Notebook: November 27, 1996
UNIVERSITY RELEASES "EQUITY IN ATHLETICS" REPORT
Disclosure compares opportunities available to male and female varsity athletes in 1995-96
The university released its first Equity in Athletics Disclosure report on October 1. Like all colleges and universities that receive federal aid, Princeton is required to issue an annual report, starting this year, that examines several areas of its varsity-athletics programs. The report provides a statistical review of men's and women's participation rates, coaches' salaries, operating and recruiting expenses, revenue, and the number of coaches for men's and women's teams in 1995-96. The Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act, passed in 1994, is intended to help ensure compliance with Title IX gender-equity laws and to provide high-school student-athletes more information about the colleges they are applying to.
To comply with the equal-opportunity requirement of Title IX, an institution has to meet one of three criteria: provide participation opportunities for women and men that are substantially proportional to their respective rates of enrollment; demonstrate that the athletics program for the underrepresented sex (women's sports for most schools) is expanding; or fully accommodate the interests and abilities of the underrepresented sex.
According to Princeton's report, in 1995-96 men comprised 54 percent of undergraduates and 61 percent of varsity athletes; women made up 46 percent of undergraduates and 39 percent of varsity athletes. If the "substantial proportionality" clause of Title IX were interpreted strictly, then Princeton would not meet that requirement, explained Gary D. Walters '67, director of athletics. The university lacks proportionality, he explained, because of the number of men involved in football-a total of 160 participate on the varsity and lightweight teams. In addition, there are about twice as many junior-varsity teams for men as for women, and there are more men's teams with no women's counterparts (six) than there are women's teams with no male counterparts (two).
Comparing statistics from various schools can prove difficult, said Kurt Kehl, director of athletic communications, because of discrepancies in how some institutions reported information. For example, some schools didn't count their junior-varsity players, while Princeton did. Harvard's Equity in Athletics Disclosure report shows more proportionality than Princeton's. Women comprise 44.2 percent of undergraduates at Harvard and 40.3 percent of athletes. Yale and the University of Pennsylvania reported less proportionality than Princeton.
Pending litigation involving other universities may eventually require Princeton and other institutions to decrease the gap between the number of male and female athletes, said Walters. If that happens, he said, the university would limit the number of junior-varsity programs. He wouldn't like to see that happen, but he admitted that "we are having difficulty financially supporting all of those JV teams."
"It would be unfortunate if the law [Title IX] were strictly interpreted on the basis of quotas," said Walters, "because we clearly pass the test for accommodating the interests and ability of women athletes"-23.9 percent of female undergraduates participate on varsity teams, the highest percentage in the league. Harvard is next with 18.1 percent, and Pennsylvania has 7.5 percent.
Over the past 10 years, he added, Princeton has added four women's sports: fencing, golf, water polo, and (starting next spring) lightweight crew. Two years ago the athletics department upgraded the salaries of 11 coaches of women's teams. Also, the university's plans for an annex to Caldwell Field House will improve locker-room facilities for women.
According to Princeton's report, the average salary of head coaches for men's teams is $48,980, compared to $45,303 for the coaches of women's teams. The difference in the salaries is largely due to experience and longevity, Walters said. Some coaches of women's teams are paid more than the coaches of the same sport for men, he added.
Princeton's recruiting budget for men's teams, $161,651, is twice that for the women's teams. The difference is due to the cost of recruiting for football and men's ice hockey, said Walters. Of the 10 sports in which there are both men's and women's teams, he noted, six spend more on recruiting for women.
Men's teams consumed 63 percent of the total budget for varsity teams, which comes to $1,546,019, and they brought in 83 percent of the total revenue of $1,103,186.
Walters is comfortable with what the report reveals, pointing to the success of both the men's and women's teams in the last two years. "At Princeton, we have about the most broad-based athletic program of any school in the country," he said. "We're clearly in compliance with Title IX, and we're clearly a model."
PRINCETON RANKS SECOND IN POLL
For the fifth year in a row, Princeton placed second in the annual college rankings published by U.S. News & World Report. Yale, which tied with Princeton last year, took top honors. And Harvard, which for the last six years was ranked first, slipped to third. The three schools were followed in the rankings by Duke, MIT, Stanford, Dartmouth, Brown, and California Institute of Technology and Northwestern, which tied for ninth.
U.S. News ranked 1,422 accredited four-year colleges and universities. The rankings are based on the aggregate performances in seven categories. Princeton finished first in academic reputation and alumni giving, third in student selectivity and retention, seventh in faculty resources, and 13th in financial resources. This year, for the first time, U.S. News factored in "educational value," derived by comparing the predicted graduation rate, based on test scores of entering students, and the actual graduation rate of the same class.
IN MEMORIAM: PRINCETON'S "DR. BOOM"
Hubert N. Alyea '24 *28, a professor emeritus of chemistry who innovated in the teaching of science and served as the inspiration for Walt Disney's movie The AbsentMinded Professor, died on October 19 in his sleep at his home in Hightstown, New Jersey. He was 93.
