Provost Robert A. Brown has announced the appointment of a 12-member Council on Faculty Diversity to aggressively promote the racial and gender diversity of the faculty.
The council will be co-chaired by Professor Brown, Associate Provost Philip Clay of urban planning and Biology Professor Nancy Hopkins, who is joining the Academic Council and the Dean's Committee in this role. Professors Brown and Clay also are on the Academic Council.
President Charles Vest commented, "The formation of this Council, and the appointment of Professor Hopkins to the Academic Council, will bring renewed energy and innovation to our long-standing commitment to build a faculty that is both world-class and diverse. We must make academic careers in general, and at MIT in particular, compelling and rewarding to the best and brightest women and minority students."
In his charge to the council, Provost Brown said, "To ensure MIT's continued pre-eminence in research, and to continue to offer the best possible education to our exceptional and diverse student body, the MIT Council on Faculty Diversity will work with the faculty, departments, schools and the senior administration to help the Institute aggressively promote faculty diversity. These efforts will work to establish a sustained institutional environment that will attract a diverse faculty that reflects the students we educate."
Professor Hopkins commented, "Achieving a faculty whose diversity reflects that of the students we train has proven to be more complex than first imagined. Because of the deep commitment of this administration and of so many faculty here, I think there is no better place now than MIT to solve this important problem."
Professor Clay said, "I look forward toworking with faculty colleagues to atract women and minority faculty. Diversifying thefaculty is a critical part of our leadersihp role and our commitment to student development."
The Council is to consider all aspects of faculty development:
ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ Tracking the number of women and minority students through undergraduate and graduate schools, to post-doctoral associate positions and finally to faculty positions.
ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ Designing programs and policies to increase their number and to promote retention.
ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ Examining policies and processes for faculty hiring within MIT, and making recommendations on how to improve faculty searches and recruitment of women and minority candidates.
ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ Creating programs and policies that are sensitive to the need to balance an academic career with a family life.
ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ï¿½ Establishing an open and inclusive environment for a diverse faculty that promotes involvement in leadership throughout MIT.
The other members of the council are professors Lotte Bailyn of the Sloan School of Management; Rafael Bras, head of civil and environmental engineering; Lorna Gibson of materials science and engineering; Evelyn Hammonds of science, technology and society; Wesley Harris of aeronautics and astronautics; Jacqueline Hewitt of physics; Thomas Magnanti, Dean of Engineering; Kenneth Manning of the Writing Program and science, technology and society; and Robert Silbey of Chemistry, the Dean of Science.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 13, 2000.