEW is serious about not
being neutral, if it really means
that it is the advocate of women
and minorities-it can not possi-
bly entertain these appeals. In
fact, HEW should publicly de-
nounce such efforts.
This ACE action is only one
example of the institutionaliza-
tion of the backlash. Representa-
tives from the New York State
university system, currently under
HEW investigation, recently met
with the intransigent anti-woman
Rep. Emmanuel Celler (D-N.Y.)
to lobby for dilution of anti-sex
discrimination legislation. Univer-
sities are harrassing and firing ac-
tive feminists. HEW found the


It's hard for women in the movement to believe
that men still think they live in a penalty-free
environment .. . It is offensive to be treated as
if wewere still asleep.

environment where they can con-
fidently announce such an action.
It is offensive to be treated as if
we were still asleep. Yet it has its
advantages. had ACE realized how
together we are, they might have
done this secretly, and we would
never have known about it.
WHAT WILL this committee do
if it actually meets with HEW of-
ficials sometime next month? If
its collective behavior imitates the
behavior of its individual mem-
bers, then it will have to be re-
named as the Anti-Affirmative
Action Committee (One ACE of-
ficial described it as a "Save the
Administrators Committee.") As it
now stands, we can expect it to

University of Pittsburgh guilty of
two cases of such reprisals.
BUT FOR university women.
the strict enforcement of HEW
guidelines is crucial because it is
one of the few legal instruments
that applies to the conditions of
their employment. When Atty.
Sylvia Roberts of NOW wins Bra-
den vs Univ of Pittsburgh and
Braden vs Posvar, Chancellor of
the Univ. of Pittsburgh. women
will then have won the right to
Sue uniiwrsities through direct
legal proceaurez.
For the time being, academic
women are forced to rely on HEW.
That is why spurious actions like
.the ACE's no longer; pass with-
out protest.


administration: Still discriminating

Cheryl Clark,
the. Highway
tute. Although
a male in the
versity ruled
not "overt or
Another key

a research assistant in
Safety Research Insti-
Clark was paid less than
same position, the Uni-
that discrimination was
willful" in her case.
goal of the University's

plan is the achievement of a ratio of
female employment in academic posi-
tions that is at least proportional to the
availability of qualified female job
But here again, the University's ac-
tions have fallen short of its commit-
ment. PROBE's careful investigation

AFTER YEARS of turning a deaf
ear to women's claims of un-
fair employment practices at the
University, President Robben
Fleming is now claiming that wo-
men are being unfair in charging
the University with bad faith in
implementing its Affirmative Ac-
tion Program for Women. Is it
really unfair of women to demand
what's legally theirs?
Perhaps. The women don't think
io, of course. But who could dis-
pute the word of the University
administrators on the subject of
unfairness, since they themselves
have shown such expertise and fi-
nesse in their practice of it?
The Commission on Women, for
example, has been the subject of
much of this unfairness:
0 Though PROBE strongly urg-
ed Fleming to select the Commis-
sion from the membership of wo-
men's activist groups, he c h o s e
instead to select at random a
group of women who for the most
part had expressed no interest in
women's rights.
0 Of the two men he originally
appointed, one was apathetic and

resigned shortly after accepting
the appointment. Perhaps by ac-
cident, he was replaced by a man
(sociology Prof. Gayl Ness) who
is fair and reasonable. The other
male Fleming appointed, Ed Hay-
es from the Personnel Dept., duti-
fully represents the administra-
tion's point of view.
0 Fleming hasn't even been'fair
to the Commission he appointed.
They were not allowed to review
the affirmative action goals and
timetable prior to their submis-
sion to the Department of Health,
Education and Welfare, or' to see
all of the correspondence between
HEW and University officials; and
they have not, been consulted at
the planning stages in University
policy formation, either. The en-
tire responsibility for correcting
inequities based on sex has been
dumped on them without any real
authority to implement changes -
all the long hours spent by Com-
mission members have been a vol-
unteer service to the University
with little thanks and no renum-
eration. This is a kind of typical
exploitation of women that we
most deplore.

Editorial Staff
Executive Editor Managing Editor
STEvE KOPPMAN.............Editoria1 Page Editor
RICK PERLOFF .... Associate Editorial Page Editor

PAT MAHONEY .... Assistant Editorial Page Editor
LARRY LEMPERT..... Associate Managing Editor
LYNN WEINER ... Associate Managing Editor
ANITA CRONE ................ Arts Editor
JIM IRWIN.. Associate Arts Editor
ROBERT CONROW ... Books Editor
JANET FREY ... .. .... Personnel Director
JIM JUDKIS ..............Photograr-v Editor
NIGHT EDITORS: Rose Sue Berstein, Lindsay Chaney,
Mark Dillen, Sara F0itzgerald, Tammy Jacobs, Alan
Lenhoff, Arthur Lerner, Hester Pulling, Carla
Rapoport, Robert Schreiner, W.E. Schrock, Geri

