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Federal File: Personpower; Bauer on Hold?; Get Happy!; Elmendorf Resigns

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A lawyer for the Education Department's office for civil rights in San Francisco recently decided to help the University of California rewrite its course catalog, with the aim of deleting allegedly sexist language.

According to the New York Times columnist William Safire, the lawyer, Paul D. Grossman, acted on a complaint objecting to sexist words in the catalog--words such as manpower development, mankind, and grantsmanship.

The regional ocr offered the school a list of alternatives, such as human-resource development, human species or humanity, grantspersonship.

For a particularly offensive course, "Of Molecules and Man: A Course for the Layman," the preferred alternative was "Of Molecules and Human Beings: A View for the Lay Person."

The columnist, who derided the lawyer's semantic intervention, asked Secretary of Education William J. Bennett to comment on the imbroglio.

"Instrusive, meddlesome, unwarrented, and wrong," was how the Secretary described it to Mr. Safire. "My assistant secretary has counseled the regional directors that this should not happen again." The office in San Francisco had no comment.

Conventional wisdom has it that once the Senate confirms Gary L. Bauer as undersecretary at the Education Department, Mr. Bennett will begin sending other nominations--such as Chester E. Finn's as assistant secretary for research--and legislative proposals to Capitol Hill.

But sources on the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee--which was scheduled to hold a confirmation hearing for Mr. Bauer June 4--suggested that staff-level infighting may force the hearing's postponement, further delaying substantive action by the department. Mr. Bauer was nominated by President Reagan in April.

Under Senate rules, all members of the committee must agree to hold the hearing, since it is scheduled for after 2 P.M. on a day when the Senate is in session. If there is an objection, it probably will not be made until the last moment, said Ronald P. Preston, a committee aide.

In his stock commencement speech, Secretary Bennett offers this advice to graduating seniors: "Forget pursuing happiness. Pursue other things and, with luck, happiness will come to you."

Edward M. Elmendorf, assistant secretary for postsecondary education and financial assistance, will resign from his post this month to return to the private sector. He will become vice president for university relations at Wood and Company, an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based firm.

Mr. Elmendorf's resignation, which he announced last month, creates the second vacancy in the federal higher-education bureaucracy. Earlier this year, Benjamin Alexander, his former deputy for student financial assistance, stepped down.--at & jh

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