Light on the Hill, Volume II

Miller, Russell


OF THE FIVE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES and twenty-two academies and seminaries (secondary and preparatory schools) founded by the Universalist denomination in the nineteenth century, Tufts College was the only one that was not coeducational from the start. In the very week that Tufts opened in the fall of 1854, the question was raised of why the student body was all male. Thomas Whittemore, on the first board of trustees, and editor of the widely read denominational paper, the Trumpet and Universalist Magazine, replied that "the subject of admitting females was never discussed at any meeting of the Trustees we ever attended."

Although Universalist women's groups, the denominational press generally, and individual Universalists, both men and women, approved the idea of admission of women and pushed for its accomplishment, the subject was not seriously considered by the trustees until 1882. But it was not until a decade later - in the summer of 1892 - that the trustees voted, at the urging of President Elmer H. Capen, "that the College be opened to women in the undergraduate departments on the same terms and conditions as to men."

Most of the evidence pointed to the fact that Tufts' first venture into coeducation was generally a success, but by 1905 the tide had begun to turn, for a variety of reasons. To a large extent the reaction against coeducation could be laid at the door of President Frederick W. Hamilton, who believed unswervingly in "segregation of the sexes" in educational institutions. He greeted with enthusiasm the bequest of Cornelia Maria Jackson of Providence, Rhode Island, accepted by the trustees in 1895, which he interpreted as making possible the establishment of a separate, coordinate "Jackson College for Women." It was to be an independent entity, with authority to award separate degrees and to have its own seal, officers, faculty, and courses. The Tufts charter was consequently amended on 15 June 1910 to establish the new college. Complete legal equality with men


was assured, including the right of women graduates to vote for the ten alumni members of the trustees as well as to serve on the board.

Everything concerning women at Tufts was to be separate from the men - from classes to living and dining accommodations and undergraduate organizations. The bylaws of the trustees were even amended to provide for separate accounting of Jackson funds by the treasurer of the corporation. The provision of separate classrooms, laboratories, and a new building to house administrative offices proved to be greatly beyond the financial capabilities of the college. So Miner Hall became the headquarters of the first dean of Jackson, Caroline S. Davies, who served for fifteen years.

In spite of all the talk about "segregation of the sexes," only the courses in English and Greek taught by Dean Davies were actually restricted to women. Some courses in the sciences were coeducational from the beginning because of insufficient laboratory facilities. All told, no more than about one-third of the courses were segregated in practice. Hamilton's grand plan for educational segregation never materialized completely. It would have been too great a financial drain on the college, and if literally carried out would have resulted in needless overlapping and duplication. After his resignation in 1912, within less than two years most of the drive for academic segregation had faded away. However, Jackson College remained as a separate corporate unit, and the students developed and continued in most respects to maintain and develop their own separate institutional life for more than half a century after the women's college had been founded. A cluster of practices and traditions marking the separate origins of Jackson persisted long after Tufts had become almost completely coeducational in practice.

Edith Linwood Bush, an alumna of the Class of 1903 who had been associated with Tufts since 1920 as a teacher of mathematics, served as Dean of Jackson College for more than a quarter of a century, beginning in 1925. She retired in 1952, ending her career at Tufts the same year that President Carmichael's resignation became effective. Her long career was marked by a period of unparalleled stability that saw no significant changes in the makeup or activities of the Jackson student body, its administration, or its relations with the rest of the institution. Dean Bush died in 1977 at the age of ninety-five, after thirty-two years of association with her alma mater.

Dean Bush was succeeded by Katherine R. Jeffers, Professor of Biology, with a specialty in zoology, who came to Tufts from the College of William and Mary where she had been Dean of Women


in addition to teaching duties. She resigned from the Jackson deanship in 1959 because of poor health, and before her death the same year planned to devote herself entirely to teaching. A popular administrator and devoted teacher, she had become a well-known and well-liked personage on campus, without much of the formality and even austerity of her predecessor.

Two years after she became the Jackson dean, Jeffers lured to Tufts from the College of William and Mary, Marguerite Wynne-Roberts, who served as Assistant Dean of Jackson until her retirement twelve years later. She served actually as a Dean of Women in charge of residential living and was remembered for her graciousness. Known among Jackson students as "the most perfect lady imaginable," she died in 1983 in Williamsburg, Virginia, at the age of eighty-seven.

