A recent Harvard brochure, sent to thousands of prospective students, included a doctored image of the University’s student newspaper, blurring a headline about Harvard’s president facing a confidence vote.
The Harvard Crimson headline had read “Summers To Face No Confidence Vote.” The article was in reference to Harvard University President Lawrence Summers, who had attracted controversy after comments about women’s aptitude for math and science earlier in the year.
The brochure had replaced the Crimson’s headline with an illegible block of text.
Harvard’s dean of admissions and financial aid, William Fitzsimmons, claimed that the decision to use the altered image was a mistake that was made under deadline pressure by the University’s office of admissions and the Boston design firm which helped produce the document.
Fitzsimmons issued a statement stating that the error “should not have happened and will not happen again.” He also told the staff of the Crimson that no Harvard employees had been disciplined resulting from the altered image.
Approximately 150,000 copies of the Harvard brochure have already been printed, but Fitzsimmons stated that the doctored photo will be replaced in all future editions.
When CNN contacted Sametz, Blackstone Associates, the design firm, the office referred all questions to Harvard.
Summers said, at a conference in January, that inherent differences in skill between men and women may partially explain why fewer women are in line for top jobs in science.
Summers apologized profusely for his remarks and committed Harvard to spending $50 million on gender-equity programs recommended by two task forces he had appointed.