President and Provost: Diversity and Inclusion Initiative

To: Members of the University Community
From: Robert J. Zimmer, President, and Daniel Diermeier, Provost
Subject: Diversity and Inclusion Initiative
Date: October 16, 2017

A salient issue on many university campuses today is a perceived tension between two values that the University of Chicago has long espoused: a deep and foundational commitment to free expression, open discourse, and rigorous inquiry on the one hand; and the importance of the rich diversity of the campus community on the other.

The University of Chicago has long been committed to the idea that these values are not in opposition: that a culture of rigorous inquiry demands an environment where diverse perspectives, experiences, individuals, and ideas inform and stimulate intellectual exchange, challenge, and engagement; and that the quality of education of every student is deeply enhanced by the habits of mind and intellectual skills that only a challenging environment provides.  Fulfilling our highest aspirations with respect to these values and their mutual reinforcement will always demand ongoing attention and work on the part of all of us.

The following link introduces the Diversity and Inclusion Initiative designed to support such work. We need to manifest these values more rather than less, demand more of ourselves as a community, and together be forthright and bold in demonstrating what our community aspires to be.

We ask all of you for your help and commitment to the values of diversity and inclusion, free expression, and open discourse, and what they mean for each of us working, learning, and living in this University community every day.