Myra L. Herrick became the fourth dean of Jackson, serving also as a lecturer in English, from 1959 until the fall of 1966. An alumna of the Class of 1941, she had received a master's degree the following year and in 1958 was awarded an honorary Doctor of Education degree by her alma mater. At the time of her appointment she had accumulated an impressive record of leadership in both educational and alumni circles. After teaching English for several years in the school systems of Northboro and Beverly, Massachusetts, and Union Springs, New York, she served for ten years at Northeastern University (1950-59). She taught English and served as Assistant Dean of Women and then as Dean of Women at Northeastern from 1953 until her appointment at Tufts. She was president of the Jackson Association of Tufts Alumnae and was the first woman elected as chairman of the Tufts Alumni Council (1957) and the first woman to serve as chairman of the Tufts University Alumni Fund (1959). She also received the alumni Distinguished Service Award in 1959. She resigned from the deanship, effective in August 1967, after a leave of absence.

In the early days of the Wessell administration in the 1950s Jackson enrollment remained roughly constant at about 500, with only 20 percent from outside New England. The most popular majors were English, Biology, History, Sociology, and Government (Political Science), and the percentage of Jackson students on the Dean's List was consistently much greater (30 to 35 percent) than for the men. At one time in the early 1960s it reached 40 percent. The suggestion was made in 1955 that academic standards needed to be raised or the Dean's List and Freshman Honor Rolls would lose their significance as academic honors. The proportion of residential students in


Jackson, always much higher than for Liberal Arts and Engineering, had reached more than 80 percent by the mid-1950s.

Even though segregation in classes had almost totally disappeared by the time of World War I, the separateness of the Jackson student body and of the Jackson administration continued much longer. There were, as recently as the 1950s, older faculty who still separated the men and women in seating for lectures. An Advisory Committee on Women's Athletics had been replaced in 1913 by the Jackson Athletic Association and the choices in intramural activities were gradually broadened over the years. "Aesthetic dancing" was introduced as an alternative to basketball, and in 1932 swimming was introduced. In the same year a Jackson sophomore (Mary Cutter) won the national intercollegiate tennis tournament for women at the Longwood Country Club, an event considered of sufficient importance to have been mentioned in the president's annual report to the trustees as well as in the press.

Another area of activity originally divided rather sharply between woman and men was student government. Both went through a period of gradual evolution. Until 1900 there had been no student government among women of which there is any record. Prior to 1894, when Metcalf Hall was opened, women found boarding facilities in the neighborhood, or lived at home, and for six years thereafter, there was no provision for formal government. "The theory ... that a woman old enough to enter College can take care of herself was entertained by the President of Tufts College then in office [Elmer H. Capen]." John P. Marshall, an original member of the faculty who lived next door to Metcalf (48 Professors Row) until his death in 1901, was the unofficial adviser to women, and a matron living in Metcalf served as chaperone. The first so-called "self-government" was provided for women in 1901, when the inhabitants of Metcalf constituted themselves as the "Student Organization for Self-Government." Membership was limited to dormitory residents, who elected their own officers; apparently the sole function of the original organization, until a student council was organized, was to establish rules and regulations for dormitory life.

As soon as Jackson College had been established a detailed set of "Rules and Regulations of the Association for Self-Government of the Students of Jackson College" was issued. The paternalistic (maternalistic) rules would undoubtedly occasion at least a chuckle, or more probably an exclamation of disbelief, at a later day. Almost every step in social life was spelled out in great detail. Visiting hours on Sundays were limited to the period from 3:00 to 6:00 P.M. Women


were prohibited from leaving the campus after 8:00 P.M. unless chaperoned (6:00 P.M. if dining with a male). All absences from the campus required permission.

The officers of Jackson student government originally provided were a president, a secretary, and a varying number of proctors (originally three, in 1910-11); in 1914-15 the office of "fire chief" was added. This officer had "full power to organize a practical fire drill among the dormitory students." Fire captains were appointed for each dormitory, each room of which was furnished with a rope and "clutches." Practice in the use of these was part of required physical education, and drills were held monthly.

The next step was the creation in 1918 of a "Senior Council" government which lapsed at the end of the academic year but was revived by the Class of 1920, with the creation of "The Student Council of Jackson College." It was made up of the presidents of the three upper classes, the heads of Jackson student organizations, and of representatives from each class and from the dormitories.

The student government of both Tufts and Jackson was reorganized in the spring of 1924, when the Jackson rules and regulations of 1910 were overhauled and modified to give greater freedom and increased student responsibility on the basis of scholastic standing. But even then, many of the restrictive rules lasted in some form for another forty years, until a rebellion against the Dean of Jackson over the issue of self-government in the 1960s resulted in her resignation and the beginning of a new era in student government. The double standard for women and men on the Tufts campus lasted for years and years.

