Edmund Bertschinger appointed as Institute Community and Equity Officer
Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office June 20, 2013
Physicist has a long track record of leadership on issues of community, equity, inclusion and diversity.
Edmund Bertschinger, a physicist who has led both his department and the Institute to foster a culture of inclusion, will become MIT’s Institute Community and Equity Officer (ICEO). The new position will focus on matters of community, equity, inclusion and diversity on campus.
Provost Chris Kaiser made the announcement today in an email to the MIT community. Bertschinger, a professor of physics who now heads the Department of Physics, will assume his new role on July 1.
During his first six months as ICEO, Bertschinger will work, in close collaboration with Kaiser and President L. Rafael Reif, to develop and lead a strategic planning process in consultation with, and reflecting the needs of, the entire MIT community: faculty, students, postdocs and staff.
“One of my goals as president is to cultivate a caring community focused on MIT’s shared values of excellence, meritocracy, openness, integrity and mutual respect,” Reif said. “As I said nine months ago in my inaugural address, my hope is that by the time MIT selects its next president, our diversity will be a welcome, obvious reality and a vital source of the Institute’s creative strength. Real progress toward that goal requires being receptive to a wide range of opinions — of which MIT is in no short supply. Professor Bertschinger will help make MIT a place where everyone truly feels they belong.”
Bertschinger’s initial strategic planning process will also include development of an ICEO mission statement reflecting two objectives: deepening the sense of inclusion based on MIT’s shared values, and helping all members of the MIT community to appreciate and leverage its diversity of experiences and backgrounds. This strategic planning process will also articulate a set of achievable goals and the means for assessing progress toward these goals.