Thursday, August 26, 2004

A Woman to Lead MIT

According to today's news:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology chose Yale University Provost Susan Hockfield as its new president, school officials said Thursday.
Hockfield, 53, will be the institution's first woman president, and its first with a background in life sciences at a school whose reputation was built on engineering.
She will replace Charles M. Vest, who announced his retirement last December. Hockfield is expected to take office this December.

Unfortunately, the same article then continues:

Hockfield will take over a school that has publicly examined its history of bias against women. In 1999, Vest acknowledged that MIT had discriminated against female faculty in pay and other areas, and set a goal of achieving gender equity.
The number of female professors rose from 96 to 169 during Vest's tenure but still constitute only 18 percent of the faculty.

I say unfortunately, because the impression this sequence gives is that Hockfield is selected in response to the bias accusations, not for being a very competent administrator.