Between the time of its establishment and the beginning of the Wessell administration in 1953 the Jackson Student Council had increased in stature and importance and had greatly broadened its field of operations. A Jackson Judiciary Committee was created in 1953, composed of vice-presidents from each dormitory to handle certain disciplinary cases. Communication between the student council and the administration during the early and mid-1950s was generally excellent, and the student organization did not hesitate to make recommendations regarding academic affairs. Two important measures later introduced were endorsed in 1958 by the Jackson Student Council: the introduction of freshman seminars and the reduction of the normal academic load from five courses to four.

It was during the same decade that the male monopoly over student publications was significantly weakened. The first breach in the male fortress had taken place during World War II. Two Jackson students became the first women co-editors of the Tufts Weekly in


1944. It was also in that year that the first woman received a BS in Engineering. A Jackson student (Ruth Gordon) became the first woman editor of the , the campus literary magazine, in 1953, and a year later Natalie Ann Settimelli became the first woman editor of the (yearbook).

The relative peace and harmony existing for many decades between the Dean of Jackson and the students began to be threatened after 1960, and had reached crisis proportions within five years. Part of the difficulty had a more generalized origin in the changing relationship between Jackson and the rest of the institution over the years. The college continued in many way to retain its separate identity after Myra Herrick assumed the deanship in 1959. It continued to have its own Director of Admissions (e.g., Carita H. Lovejoy, from 1954 to 1959 and Adelaide M. Davidson, her successor). It was not until the academic year 1954-55 that the separate curriculum committees of Liberal Arts and Jackson were consolidated, with the deans of each serving as co-chairmen. In an attempt to reinforce Jackson's separate existence, in 1958 the Association of Tufts Alumnae became the Jackson College Association of Tufts Alumnae. A separate Jackson Board of Visitors appointed by the trustees was reactivated, beginning in 1962, after a lapse of many years.

But in many respects the distinctive identity of Jackson had begun to blur. The Liberal Arts and Jackson curricula had been almost identical from the time Jackson had been chartered. Even the non-credit courses in typing and shorthand introduced specifically for Jackson students during World War I had become coeducational long before the 1950s. The instructional staff had been the same from the beginning, and was not listed separately in the catalogue even during the period of ostensible segregation. There was a growing sense by the 1960s that the Jackson dean played a less and less prominent role in institutional policy-making and had become increasingly isolated from the rest of the Tufts administration. The dean had no separate faculty over which to preside, unlike her administrative counterparts, and her activities seemed to be more and more non-academic in nature. Her principal concern and even preoccupation had come to be social rules and dormitory living. She was more a dean of student activities than a dean of academic affairs.

The series of crises between the dean and the Jackson students was precipitated by her attempt to enforce parietal rules, many of which had become obsolete or obsolescent at a time when student dissatisfaction with the status quo was rising nationally. Dean Herrick's main concerns seemed to have been, among others, opposition to the use of Coke machines in women's dormitories on the ground that


the beverage was bad for one's teeth; strict enforcement of curfew regulations; opposition to off-campus housing for seniors; and a dress code which prohibited the wearing of jeans to classes or in public. On all of these matters the dean was inflexible and unyielding; she rejected all student council proposals to liberalize policies. The climax came in the spring of 1966 when communication broke down almost completely. The Jackson Student Council suspended operations as a protest against having been constantly overridden. It felt that it could no longer serve a useful purpose. The students complained that they were expected to develop academic maturity as young women but at the same time were being treated as children socially and emotionally, being allowed no "social liberty." An impasse had been reached, and the dean felt that her only recourse was to resign. It had become a question, as one administrator put it later, of "who was running Jackson College - the Dean or the students," and the faculty and administration generally failed to support the dean. She had no tangible assurance that she was not alone in confronting her problems. Many students professed to be shocked by her resignation, apparently not realizing how great a personal blow it had been to have her authority so seriously challenged. Dean Herrick wanted to leave at the end of the school year in May 1966 but President Wessell prevailed upon her to remain at least for another semester. She actually left Tufts in the fall of 1966 with a leave of absence and submitted her formal resignation, effective at the end of the contract year in 1967.

Betty M. Bone, manager of Women's Personnel at the Monsanto Company from 1958 to 1966, arrived as Assistant Dean of Jackson, succeeding Wynne-Roberts, only one month before Herrick's resignation. Bone became Dean of Women a year later, but in effect became the acting dean of Jackson as well as until a permanent dean could be appointed, effective September 1968. It was during Bone's brief stay that career seminars for women were held, led mostly by Jackson alumnae successful in various professions. The first presentation of the Jackson College Award of Distinction was made to Lillian Hellman, a prominent playwright, in the spring of 1968. Publicity of another kind was achieved the same year when a four-woman Jackson team participated in the General Electric College Bowl, a nationally televised program.

