During the 2015-16 academic year, MIT has worked to address student concerns about diversity and inclusion in a spirit of collaboration extraordinary among universities. This is the year that brought highly visible protests against racism to many campuses, with student groups placing demands before many university administrations.
At MIT the path has been rather different. Instead of demands, our students made recommendations. Instead of confrontation, they chose collaboration. The result has been a constructive process engaging the major stakeholders at MIT as described in the news articles listed on this page. In addition to recommendations made by the Black Students’ Union (BSU), the Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA), LBGTQ+ students and staff, several other groups have contributed ideas, including the Black Alumni of MIT (BAMIT), MIT staff, and those in the reports linked here.
Two ad hoc groups of administrators, faculty, staff and students have formed at MIT to advance progress on the recommendations: the Academic Council Working Group on Inclusion, and a Staff Alignment Group.
On April 29, 2016, a progress report on the BSU and BGSA recommendations was given to the MIT community at the Diversity Forum Town Hall. A summary is given in The Status of BSU and BGSA Recommendations.
The work continues. An update will be presented during the Fall, 2016 semester. We thank everyone who has committed time and care to the important work of advancing a respectful and caring community.
Ed Bertschinger, Institute Community and Equity Officer
Kirk Kolenbrander, Vice President