Harris Theme Wall


The Harris School of Public Policy is committed to the maintenance of a school community that not only welcomes and respects divergent perspectives, but actively reaches out to engage students, faculty, and staff from a wide range of backgrounds.

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

As a leading public policy school, diversity is core to our values. Harris Public Policy values diversity along a broad spectrum of factors, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, religion, socio-economic background, and social or political belief.

Consistent with the University of Chicago’s commitment to open discourse and free expression, Harris encourages members of the 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.

To honor the values of diversity and inclusion in every aspect of its research, teaching and scholarship, Harris actively enlists all members of the School’s community to maintain a welcoming and respectful learning environment that helps students develop the understanding and tools to lead and inspire change in complex and evolving social contexts.

The following organizations have special roles in promoting diversity and inclusion at Harris Public Policy:

Harris Diversity & Inclusion Office

Headshot of Michelle Hoereth
Michelle Hoereth, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Harris

Harris’ Diversity & Inclusion office is led by Michelle Hoereth, the inaugural director of Diversity and Inclusion at Harris, who works across teams and constituencies to support efforts across the School. The office provides resources and connections for students, faculty, staff, alumni, and more, in our effort to ensure that our community is welcoming, intentional in its commitment to diversity and inclusion, and safe for the free expression of ideas by people of all backgrounds, beliefs, and lived experiences. To contact the office, email [email protected].

Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Board

Founded in 2015, the Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Board (DIAB) was established as an advisory board for all affairs regarding diversity and inclusion at Harris Public Policy. Dean Katherine Baicker charged the DIAB, comprised of senior administration, faculty, students and staff members, with providing Harris Leadership with a concrete set of recommendations for areas of improvement. As a result, Harris conducted its first-ever student Climate Survey and held a series of feedback sessions with students, faculty, and staff as critical inputs into the development of strategic diversity and inclusion roadmap for the school to be released in June 2020. Harris' diversity and inclusion roadmap represents our living plan and commitment to strengthening our efforts and addressing the concerns raised by our community, setting clear goals and action steps, coupled with a measurement and reporting plan to hold ourselves accountable for progress.  

Affinity Groups at Harris

There are several Harris Student Organizations that are committed to serving minority and underrepresented student populations. The organizations includbut are not limited to:

Harris Public Policy Alumni

Harris Public Policy alumni are committed to advancing the work of Harris and regularly give input on behalf of a tremendously diverse, international alumni community. Suggestions and recommendations from this wide network continue to inform the members of the Harris community's approach to diversity and inclusion.

The Office of Student Affairs

The Office of Student Affairs provides leadership on diversity and inclusion efforts at Harris and works closely with the University’s Center for Identity + Inclusion. The Office also assists in coordinating activities for students that promote and encourage the exchange of diverse viewpoints and experiences.

Lastly, Harris and the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board fully subscribe to the University of Chicago’s Statement on Non-Discrimination, and are fully committed to the University’s efforts in preventing unlawful discrimination as outlined in the Policy on Harassment, Discrimination, and Sexual Misconduct.

Student Organization

Building Affinities, Building a Future

Student group Minorities in Public Policy (MIPPs) focuses on policy, professional prospects and community


Engage with Diversity & Inclusion at UChicago
Explore resources, and learn about the past, present, and future of diversity and inclusion at UChicago.