Acting Dean Bone resigned after an exhausting two years so that the new dean could select her own staff. As Burton C. Hallowell, who had become president in September 1967, noted, "few persons coming into higher education from other activities had to deal with as difficult and as sensitive a situation as she did in 1966-67."

In the spring of 1966, a few months prior to the date on which his resignation was to take effect, President Wessell had told the trustees, with the Jackson issue still unresolved, that it was time for an in-depth study of the college and its role and status within the university. The initiative had come from the Committee on Student Organizations after discussions with representatives of the self-suspended Jackson Student Council. An eleven-person self-study committee was appointed by Wessell in June, on the authority of the trustees, to "reexamine the nature of Jackson College as an educational institution and its relations to the University as a whole." Dean Kelley was made executive director of the study. There were two male faculty members (Kalman A. Burnim of the Drama Department and Gordon Evans of the Chemistry Department); two women faculty members (Kathryn McCarthy of the Physics Department and an alumna of Jackson, and Nancy Roelker of the History Department); three women trustees, two of whom were alumnae (Carol R. Goldberg and Etta MacPhie); and Trustee Warren E. Carley, a Tufts alumnus, who served as chairman. Three Jackson undergraduates completed the roster of the committee. Two separately staffed subcommittees were created, one on social affairs and consisting of twelve Jackson undergraduates and three recent alumnae; and one of seven faculty members, commissioned to examine all aspects of the women's college. A synopsis of Jackson history was prepared by Evans to serve as background and to give perspective.

After almost a year of deliberation, fourteen recommendations resulted from the study, submitted to the trustees in the spring of 1967. Basically, the corporate structure and relationship to Tufts were to remain, with Jackson as an identifiable coordinate college as provided by Cornelia Jackson's will and the amended Tufts charter. However, certain changes in administrative organization were recommended. President Hamilton's goal in 1910 of Jackson as an independent institution with a physical plant and operation separate from the College of Liberal Arts, which had never become fully operational, was rejected, as was the alternative of complete merger of Jackson into Liberal Arts.

It was further recommended that the Dean of Jackson be the academic head of the women's college, with duties and authority generally comparable to those of the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, and responsible directly to the provost. The position of Dean of Women should be formally created to supervise non-academic affairs, likewise comparable to that of the Dean of Men, and also


directly responsible to the provost. The position of Assistant Dean of Jackson should be abolished. The responsibilities of the Dean of Jackson, according to the trustee bylaws, were vague and anachronistic, referring merely to supervision of "correspondence [and] clerical and administrative business" and the making of recommendations regarding faculty appointments which had long since been taken over by the Dean of Liberal Arts. Jackson, since its chartering, had had no independent faculty - a point reemphasized throughout the self-study.

Instead of the "Orwellian title" of "co-chairman" of the Committees on Curriculum, Academic Standing, and Honors, the self-study committee suggested that the Jackson dean be given primary responsibility for curriculum for both Liberal Arts and Jackson while the Dean of Liberal Arts retained his responsibility for recommending faculty appointments, as well as chairing the Honors Committee. Academic Standing would be co-headed by the Dean of Men and the Dean of Women. The deanship of Jackson was to be primarily an academic appointment not overly concerned with "an overload of minutae," and with both professorial rank and some teaching responsibilities so that she would not become isolated from classroom affairs.

The existing system of a university-wide undergraduate admissions policy administered by a single dean was approved, although Jackson College was to continue to have its own Director of Admissions and staff. There should be no distinctions between men and women in standards of admission, and the maximum amount of coordination among the admissions staffs of the various undergraduate colleges and divisions should be achieved.

The most intense concern of all student representatives on both the parent committee and the student subcommittee were social rules and student government - the issues that had provoked the crises with Dean Herrick. It was the consensus that Jackson students have a stronger voice in matters pertaining to their own welfare. It was the existence of regulations imposed by the university and considered "petty and annoying" that had brought student unrest to a head.

Women undergraduates felt a sense of powerlessness, decisions having been made by the Jackson dean, the administration, and the faculty with little or no consultation with the students. Rules should be formulated on a cooperative basis, involving those who had to live with and under them. This by no means meant an abdication of responsibility by either administration or faculty or "the indiscriminate delegation of their authority" but a system based on mutual trust


and maximum communication among all parties. The penalties for infractions of social rules should be imposed by a committee on which the majority should be administration and faculty.

