Memorandum to officers of instruction and administration from the Dean of Faculty LeRoy C. Breunig, January 12, 1971, page 2

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          THE EDUCATION OF WOMEN IN THE NINETEEN~SEVENTIES

It should not surprise us that the education of women in the
nineteen-seventies prmises to be a difficult undertaking. All
American colleges and universities are at present undergoing
radical and painful transformations that reflect the political and
economic readjustments of our nation itself. The current crisis
of values - the moral crisis which produces generational gaps and
alternate cultures - strikes centers of higher education with particular
force. The young men and women who populate those institutions are
the vessels of new attitudes and outlooks; many of their assumptions
and aspirations call into question both the odes and the matter of
a traditional liberal education. If history is, as H.G. Wells
wrote, "a race between education and catastrophe," we in the academy
might find it difficult - given the turmoil of the last few years -
to decide in which direction we are running today.

But the education of women poses special problems - or, at
least, forces us to reinterpret the general problems of higher
education in special ways. The situation of the humanities is a
case in point. with the cessation of extensive financial support
- both foundation moneys and such federally-funded programs as the
N.D.E.A. and Fulbright fellowships - departments of languages, litera-
ture, and the arts are back where they were in the mid-nineteen-
fifties. The relaxation (or disappearance) of requirements in many
colleges and the rapid growth of the social sciences, which
complements the activism of recent college generations, seem to
be pushing the humanities from the center to the fringes of the
liberal arts curriculum. Since young women have traditionally
chosen to major in languages and literature, in history and art
history, the problem of the humanities is particularly acute in
women's colleges. on the other hand, the pressures now put on
young women to diversify their interests, to specialize in areas
hitherto largely closed to them - medicine and law, natural sciences
and computer sciences - have created new problems for women's
liberal arts colleges, not always prepared to give the necessary
pre—professional training. The resurgence of a militant feminism
adds extra force to the activism of women students and greater
weight to the demands of women in the academic profession.
Coeducational institutions are being asked to add women to their
faculty and administrative staffs; women's colleges are expected
to be foyers of feminism, the vanguard of the movement.

Barnard College, in the light of such concerns, is a rather
special case - an "oasis," as one of our young female faculty members
recently put it. Able to draw not merely on its own resources, but
on those of Columbia University and of New York City, Barnard does
nt suffer from the isolation of those independent women's colleges
located farther from major universities and urban centers. We are
indeed besieged by increasing cries for coeducation, for "merger"
or "coordination" with Columbia University; simply from the economic
point of view, increased cooperation would probably be to the benefit
of both institutions. Nevertheless, a comittee established to