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Vest reiterates affirmative action policy for MIT

The nation is engaged in a broad debate about the efficacy of federal affirmative action policies. Regardless of the outcome of this debate and of any changes in government policies and programs which may ensue, MIT will remain firmly committed to acting affirmatively in pursuit of our vision of an academic community of the highest level of excellence whose members reflect the changing face of our nation.

I call your attention to the following statement, which was originally issued in January 1994, and ask that we all renew our dedication to its implementation.

MIT's Commitment to Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity

These are times of rapid change in our society. We at MIT respond to change by generating or incorporating new ideas and new knowledge in our professional and scholarly lives. We must become equally adept at incorporating cultural and demographic change into our life as an academic community if we are to maintain our high quality and our relevance to the world. To do this, we must recognize and draw on the full range of talents brought to us by men and women from many different racial, cultural, economic and ethnic backgrounds. Our greatest challenge in this regard is to reduce the underrepresentation and underutilization of minorities at MIT.

This requires, first, that we work to create at MIT an atmosphere of civility, collegiality and mutual respect-one that stimulates and supports all of our faculty, students and staff.

Second, we must take renewed, affirmative action to ensure equality of opportunity in education and employment at the Institute. Specifically, thoughtful and effective recruitment and career development of minorities for positions at all levels is necessary to ensure their greater and more effective participation in MIT's workforce.

MIT has always been a place where people with exceptional talents and intellect have gathered to work, to explore, to learn and to teach. Success in these efforts will enable us not only to reflect the changing face of America, but to draw on the full range of talents needed to meet the challenges of a changing world.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on March 22, 1995.

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