The student subcommitteee recommended that the Jackson Student Council be retained and have the responsibility, together with the dean, of regulating social matters. Dress policy - an issue which had provoked one of several confrontations with the dean - was to be determined by the student council. A curfew system (much liberalized) should be retained for freshmen and sophomores only. The issue of off-campus living for Jackson students was one of long standing that had created great debate, particularly when men were allowed to live off-campus and women were not; this was pointed out as another glaring instance of a double standard. The self-study committee recognized the university goal of making Jackson a largely residential college but, in view of the chronic shortage of adequate facilities for entering students, a more flexible and realistic policy should allow upperclass students (especially seniors) to reside outside the dormitory environment. The number and selection of such students were to be administrative prerogatives and not a student "right."

As to the women's Department of Physical Education, which was the only one solely within the purview of the Dean of Jackson, there was complaint that class scheduling was too rigid and that, unlike the men's gymnasium, there was access only during class hours. Why should instruction in such sports as golf, tennis, badminton, and fencing be segregated by sex? And why should the long-standing "privilege" of having individual pictures taken of posture be confined to Jackson students, particularly when there was no follow-up for those who might require remedial measures?

Among the recommendations for the future were the offering of facilities such as seminars dealing with the role of women in American society; a program of continuing education for those whose undergraduate careers had been interrupted; and the reactivation of a Board of Visitors such as those existing in some other schools and departments of the university.

The trustees, meeting a few weeks after the report was received, concurred in every recommendation and considered it "a worthwhile source of information and a helpful reference which can serve as a guide." Only one demurrer was entered. The trustees cautioned the administration not to allow Jackson students to reside off campus if suitable space were available in dormitories. The trustee Executive Committee did recognize, however, that some 190 Jackson students


were housed in quarters which were considered substandard. They then authorized in 1967 the construction of a new women's dormitory and selected the architectural firm of Hugh Stubbins and Associates to design the building. The new structure, after much delay and controversy, became Lewis Hall in 1970.

In the summer of 1966, just as soon as Dean Herrick's decision to resign had become known to the administration, Provost Leonard Mead, who had become the acting president after Wessell's resignation, contacted Antonia ("Toni") Chayes as a possible candidate for the Jackson deanship. The post particularly appealed to her because she saw, as an active exponent of women's rights, an opportunity for the college to play a "leading part" in broadening opportunities for women. While being considered for the position she outlined her plans in considerable detail.

Chayes possessed a legal rather than an academic background, but had had considerable experience in college and university environments and in personnel matters involving women. An honor graduate of Radcliffe College, she completed her legal training begun at Yale at George Washington Law School, ranking first in her graduating class. After serving briefly as adviser to women students in the Harvard Law School before moving to Washington, D.C., she served on the Education Committee of the President's Commission on the Status of Women which completed its work in 1963. One of her special interests was urban social planning. It was her expertise in this field that prevented her from assuming the deanship of Jackson in September 1966, as originally planned. Instead, she accepted a position with Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD) and the search was renewed for a dean. An offer was made to an administrator at Sarah Lawrence College in 1967 but was declined. However, the idea of the deanship of Jackson still appealed strongly to Chayes, and in the early spring of 1968 she was interviewed by President Hallowell, who renewed the offer of the deanship. This time she accepted, effective September 1968, and was also appointed Associate Professor of Political Science. Less than two years later she resigned, effective in July 1970, with only part of her ambitious plans and projects completed, and with a sense of frustration and disappointment that so little progress had been made.

Dean Chayes entered upon her duties in the fall of 1968 with much energy and great enthusiasm. One of her first acts was to attempt to rid Tufts of the double standard which had severely circumscribed the social life of the women and to allow a much greater degree of freedom and responsibility to the students than had ever prevailed for women at Tufts.

In correspondence with Acting President Mead in 1966 relative to the deanship, she had recognized the student complaints that Dean Herrick had opposed off-campus apartment living by seniors. Chayes' solution was to build a dormitory with housekeeping units, with freedom from customary parietal rules and house restrictions, and to give the women a taste of responsibility for caring for themselves. Even before her appointment as dean became effective she considered the Jackson social rules as "archaic" and determined to do something about them as soon as she was appointed. In the very first year of her administration Dean Chayes introduced a non-curfew system for seniors, extended to juniors in the fall of 1968; brought about the adoption of a social honor code; tried an experiment in off-campus housing for women and a cooperative dormitory; and even encouraged classes in self-defense.

