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Breaks for Women

In response to:

The Fight Over University Women from the May 16, 1974 issue

To the Editors:

Gertrude Ezorsky’s charge [NYR, May 16] that Sidney Hook is “guilty of culpable negligence with respect to the truth” in his statement about the case of a woman professor at Brooklyn College makes lively reading. Unfortunately, it is not substantiated in her amended account of the case.

Professor Hook is quoted as saying that the woman’s promotion had been turned down by her colleagues for twenty years. Professor Ezorsky points out that the promotion was turned down not by the woman’s departmental colleagues, but by a committee appointed by the administration. Individuals on the committee in question are not further identified. In all institutions I am familiar with, appointment and promotion committees are made up of faculty members, and I conclude from this that the two accounts of the woman’s case are not incompatible and are probably both true. If I am right, the gravamen of Professor Ezorsky’s charge appears to be that Professor Hook takes all faculty members to be colleagues (at least in the context of faculty-wide procedures). This amounts to “culpable negligence with respect to the truth” only in the fever swamps where Professor Ezorsky is presently wandering. I hope she finds her way out of them soon.

Jeanne C. Wacker

Assistant Provost for Personnel

Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J.

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