During a landmark week in 1970, lawmakers at the U.S. Capitol bore witness to the ugliest realities of an educational system that was anything but equal. They listened to testimony from undergraduate and graduate students, professors, and professional women who had been discouraged from participating in school activities, laughed out of degree programs, and dissuaded from pursuing their academic and professional passions. As the women’s testimonies made clear, sex discrimination in higher education was a pernicious reality.
Ann Sutherland Harris, an assistant art history professor at Columbia University at the time, was one of the women who testified at the hearings hosted by the Congressional subcommittee tasked with investigating gender equality in higher education. She explained that male faculty members told