Throughout her brief career at Jackson, Dean Chayes emphasized the need for preparing young women to make the most of the growing though still relatively limited opportunities before them. Education for women in the widest possible sense was her goal, and that included, in her estimation, much more than purely academic activities which could and should not be artificially separated from the total life of women. When interviewed by two representatitives of the Jackson Student Council prior to her appointment, one of the students made note of the fact that the prospective dean was much more interested in social regulations, dormitory rules, and administrative policy than in academic matters. One of her aims was to show, by her own example as the mother of five children, that one's personal life, represented by marriage and family, could be successfully combined with a career outside the home. Very popular with students, she served as a role model which had been generally lacking under previous Jackson administrations. Dean Chayes encouraged maximum interaction among women students and suggested seminars for incoming freshmen led by upperclass students. She even suggested that a "democratically elected" student serve as a voting member of the board of trustees.

When she originally discussed the deanship with the Tufts administration she had advocated the development of programs in women's education and received sympathetic support from Hallowell after he became president. She wanted to see a program of continuing education for mature women, a center for the study of women and family life, and a day-care center intended both to accommodate Tufts and surrounding communities and to serve as a training center. This comprehensive program was approved by both trustees and faculty, subject to funding. The dean managed to obtain a planning


grant from the Carnegie Corporation. However, the university was unable by the spring of 1970 to provide the remaining additional funding to put the three interrelated projects into operation as soon as she had wished.

Probably her greatest source of frustration was the problem of clarifying the ambivalent position of the deanship in relation to the rest of the university which neither she nor the administration seemed able to solve. When she was first considered for the position in 1966, and before she had developed an actual working familiarity with the institution, Chayes had come to the conclusion that full merger of Jackson into Tufts "would waste a precious resource. Students need more of a sense of themselves and their potential, not to be smaller parts of a larger whole." However, only a year after assuming the deanship she wrote Hallowell a memorandum stating her view that "Tufts should work toward a formal merger of Liberal Arts and Jackson. The line between the two was rapidly being erased in practice."

Jackson as a separate entity was, in her estimation, "largely an administrative fiction." The solution was the appointment of a single academic dean for Liberal Arts and Jackson, with an associate dean, presumably to handle strictly Jackson affairs. Under existing circumstances, Chayes "had difficulty seeing a significant continuing role for a Jackson Dean" and considered resigning at the end of the 1968-69 academic year. However, she agreed to stay on for one more year to supervise the transition to a new administrative structure. But Tufts failed to make any public acknowledgement of the changes that had occurred over time or to take any action to rid the institution of what she conceived to be an anachronism - namely Jackson College. Continuing its deanship as then constituted continued to be a study in frustration for her.

The dean felt that in one respect, at least, her brief tenure had been of great benefit to Jackson students. She had shifted responsibility for residential policy formation and execution from the dean's office to the Committee on Student life, which by 1968-69 had become a representative body of faculty, administration, and students. Steady progress was being made to eliminate the long-standing differential treatment of women. The need for separate residential administrations for men and for women came to an end with the advent of coeducational housing. Unification of student activities had been furthered by loss of interest in Jackson clubs and sororities, and in a separate Jackson student government. The original Father-Daughter Weekend had become part of Parents' Weekend, a joint


activity rather than one separated by sex. The creation of the position of Dean of Students, with Alvin R. Schmidt in charge, had meant the opportunity to allow the new office to take jurisdiction over residences and non-academic counseling for all undergraduates. This allowed the Jackson dean to concentrate on her special interests involving women's education. In the academic realm the deans of Liberal Arts and Jackson had, through Chayes' efforts, erased "the last bit of useless separation: separate compilation of class rank lists." Unnecessary fragmentation and compartmentalization were being significantly reduced.

Of all the plans and projects undertaken or recommended by the dean, continuing education for women was still her highest priority when she submitted her letter of resignation in the spring of 1970. Her aim was a program in which one-third to one-half of the students would be ghetto or low-income women who had been denied higher education even though they had the ability to obtain it. She hoped that a scholarship commitment to at least ten mature black women could be made and that recruitment could be started at once. Her immediate goal was the enrollment of 30 students, with the long-range possibility of between 100 and 150, to be supervised by an administrator employed by the university. However, the outside funding sought to finance the program was not forthcoming, and Tufts was unable (or, in Chayes' view, unwilling) to make even a modest financial commitment to the program. Without this commitment, federal monies were not likely to become available.

