Diversity Statement and Equal Employment Opportunity

SEAS Diversity Statement

SEAS’s mission requires that our faculty, students, and staff have contact with and understand a broad array of ideas and insights.  One crucial element involves attracting superlative people from diverse backgrounds and traditions who vary by their race and ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, nationality, culture, religion, and physical and mental abilities.  A second essential ingredient is the creation and maintenance of an atmosphere that welcomes new ideas – even unpopular and controversial ones – and encourages an effective and active exchange of views in an environment of mutual respect.

SEAS works affirmatively to recruit a diverse group of students, faculty, and staff.  It is committed to increasing the numbers of underrepresented minorities, particularly women and people of color.  It will work to ensure that our appointments and selection procedures consciously identify and evaluate a people from underrepresented groups.  We will also strive to remove sources of unconscious bias, and will seek to correct situations where full and open exchange of ideas has been limited.

University Equal Employment Opportunity

  • The University endorses the goals of equal employment opportunity and affirmative action as supportive of University values and of the values of a democratic and pluralistic society.

  • Diversity within the University community advances the academic purposes of the University, and an affirmative action policy is essential to achieving such diversity.

  • The University is also required to meet affirmative action program requirements established for contractors by the federal government and monitored by the Department of Labor.

  • Such programs provide a mechanism for monitoring University personnel policies to ensure equal employment, as well as a means for locating and eliminating any deficiencies in relevant areas of employment.

Reaffirmation of the University's Policy Concerning Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity by the President and Fellows of Harvard College

The President and Fellows adopted the following statement reaffirming the University’s policy concerning affirmative action and equal employment opportunity:

In their statements of November 3, 1969, and successive years, the President and Fellows of Harvard College emphasized the University’s policy of affirmative action and equal employment opportunity. The President and Fellows take this occasion once again to reaffirm the University’s policy.

Harvard University is committed to selecting faculty and staff without discrimination against individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, age, veteran status, disability unrelated to job requirements, genetic information, military service, or other protected status. The President and Fellows of Harvard College call upon every member of the University involved in recruitment, hiring, and promotions to exert their best efforts to achieve the goals set forth in the current affirmative action plan. The President and Fellows call upon every member of the University to engage wholeheartedly in the effort to ensure a wholly nondiscriminatory process of recruiting, hiring, and promoting women, members of minority groups, qualified handicapped individuals, and disabled and other covered veterans at all levels of employment throughout the University. Harvard also expects that outside agencies with which it contracts will comply with all applicable antidiscrimination laws.

Diversity within the University community advances the academic purposes of the University, and an affirmative action policy is essential to achieving such diversity. The University endorses the goals of equal employment opportunity and affirmative action as supportive of University values and of the values of a democratic and pluralistic society.

But simply adopting a policy of equal employment opportunity alone is insufficient. The University is also required to meet affirmative action program requirements established for contractors by the federal government and monitored by the Department of Labor. Such programs provide a mechanism for monitoring University personnel policies to ensure equal employment, as well as a means for locating and eliminating any deficiencies in relevant areas of employment.

The Office of the Assistant to the President was established to provide a central focus and resource within the University for pursuing with determination our goals of equal employment opportunity. This office serves as the University’s liaison with the federal government in matters related to contract compliance concerning employment. Lisa Coleman assumed leadership of this office upon her appointment as Chief Diversity Officer/Special Assistant to the President, effective February 16, 2010. Among her duties are coordination of the University’s affirmative action programs and oversight of their implementation throughout the University.

Harvard must and will maintain its commitment to the goals of affirmative action and equal employment opportunity. The President and Fellows of Harvard College request continuing cooperation at every level of the University toward implementing the University’s policy.

Last updated: 09/07/2012