University of Michigan President Robben W. Fleming sent this internal memo to his top administrators the same day he wrote Elliot L. Richardson, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. At this point, the University had less than six weeks to meet the commitments it had made to HEW in early December, and Fleming's memo reflects that urgency.
By this date, the new Commission on Women had been named, but Fleming is more concerned with the government's deadline than in taking the time to get the commission's input on the University's plans. "That may not make some of the members of the Commission on Women happy at the moment, because they will doubtless want to get into the broader areas immediately," he writes. That's fine, he adds, "but it must not delay the immediate problem."
In addition to the executive officers, the memo is also addressed to Fleming's assistant, Barbara W. Newell. Newell had just been appointed chairman of the commission, but Fleming here clearly regards her as one of his trusted insiders, rather than head of a new University organization that may challenge him in the future.
HEW/Discrimination - Women
To: The Executive Officers and Barbara Newell
From: R. W. Fleming
Date: January 29, 1971
Subject: The HEW Program on Women
I am having to send out this note because I am about to leave for California for a week and have not had an opportunity to talk to all of you about it.
We must be moving along with our women's program for submission to HEW by March 8. I have asked Fedele[A] to follow up on this and see that it is done, but the Commission on Women needs also to be kept informed and to have a chance to give advice on it.
In order that we meet the March 8 deadline we are going to have to concentrate on the immediate submission and let some of the other things go until later. That may not make some of the members of the Commission on Women happy at the moment, because they will doubtless want to get into broader areas immediately. The latter is fine, but it must not delay the immediate problem.
A. Fedele F. Fauri, vice president for state relations and planning of the University of
Michigan, who had become the designated point person for the administration in dealing
with the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare.
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