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July 15, 2011


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Elizabeth Harman

Dear Linda,

I greatly appreciate your desire to clear up the facts and to be transparent about the creation of the Pluralists' Guide, including its report on the climate for women.

You say that surveys were used to generate the climate for women report, and that you feel an obligation to report this information. I'd like to know more about what the "information" was.

A. Did only the members of the advisory board fill out the surveys? (Or did the advisory board assist in distributing surveys to a larger body of people?)

B. What questions were on the surveys?

Were the following the questions?:

(In May 2010, I was informally asked to answer these questions by a member of the advisory board, but I did not respond at the time:)

Indicate how strongly you agree/disagree with each of the following
claims. (The available answers are: Strongly Disagree, Disagree,
Neutral, Agree, Strongly Agree, Don’t Know.) Please add any other
information or comments you think are relevant.

1. In this department, women students face more difficulties because
of their gender.

2. In this department, women students take an equally active role as
do men in seminars, symposia, and the life of the department.

3. In this department, women students are equally supported as men
students in their research, teaching, and job applications.

4. In this department, sexual harassment of female students is not a
present day or ongoing concern.

C. Was any effort made to confirm that those filling out the surveys were basing their assessments on the recent climate in the department (in the last three or four years, say), rather than on problems in the department that are now five or ten years in the past?

Thank you for answering these questions!

-- Elizabeth Harman
Philosophy Department & Center for Human Values
Princeton University

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