A Message from John Dozier

Institute Community and Equity Officer

April 16th, 2020

To Members of the MIT Community,

My first day working at MIT – just one month ago as I write this – was as new an experience for most of you as it was for me. 

March 16th was both my first day and the first day that everyone in our community was expected to work from home.  In subsequent days and weeks, I’ve seen the spirit of innovation, enthusiasm, experimentation, and collaboration abound as students, postdocs, staff, and faculty alike endeavored to transform our community and adapt to a new way of doing nearly everything.

I observed this spirit in every conversation during the interview process.  While this is absolutely expected in the ways that the MIT community addresses technological challenges, it is also apparent in the ways that we intend to address challenges associated with creating and sustaining a more inclusive and equitable campus ethos.  This is a significant reason why I am so very excited and honored to be a part of this community as we continue this strategically vital work that informs our best teaching, learning, research, and service.

I come to MIT with experiences across higher education to include having been vice president for academic and student affairs, chief information officer and college president.  For the past seven years I’ve worked with members of the University of South Carolina community to actively create conditions that support the work and development of the students, staff and faculty as the university’s inaugural chief diversity officer.  I bring these experiences to bear in our effort to take a more strategic and communicative approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion – building on the significant accomplishments of my predecessors.

While I am excited to begin our work at MIT, I am also reminded that the community that existed when I was interviewing is very different from our community now.  Paraphrasing a quote from Dr. King, “The ultimate measure of [our Institute] is not where [we] stand in moments of comfort and convenience, but where [we] stand at times of challenge and controversy.”  As we continue to be thought leaders in addressing the technological challenges of our time, we will also lead in addressing the challenges that keep us from realizing our fullest potential.  Creating and sustaining a more equitable, inclusive and just community is central to this endeavor.  As we consider what this means for us – as an Institute community - now and as we return to a more “normal” state of operating, I look forward to working with each of you.

Sincerely,

John H. Dozier

Institute Community and Equity Officer