Alyea joined Princeton's faculty as an instructor in chemistry in 1930, eventually advancing to full professor in 1954. His research interests included the chemical effects of radium, chemical kinetics, chain reactions, and the mechanism of inhibition.
In the early 1960s, Alyea developed a teaching technique known as TOPS (for Tested Overhead Projection Series). The system incorporated a small and inexpensive kit-yielding colorful demonstrations of chemical principles-and a simple overhead projection system. His textbooks TOPS in Chemistry and Tested Demonstrations in General Chemistry were reprinted many times and were translated into dozens of languages.
Nicknamed "Dr. Boom," Alyea was celebrated for his pyrotechnics-filled lectures. For many years after his formal retirement, Alyea's lecture on the nature of scientific discovery, "Lucky Accidents, Great Discoveries, and the Prepared Mind"-a fastpaced set of demonstrations, humaninterest stories, poems, and ad libs-was a popular fixture at Reunions.
FROM BUDDHIST MONK TO UNIVERSITY SCHOLAR
"From my earliest childhood I have had an enormous interest in religion," says Soho K. Machida, for 20 years a Zen Buddhist monk and now an assistant professor of East Asian Studies. "Yet my interest has always been not so much in theology or ritual, but in the meaning of life, which is filled with all kinds of contradictions. There is no religion apart from real life."
Teaching Japanese culture and language at Princeton, he says, "forms another part of my religious life. Every day is a challenge. I feel as much spirituality as a professor at an American university as I did as a cloistered monk."
This semester Machida is teaching Life and Values in Contemporary Japan. In the course, he examines "conflicts between tradition and modernity in Japan," including the changing role of women. "More women are better educated, but many are frustrated with the rigid social system," says Machida. The course also looks at the "enormous problems in the educational system such as bullying and refusal to attend school," he says. "Troubled young people are sending important messages to the rest of society."
Though often critical of contemporary Japan, Machida has proved a tireless organizer of programs that enable Princeton undergraduates to become familiar with his native country. He is founder and director of the Princeton-based Nihongo [Japanese language] Studies in Kanazawa (NSK), which offers about 50 U.S. college students (a third from Princeton) the opportunity to live with Japanese families and study their language during the summer. The program is centered in Kanazawa-a coastal city of about 400,000 and the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture. Now in its fifth year, NSK carries a one-year language credit.
Machida's ongoing cooperation with the prefectural government has also produced the Ishikawa Internships-a program that for three years has arranged summer jobs in Japanese businesses for students who have participated in NSK. "This kind of human interaction," says Machida, "is educational for both sides."
Administering NSK and the Ishikawa Internships keeps Machida's fax line humming. It also demands unusual energy and commitment. And, indeed, he has reasons for ensuring that "our students have the experience of entering another culture, which is the best way to expand their world view." Machida has personal knowledge of the benefits of what he terms "cultural collision."
At the age of 14, he left home to become a Zen monk in Kyoto's 650-year-old Daitoku-ji Temple. Why? "That is the question I am most frequently asked and that I still find hardest to answer," he says. "The simplest answer is that it was my karma." Monastic life consisted of meditation, physical labor, and begging for alms. "My adolescence," he says, "can be characterized by such words as 'pain,' 'sweat,' and agony.'" When his Zen master died, Machida decided to abandon a 20-year career as a monk. He did so, in part, he says, "because I was disillusioned with temple bureaucracy, politics, and elitism," and partly because "I wanted to test what I gained in the monastery. You can believe you have had some kind of religious experience, but if you are cloistered there is no way to prove it. I wanted to put myself outside the wall."
This meant "a big leap" for him-marrying, and leaving Japan in 1984 for Harvard Divinity School, where he earned his master's degree in theological studies in 1987. He continued on to the University of Pennsylvania for a Ph.D. in religious studies, awarded in 1992, the year he joined the Princeton faculty. The life he and his wife, Machiko, chose in the United States, he says, "has been a real roller coaster, but certainly intellectually and spiritually enlightening."
He has published one book this year and has another forthcoming; English translations of both are in the offing. Kumano: The Country of Eros (published in Japan by Hozokan), which received favorable reviews in the Japanese press, is "a historical analysis of Japanese animism" that focuses on Kumano, a sacred mountain in Shinto and Buddhist tradition. Soon to be published by Hozokan is Honen: Beyond Death and Imagination, a study of the 13th-century Buddhist priest Honen, whom Machida compares to Martin Luther. Machida's current research concerns "the 'insanity' that is at the heart of all religious experiences."
It has been 13 years since Soho Machida exchanged the blue robe and geta (wooden sandals) of the Zen mendicant for khakis, T-shirt, and sneakers. While experiencing the common lot of assistant professors-a full teaching schedule, the drive to publish, the press of administrative duties-Machida feels that "because of my background, I seem able to integrate the different parts of my life."
Zen Buddhism, he says, emphasizes "complete dedication to whatever you are doing right now. You give full mindfulness to the task, or the experience, at hand. So, to teach and to engage in other aspects of university life is already part of my religious practice."