Supporting the ICEO Report
To The Faculty Newsletter:
I am writing in support of the recommendations in “Advancing a Respectful and Caring Community: Learning by Doing at MIT”, by Professor Edmund Bertschinger, the Institute Community and Equity Officer. The report is comprehensive, reflecting the input that Professor Bertschinger has received from across the MIT community: from students, postdocs, staff, and faculty. The report describes a number of issues, including inequities, unconscious bias, bullying, sexual assault, and excessive stress, that hinder the ability of everyone in our community to contribute as much as possible to our mission of education, research, and service. The report recommends that MIT take action to address these issues, from creating an MIT Compact, a statement of institutional values that enable the MIT mission, to education of the community about unconscious bias and bystander intervention techniques to revisions of the policies on formal complaints to the gathering and sharing of data.
The 17 recommendations of the report are ambitious. As a first step, I suggest focusing on the following:
- Create an MIT Compact
- Launch an education campaign about unconscious bias and bystander intervention
- Continue implementing the recommendations of existing faculty equity reports
- Create and use a Community and Equity Dashboard (demographic and climate data for each department)
- Revise policies and procedures on the handling of complaints
I urge the faculty to support the recommendations in the report and the administration to act on them. I would like to thank Professor Bertschinger for his efforts in reaching out so broadly across our community and in putting together a comprehensive report.
Lorna J. Gibson
Matoula S. Salapatas Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
MacVicar Faculty Fellow