A part of her planning effort to extend women's education was the creation of a day-care center at Tufts which could serve residents of Medford and Somerville as well as Tufts faculty, students, and staff, and could encourage the recruitment of black women workers. She believed that the institution, with the help of the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and the Eliot-Pearson School, was ideally suited to develop one or more models of university-based day care. She hoped to provide facilities for forty children, beginning in September 1970, with annual operating costs of $68,000 to be met largely by scaled tuition charges based on ability to pay. Start-up costs for the first year would be $15,000, and facilities would have to be provided by the university. Funding proposals to the Office of Economic Opportunity and the New World Foundation had been submitted by the spring of 1970. Dean Chayes had also urged the creation of a center at Tufts for the study of women and of family life, but little tangible progress had been made in that direction by the spring of 1970. A proposal


had been made for at least partial financing through the Twentieth Century Fund. A start had been made in offering academic courses dealing with women, but much more needed to be done.

The transition to a new administrative structure about which Chayes had felt so strongly was only partially realized after her resignation in 1970. She was succeeded by Adele Smith Simmons, a graduate of Radcliffe in 1963 who was a doctoral candidate at Oxford University in 1969 and who became a specialist in African history. She was to have been employed as a full-time member of the faculty in the History Department in 1969-70, but instead taught courses there on a part-time basis while serving also in the newly created half-time position of Assistant Dean of Jackson. Very much of a feminist activist, Simmons had had brief administrative experience as the director of the Youth Leadership program for Operations Crossroads Africa in Kenya, and had worked part-time in the Radcliffe admissions office. She had, in 1967, prior to a trip to Africa, contacted President Hallowell and had inquired about a possible position at Tufts combining teaching and administration. He was impressed with her abilities and had put her in touch with Dean Chayes in case an opening occurred.

Simmons was elevated to the deanship of Jackson in 1970-71, only one year after her arrival at Tufts. Some trustees had approved her appointment with misgivings because of her relative youth and because of her limited work experience, but she remained for one more year. She was specifically made subordinate to the Dean of Liberal Arts, a status inconsistent with the recommendation of the earlier Jackson self-study. The precise relationship of the Jackson dean to the rest of the administration was still sufficiently a matter of question to result in the appointment of a special trustee subcommittee to study the matter. The crux of the problem was the degree of independence of the dean and the continuing problem of her relative isolation because of lack of direct involvement in faculty academic concerns. She was not truly a working part of the administration.

Dean Simmons departed in 1972, having been named Dean of Student Affairs at Princeton University. She subsequently became president of Hampshire College in Western Massachusetts. During her brief stay at Tufts, Dean Simmons became deeply involved in getting under way the program of continuing education and the daycare center which Dean Chayes had pushed for so strenuously.

Nancy S. Milburn, a member of the faculty of the Department of Biology, was named Dean of Jackson College and Associate Dean of Instruction in 1972. The second title had evolved by 1978-79 to


become Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences for Faculty Development. The following year, without fanfare or even a formal announcement to the faculty, Milburn became the Dean of Liberal Arts and Jackson, a combined position. It appeared that the ambivalent status of the Jackson deanship had finally been clarified and the position strengthened. Although the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences was still primarily responsible for handling departmental and faculty personnel matters, an informal division of labor was worked out whereby the Dean of Liberal Arts and Jackson and the Dean for Research and Interinstitutional Programs (the previous Dean of Liberal Arts) were delegated some of those responsibilities.

The former Dean of Jackson College was no longer the only administrative officer of that rank who did not have direct involvement with the faculty. Mary Ella Feinleib, another member of the Biology Department, succeeded Nancy Milburn in the fall of 1982.

In December 1972 a 110-page analysis of the status of women at Tufts was published which went far beyond the confines of Jackson College in its scope. It involved an investigation of the positions of the approximately 700 women then employed at Tufts, including both the Medford and Boston campuses, and both faculty and support personnel. The study was based on both interviews and detailed questionnaires administered in March 1972 to all women employees and to a total of 600 male and female undergraduates. The report was prepared through the cooperation of Robert L. Albert, Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Nancy Milburn, Dean of Jackson College. Of the 700 questionnaries addressed to women employees, 308 (44 percent) were returned; of the 600 distributed to undergraduates, both male and female, 295 (49 percent) were returned. A number of Jackson students were involved in preparing and distributing the questionnaires and tabulating the returns. Those involved in the study came to the conclusion that "there does not appear to be overt discrimination against women at Tufts." Male and female undergraduates were enrolled in approximately equal numbers, attended the same classes, belonged to substantially the same organizations, lived in the same dormitories and ate in the same dining halls. Several academic departments, such as Psychology, included high-ranking women faculty. The Dean of the Graduate School was a woman who later became the provost and senior vice-president. In fact, at the time the study was made, Tufts had "more women faculty, both numerically and proportionately, than any Ivy League school or than most comparable universities in the country."


