Almost a decade after Harvard faculty members applauded a report criticizing the school for hiring too few women and minorities, a new study issued Thursday indicated that little progress has been made.
The report by a 10-member panel reviewed affirmative action in the university's Faculty of Arts and Sciences. The faculty of about 900 teachers is the liberal arts heart of the school founded in 1636 to educate young men.
"If Harvard as the premier institution that trains the best and the brightest is a place that is absent of the best black men and women, it sends a message that we are not very good. And many of us are," said Dean Lawrence Watson, co-chairman of the Assn. of Black Faculty and Administrators at Harvard.
Watson, who works at the Graduate School of Design, noted that his organization represents only 190 people, the total number of black teachers and administrators.
Harvard President Derek Bok declined to comment on the report.
"We believe that there would be symbolic importance to minority and women students at Harvard and in the nation as a whole if there were a more visible presence at Harvard of faculty who share their social characteristics," the authors of the 18-page report wrote.
Although noting that women face difficulty finding openings at Harvard and moving up the faculty ladder, they said blacks, Latinos and American Indians need the most help and attention.