Monday, August 08, 2005

The First Memo: A Pink Kitty Original

To: Harvard President Larry Summers
Harvard Deans
Harvard Department Chairs
Harvard Faculty and Staff

From: Lisa Miller, Dean for Diversity

RE: Increasing Diversity at Harvard University

To begin this note, I would like to thank President Summers for his forward thinking actions to promote diversity at this esteemed and well-respected institution. The push for increased diversity came from a contentious place (the meeting where he said the reason more women were not in the sciences because women had made other choices - like have families - that would take them off the tenure track), but I know that his actions will create a ripple effect across academia.

In my new role as Dean for Diversity, I will focus my efforts for the 2005-06 academic year on two key areas: diversity in hiring of faculty and diversity of and within the student body. This first in a series of memos will discuss hiring policies to create a more diverse faculty.

My staff will be working with the Office of Human Resources and academic departments to ensure that all top candidates are minorities – regardless of educational background or experience. Female minorities are particularly encouraged to apply as they will likely be hired. Male minorities will do well. European-American women come next, and last and least are European-American men. They are a part of the problem – the patriarchy. It must be stopped.

My office will be the shining example on which the rest of Harvard and ultimately academia should follow. I have already placed women into the management positions. Men have been hired in the support staff area, completely reversing the stereotype of the female secretary/office assistant.

It is a shame that only 11% of Harvard’s faculty are women yet represent over half of the student body. Thank you to President Summers for having the vision to correct this travesty! I look forward to the new challenges that we will face in making Harvard a truly multi-cultural university.