Defending the

Women 's Commission

AT EVERY LEVEL in the Uni-
versity, women are told explicitly
and implicitly that they are less
valuable than men. Although the
personnel director may no longer
state openly to women that they
do not have "management poten-
tial," the attitude still prevails,
and this is the practice.
The University continues to hire
mediocre males (predominately
visible in the Personnel Depart-
ment and in high level adminis-
trative positions) and offer them
on-the-job training - usually by
low-paid women.
University administrators r e -
cently missed an opportunity to
show good faith in affirmative
action by not promoting a woman
to fill the new position of Direc-
tor of the new Administrative and
Professional Personnel Office. In-
stead, typically, a man was pro-
moted. Last week they offered a
further slap in the face to women
on this campus by hiring a wo-
man from Detroit as associate di-
rector for that office instead of
promoting a woman already em-
ployed by the University.
WE CAN ASSUME from t h i s
action that the personnel officials
either continuously delude them-
selves into believing that there
are no competent women on cam-
pus capable of filling such posi-
tions, or they know these women
are here and are afraid of having
to compete with superior intelli-
gence and competence. They may
also fear the anger of women who
have suffered years of mistreat-
ment at their hands. Most women
will recall their first 'experience
of walking into the personnel of-
fice and being asked to take a
typing test regardless of their
qualifications, educations, or job
Because the Executive Orders
apply only to employment prob-
lems, undergraduate women are
not protected from discriminatory
admissions policies at universities
However, if the University want-
ed to be "fair", the admissions
quotas of 55 per cent male and 45
per cent female (at the LSA
freshman level) would be dropped
and standardized admissions qual-
ifications would be applied to both
females and males. Also, the Uni-
versity has learned over back-
wards to be unfair to female
graduate student employes byvig-
orously' protesting HEW's claim
to jurisdiction over graduate ad-
missions where graduate status is
a prerequisite for employment as
a teaching or research assistant.

Women, unlike similar groups on
other campuses, "lit on its feet, run-
The Commission came into being last
January, following an investigation by
the U.S. Department of Health, Edu-
cation and Welfare into the Univer-
sity's possible discrimination against
women. The Commission was charged
with several tasks:
--To review and recommend changes
in University policy in light of HEW's
Affirmative Action Program,
-To inquire into all University poli-
cies, procedures, and practices which
might discriminate against women.
-To help the Personnel Office to
eliminate discriminatory practices and
to introduce new policies of equal op-
portunity for women.
-To work with academic depart-
ments on recruitment, employment, and
promotion practices.
THE COMMISSION, made up of a
small group of 14 people, has enormous
responsibilities before it. And it is gen-
erally under-strength because some
members can't attend Commission
meetings regularly. Nevertheless, it al-
ready has made definite progress.

tember, after several months of nego-
tiations, University officials agreed that
an employe could not stop a review of
her file by the Personnel Representa-
tive and the Women's Representative.
Commission, the Personnel Department
has established a new Professional and
Administrative Office which operates
under guidelines designed to give wom-
en already on campus opportunities for
better jobs. The new office must pub-
licize all job openings on campus and
consider applications from University
personnel before off-campus applicants
are interviewed.
The Commission holds a weekly two-
hour meeting. Members also put in sev-
eral hours on committee work. The
Committee on Research has a $9,000
grant for doing a comprehensive sur-
vey of the salary structure within and
across units of the University. The sur-
vey is to identify places where the Uni-
versity, under the Affirmative Action
Program, should expand entry oppor-
tunities where women are under-repre-
sented. This will help to promote move-
ment up job ladders and eliminate sal-
ary differentials.
In general, the Commission has main-

Lower level administrators do
not take the affirmative action
program seriously because t h e y
have not been compelled to. Flem-
ing could provide a quick and sim-
ple remedy to these problems by
issuing clear and concise guide-
lines and requirements for affirm-
ative action, and by imposing
penalties against units found guil-
ty of non-compliance.
Of course, HEW should pro-
vide him with the incentive to do
this by withholding contract funds
and declaring the University ineli-
gible for further contracts.
In the event neither of the
above remedies work and women
begin to lose patience with the
slow and ineffective enforcement
of the Executive Orders, then the
women themselves may find it ne-
cessary to walk out en masse and
close down the entire operation of.
the University.
LAST WINTER the University
was inappropriately lauded by
Nixon for providing a "historic"
model for affirmative action. Nov
is the time for the University to
really make an effort towards his-
torically significant changes by
consulting with the affected wo-
men3f fn (jPg3i.) A . A nri csrPfv.

. -Daily-Sara Krulwich
-Abolish all nepotism rules as
these rules are discriminatory
against women;
-Adopt non-discriminatory ad-
missions policies for both grad-
uate and undergraduate schools;
-Establish fair and equitable
complaint procedures;
-Pay back wages plus interest
to women victimized by sex dis-
-Publicize and post in conspic-
uous places all job openings, in-
cluding unambigious job descrip-
tions and required qualifications;
-Provide special training and
recruitment programs designed to
bring women into the tradition-
ally male jobs;
-Provide adequate support for
client-controlled child care cent-
-Establish maternity and pa-
ternity leaves for staff with the
same privileges currently grant-
ed men for military leaves; and
-Stop discriminating against
women in the retirement program
and reimburse retired univer-
sity women who have been receiv-
ing less compensation than males
who contributed the same amount.
Universityradministrators have
recently expresssed concern that
the tight budget squeezes w i11
cause an "erosion to mediocrity"


Commission for Women meets

The Cheryl Clark case demonstrated

of the negotiations last year, executive

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