In 2015, Harris formalized its commitment to diversity and inclusion. With the guidance of the School’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board (DIAB), a group of appointed faculty, students, alumni, and staff who advise the Dean on all matters related to diversity and inclusion, Harris developed a statement to encapsulate our shared mission and vision for diversity and inclusion.

Ahead of the 2020-2021 academic year, we renewed our commitment to reflect the guiding principles of Harris’ D&I Roadmap, which sets strategic priorities for the advancement of diversity and inclusion across all facets of the school’s mission. Our roadmap consists of school-wide goals, concrete action steps, and and a framework for ongoing monitoring, evaluation, and oversight.

Under the leadership of Harris’ Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, this effort represents the school’s first-ever strategic diversity and inclusion plan.

Statement on Diversity and Inclusion

Fostering an environment that encourages rigorous inquiry and effective public policy problem-solving requires the involvement and understanding of diverse viewpoints, experiences, and traditions.

Our Commitment

The Harris School of Public Policy welcomes and respects students, faculty, and staff from a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives as part of our commitment to building an inclusive community.

As a leading public policy school, Harris holds diversity as a core value. That includes not only diversity of opinion, but diversity along a broad spectrum of factors, including race, ethnicity, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability status, religion, socio-economic background, and social or political belief. Recognizing the value of diversity and inclusion is essential to combating discrimination, addressing disparities, and cultivating ethical and clear-eyed policy leadership.

Harris enlists all members of the school’s community to maintain a welcoming environment for scholarship and learning that helps students develop the understanding and tools to drive better policy in their communities and around the world. As a school, we empower our community to advance policy based on evidence, not ideology.

Consistent with the University of Chicago’s commitment to free expression, we believe that open discourse is vital to our mission as a policy school.  Harris encourages its leadership, faculty, student body, and administrative staff to respect and engage with others of differing backgrounds or perspectives, even when the ideas or insights shared may be viewed as unpopular or controversial.  Recognizing that diverse views, as well as political, cultural, religious, and social differences, can sometimes create tensions, Harris aims to foster thought-provoking discourse by encouraging community members to speak freely about all issues. We are a place where difficult questions are discussed with mutual respect and open minds.

Historical Timeline

Diversity & Inclusion historical timeline