New York (Oct. 28)
The Board of Higher Education has tabled approval of an “affirmative action” program prepared by the City University for increasing employment of women and “other minorities” after the American Jewish Congress balked at a quota system called for in the plan. Dr. Abraham Tauber, speaking for the Congress, told a meeting of the Board that the plan would set a pattern of “reverse discrimination.” He issued a warning that “new injustices, inequities and discrimination” might be imposed “in the attempt to right past wrongs.”
The plan called for each unit of the CUNY system to bring its instructional employment percentages up to the university-wide average of 50 percent women and 13 percent “other minorities.” The increase in each unit would result in “a substantial percentage increase” in the employment of minority groups in the university as a whole, the report claimed. The “affirmative action program” was prepared for the Department of Health. Education and Welfare by a committee chaired by Edgar D. Draper, president of Manhattan Community College.
Testifying at a Board meeting scheduled to act on the plan, Prof. Tauber–a department chairman at Yeshiva University who is chairman of the Congress’ Metropolitan Council Education Committee–asserted: “The attempt to achieve this numerical quota will, in our view, clearly result in unequal employment opportunities in the future.” He further noted that the plan “suggests that the colleges introduce a system of preferential hiring, closing off opportunities for some because of their ethnic background or lack of the ‘right’ ethnic background.” The problem of assuring equal employment for all is too serious and too complex, Dr. Tauber observed, for an affirmative action program to be proposed and put into effect without the most careful scrutiny and study of its dangers and implications.