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Joint statement by the nine presidents on gender equity in higher education

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Patti Richards
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December 6, 2005

In 2001, we came together as a group to state publicly that "[i]nstitutions of higher education have an obligation, both for themselves and for the nation, to develop and utilize fully all the creative talent available." That statement, which we reaffirm today, recognizes that barriers still exist to the full participation of women, not only in science and engineering, but also in academic fields throughout higher education.

In the summer of 2005, representatives from our nine universities convened to share best practices and specific initiatives addressing faculty with family responsibilities. While considerable progress has been made since 2001, we acknowledge that there are still significant steps to be taken toward making academic careers compatible with family caregiving responsibilities.

Our goal as research universities is to create conditions in which all faculty are capable of the highest level of academic achievement. Continuing to develop academic personnel policies, institutional resources, and a culture that supports family commitments is therefore essential for maximizing the productivity of our faculty.

The future excellence of our institutions depends on our ability to provide equitable and productive career paths for all faculty.

David Baltimore, California Institute of Technology
Lawrence H. Summers, Harvard University
Susan Hockfield, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Shirley M. Tilghman, Princeton University
John Hennessy, Stanford University
Robert Birgeneau, University of California, Berkeley
Mary Sue Coleman, University of Michigan
Amy Gutmann, University of Pennsylvania
Richard C. Levin, Yale University

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