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Dear Faculty, Students, and Staff:
Over the last several years we have been working together to make our university a more equitable place to learn, work, and live—one that is free from discrimination and harassment and fully inclusive of the broadest possible range of people, backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. We know that this rich diversity is essential to our mission and to the excellence we strive for across the board, and we recognize that meaningful and lasting progress requires us to be comprehensive, persistent, and accountable.
This is the core of the JHU Roadmap on Diversity and Inclusion, our universitywide commitment, launched in 2016, to dedicate and invest ourselves in systemic change, and to hold ourselves to account openly and often.
In that spirit, we published our first annual progress report on the Roadmap last spring. Our second progress report will be published later this academic year, as will our second Faculty Composition Report and first Staff Composition Report.
We also committed that the Roadmap would be a living document, not set in stone but instead reflecting the continuous evolution of our work, advances in best practices, and ongoing conversations with our faculty, staff, and students.
Today we want to draw your attention to three initiatives that contribute to the ongoing work of the Roadmap and will be discussed in future progress reports. Each of these initiatives invites your input and feedback, and we hope you’ll take the opportunity to share your views with us.
- Revising our Discrimination and Harassment Policy and Procedures
In response to feedback from our university community, and to help develop a shared understanding of how the university receives, evaluates, and addresses complaints of discrimination and harassment, Vice Provost for Institutional Equity Kimberly Hewitt is leading an effort to revise and deepen the university’s General Anti-Harassment Policy. The Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) has prepared a draft, now titled Discrimination and Harassment Policy and Procedures, that proposes modifications to the existing policy and reflects requests from our students and faculty to make our policies more robust and our procedures more clear. This draft includes initial input from the Diversity Leadership Council, faculty governing bodies, and university and divisional leadership, and we are now seeking input from our broader university community. The draft is posted for review and comment on the university’s policy and document library website, and Vice Provost Hewitt and her team would welcome the opportunity to meet with interested parties.
- Developing a new Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
One of the priorities identified in the Roadmap is the need to update and consolidate our various institutional diversity statements. Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion Fenimore Fisher has brought new expertise to this work and has gathered a team of diversity professionals and stakeholders from across Johns Hopkins to help lead us through a process over the course of this academic year that will culminate in the adoption of a new institutionwide statement on diversity, equity, and inclusion. This process will revisit existing Johns Hopkins statements and benchmark to those of our peers, and will include broad consultation with students, faculty, and staff as we craft together a reaffirmation—in one place and one voice—of these critical values. The various statements and policies are available for review and we welcome your input through the university’s policy and document library website.
- Publishing the first annual report of the Office of Institutional Equity
Today we are publishing the university’s first annual report of the Office of Institutional Equity, which provides specific data on the volume, type, resolution, and timeliness of reports of discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct at Johns Hopkins. This document covers reports and investigations of sexual assault or misconduct under Title IX and/or discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or other protected status. It reflects ongoing efforts to make the OIE process more responsive and efficient, identify areas for improvement, and be transparent about trends on our campuses, in a manner that is protective of the privacy of all parties. We plan to publish and post this report each year, and we welcome you to send suggestions and feedback about the report to OIEPolicies@jhu.edu.
Let there be no doubt that Johns Hopkins is firmly committed to the values of our Roadmap and will continue to be intentional about the work and focus that it requires of us. We know well that the broader societal impacts of racism, sexism, and other insidious and illegal intolerances affect us here, and we are grateful for the work of so many at the university to help us achieve our goals.
Our university truly thrives only when all members of our community are respected, supported, and fully able to pursue their aspirations in classrooms, laboratories, offices, and clinics across our campuses.
We look forward to hearing from you on these important initiatives.
Ronald J. Daniels
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs