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Northwestern University

College Community: Diversity and Inclusion

Statement from the STEM Department Chairs on Diversity and Inclusion

Dear Northwestern Community

As Chairs of STEM departments in Weinberg College, we want to communicate that we are dedicated to making our departments places that welcome and value all persons.

This summer, the National Academies released a comprehensive report on “Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.”

A key finding from this report is that harassment is a serious and widespread problem in STEM that takes many forms, including actions and comments that are dismissive, belittling or demeaning, that collectively can create an environment of persistent hostility. While the report addressed harassment specifically related to the impact on women in STEM disciplines, its findings can be extended to all groups that have been historically marginalized.

The report further found that organizational culture is a predictor of gender and sexual harassment. We write to set the tone: 

We, along with other faculty leaders in STEM disciplines, endeavor to create departmental cultures that are inclusive and welcoming to all students, faculty, and staff. We believe that fostering such an environment is essential to advance our collective missions in teaching, research, and service.

 

Teri W. Odom (Chemistry)

Matthew Hurtgen (Earth and Planetary Sciences)

Lawrence Christiano (Economics)

Eric Zaslow (Mathematics)

Carole LaBonne (Molecular Biosciences)

Ravi Allada (Neurobiology)

Michael Schmitt (Physics and Astronomy)

Larry Hedges (Statistics) 

Faculty Recruiting and Retention

The College makes every effort to recruit and retain faculty members with outstanding records of research and teaching from a variety of national, ethnic, and religious backgrounds.

Staff Development and Diversity

The Weinberg College Staff Advisory Board comprises staff members from across the disciplines who act as a liaison between the administration and the College’s staff in an effort to further a positive and enriching University environment and work-life. One of its responsibilities is to help build a strong and supportive staff community within the College. Toward this end, the Board has dedicated itself to work with College leadership on diversity and inclusion efforts in order to recruit and retain a broadly representative workforce.

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