MIT, June 28, 2021
As an important step forward in MIT’s ongoing efforts to create a more welcoming and inclusive community, the Institute has hired six new assistant deans, one in each school and in the MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing, to serve as diversity, equity, and inclusion professionals.
Set to be in place by the fall of 2021, these new positions are a result of the February 2020 recommendations of the MIT working groups charged with implementing the findings of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s (NASEM) report on sexual and gender harassment of women in academia. Together, these reports called for “a network of support, advocacy, and community-building expertise across campus to improve our community culture.” MIT President L. Rafael Reif echoed these commitments to new staff and resources in his July 2020 letter to the community addressing systemic racism.
All six searches were conducted simultaneously and coordinated through the Institute Community and Equity Office (ICEO). John Dozier, who heads the ICEO, will serve as a “dotted-line” supervisor for all six assistant deans. Dozier, along with ICEO Deputy Director Maryanne Kirkbride and Associate Provost Tim Jamison, interviewed the candidates during the search process; together, they are also co-leading the creation of the DEI Strategic Action Plan.
This cluster of new hires is significant, Dozier notes, and there are more in the works. A search is underway to create a senior-level position in the Office of the Vice President for Research, and several academic departments have either already hired diversity officers or have searches in process.
“I look forward to seeing this group come together and to helping connect it with the many other community-building efforts across MIT,” Dozier says. “There are a lot of people in the MIT community who are already working in this area, and this is starting to feel like critical mass.”