Study Shows Anti-jewish Bias in Naming U.S. University Presidents

The American Jewish Committee reported yesterday the results of a study showing that fewer than one percent of the presidents of America’s 775 non-sectarian senior colleges and universities, public and private, were Jewish even though Jews make up between 10 and 12 percent of the student bodies and faculties of those institutions.

The findings were made public at the annual meeting of the A.J. Committee by its president, Morris B. Abram, based on a six-month study which concluded that “there does not seem to be any alternative to the conclusion that bias is at work.”

The study found that since 1949, there has been an estimated 1, 000 vacancies in the presidencies of publicly-supported universities and senior colleges. But, up to a month ago, not one appointment had been given to a Jewish educator. The lone exception is Dr. Martin Myerson, who will take office as president of the Buffalo Campus of the State University of New York later this year.

The study found that of 1, 720 deans in the 775 colleges and universities, 45 or 2.6 percent, are Jews and 29 of these are in six institutions. In the other 769 institutions, there are only 16 Jewish deans, fewer than one percent. The purported bias was explained on the premise that the presidency involves positions where the public “face” of the institution was concerned and that if Jews were chosen presidents, they might be handicapped by prejudice on the part of those with whom they must deal.

The study covered 397 private institutions. Five of these were found to have Jewish presidents: Bennington College, Brandeis University, which is Jewish-sponsored; Chicago Medical School, Lincoln University and Sarah Lawrence College. The report found that distribution of the Jewish deanships was “quite uneven.” Almost two-thirds of the 45 Jewish deanships are concentrated in a few schools. There are 11 Jews among the 26 deans in the City University of New York. There are 18 more Jewish deans in five institutions with 67 deans. In the other 769 institutions, with 1, 627 deans, there are only 16 Jewish deans.

There are 731 deans in the privately controlled institutions with 14 Jewish deans. In publicly controlled institutions, with 989 deans, there are 31 Jewish deans. When the City University of New York is discounted, the ratio in public institutions is not much higher than in private ones; 20 Jews among 963 deans or 2.1 percent.

Jewish deans are disproportionately often found in certain types of graduate schools. Six are at schools of social work, five at schools of government and international affairs. The report found that two major universities have Jewish provosts, one has a Jewish vice-provost, and two have Jewish vice-chancellors. The 15, 000-student Pittsburgh University appointed a Jewish acting chancellor.

Mr. Abram said the report would be sent to all groups in the community concerned with selection of college and university administrators, appropriate legislative committees and officials of the U.S. Office of Education.

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