President Hallowell was thoroughly committed to improving the status of women and, following the adoption of an affirmative action program in March 1971 (as amended a year later), created a President's Council for Women and Minorities. The local Office of Equal Opportunity hired an assistant to the director to deal specifically with women's affairs on campus.

But in spite of all these positive indications, those who were concerned with the study felt that, in reviewing the conditions of employment and student programs, women at Tufts did "not have an equitable share of the opportunities available in this institution." Although women comprised roughly half of the undergraduate population, only 14 percent of the full-time Arts and Sciences faculty were women and only 8 percent were tenured. Although women represented half of the university's employees they held only 12 percent of the professional and administrative positions. Further, female faculty and staff members were concentrated at the lower end of each scale. The existence of such a proportion presented all too few successful role models and a picture of opportunities which tended to make undergraduate women lower their aspirations as they came closer to entering the job market. This situation was not unique to Tufts but seemed to be pervasive in American society at large. There was no reason, however, for not attempting to improve the status of women, at least within the university community. Neither was it a one-way street; women had just as much responsibility as men to take the initiative in bettering their status. The first step was to create awareness that inequities existed, from level of employment to compensation.

The study found salary discrimination against women in most job classifications at Tufts, including all but the lowest academic ranks (assistant professor, instructor, and lecturer) as well as some instances of "covert" discrimination, based largely on information (sometimes incomplete and even contradictory) furnished by various offices in the administration.

Among the numerous general recommendations made by the compilers of the study (some positive and some negative) was continued existence of Jackson College as an entity, to provide identity and visibility for women, and with its own dean. One indication of the persistence of the Jackson identity was the decision made in 1973 to allow degrees in engineering to be granted to Jackson students as such; they had previously been listed as "engineers" rather than as members of Jackson College. There followed no less than twenty-eight specific recommendations for all employees, ranging from more complete, accessible, and accurate record-keeping to continuation of


the day-care center established the previous year. The report recommended, from the student perspective, everything from standardizing acceptance criteria for men and women in the Admissions Office to more equitable treatment of women in all respects in the field of athletics. (The Admissions Office staff was completely integrated in 1971-72. There was no longer a separate Director of Admissions for Jackson College.)

Jackson College for Women had, by the 1980s, in many ways become an "administrative fiction." Its students had become so closely intertwined in the life of the entire university that little more than its corporate name remained. To earlier college generations the name "Jackson" conjured up a much more distinct and meaningful association with women than in the mid-1960s and thereafter. Symbolic of the changes that had taken place in a quarter-century were the contrasting observances of Jackson anniversaries. The fiftieth had been celebrated in 1960 with great publicity. An elaborate pageant was presented in Jackson gymnasium depicting the first half-century of the women's college's history. In 1985 the seventy-fifth anniversary was noted by a feature article in the alumni newspaper as a reminder of Jackson's history. But the focus of the anniversary celebration was not on Jackson College as such.

Only a memory of its once distinctive traditions and activities remained among most of the alumnae. This did not mean in any sense a diminution of the role played by Jackson in Tufts' history. It meant only that those in the once-coordinate but separate college for women had become such an intimate part of a larger undergraduate society that its identity had been almost completely lost. Its members became increasingly involved in the process of defining and redefining the role of women in American society at large. Indicative of this broader perspective was the theme of one of the programs in the spring of 1985 celebrating the seventy-fifth anniversary. It was "The Educated Woman: Today and Tomorrow" - not the woman of the past.


[] "Women at Tufts University: A Preliminary Inquiry."

  • Light on the Hill, the second volume of the history of Tufts University, was published in 1986, covering the years from 1952 to 1986. This doucument was created from the 1986 edition of Light on the Hill, Volume II.
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 Title Page
1. Setting the Stage for the Second Century
2. Long-Range Planning
3. Bricks and Mortar 1952-1967
4. The End of Theological Education at Tufts
5. Ever-Widening Curricula for Liberal Arts and Engineering
6. Jackson College: A Search for Identity
7. Defining the Role of the College of Special Studies
8. The Arts and Sciences Faculty I
9. The Arts and Sciences Faculty II
10. The Central Library
11. The Changing Character of the Student Body
12. Fraternities and Sororities at Tufts: A Cyclical History
13. A Beehive of Activity: From Trustees to Students
14. From Wessell to Hallowell
15. The Hallowell Administration: Years of Trial and Tribulation
16. The Hallowell Administration: Continued Trial and Tribulation
17. Educational Ventures, Successful and Otherwise
18. The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
19. Medical and Dental Education I
20. Medical and Dental Education II
21. Taking Stock of the University in the 1960s and 1970s
22. The Mayer Administration: A Preliminary View
23. The Mayer Administration: Consolidation and Expansion