Naval Academy:

Gender and Racial Disparities

NSIAD-93-54: Published: Apr 30, 1993. Publicly Released: May 18, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the treatment of women and minorities at the Naval Academy, focusing on: (1) differences in performance indicators between men and women and whites and minorities; (2) student perceptions of the Academy's treatment of women and minorities; and (3) Academy actions to address disparities and improve assimilation of women and minorities.

GAO found that: (1) although women cadets have had higher Scholastic Aptitude Test and Academy success predictor scores than men cadets, women on average have lower grade point averages as freshmen and sophomores and lower class standings as seniors; (2) freshmen women have higher conviction rates for serious conduct offenses; (3) minorities generally have lower Scholastic Aptitude Test and Academy success predictor scores, lower grades, and lower class standings than whites; (4) minority students have higher conviction rates for conduct offenses than whites; (5) the majority of midshipmen believe that women and minorities generally receive the same treatment as men and whites by faculty members and disciplinary boards; (6) half of the men and one-third of the women believe that women receive better treatment by the Academic Board; (7) white and minority respondents believe that minorities receive better treatment by the Academic Board; and (8) the Academy has increased female and minority representation among Academy faculty and brigade officers, established a support program for academically at-risk midshipmen and an equal opportunity program that includes an annual climate assessment, and placed minority and women graduates in every community in the naval service.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Naval Academy has established an Office of Institutional Research to collect, standardize, maintain, and routinely report performance data.

    Recommendation: As part of the Academy's efforts to ensure fair and equal treatment of all midshipmen and to improve efforts to monitor gender and racial disparities, the Superintendent of the Academy should develop a relational database capability allowing routine analysis of key performance indicators for monitoring.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy: United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Naval Academy's Office of Institutional Research is in the process of developing criteria for identification of disparities warranting additional attention.

    Recommendation: As part of the Academy's efforts to ensure fair and equal treatment of all midshipmen and to improve efforts to monitor gender and racial disparities, the Superintendent of the Academy should establish criteria for assessing when disparities warrant more in-depth attention to identify causes to take corrective action.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy: United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: A plan of action was prepared and carried out.

    Recommendation: As part of the Academy's efforts to ensure fair and equal treatment of all midshipmen and to improve efforts to monitor gender and racial disparities, the Superintendent of the Academy should prepare a plan of action and milestones document to track command assessment recommendations and corrective actions and assess their effectiveness.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy: United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD

 

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