The following statement was issued by University of Chicago Provost Thomas F. Rosenbaum in response to inquiries about comments made on Facebook by Professor Dario Maestripieri:
“The University does not speak for individual faculty members, and will not take a position on the opinions expressed by our faculty. At the same time, faculty members do not speak for the University. The University has had from its founding a commitment to free and open inquiry, which requires that we welcome the broadest range of perspectives. We are dedicated to creating an environment that supports the best scholarship possible, and women are essential members of this academic community.
“Over the past few years, the University of Chicago has made significant strides in strengthening the climate for women faculty. Actions include the formation of the Women’s Leadership Council (http://women.uchicago.edu/page/wlcmain), plans for two new child care centers serving children of faculty, a new grant program to support dependent care for junior faculty engaged in work-related travel, a revision of the policy on stopping the clock on promotion to grant an automatic, one-year extension for the birth or adoption of a child, and establishment of the dual-career office to help place into jobs the spouses and partners of recruited faculty. This year marked the release of the Report on the Status of Academic Women at the University of Chicago, as we continue to examine the issues and seek new areas for improvement.
“We have placed a particular focus on women in the sciences, as demonstrated in the Women in Science Project, which brings women faculty together to present their research; and the Women in the Physical Sciences Committee, created to enhance the representation and advancement of women at all levels of their careers. Last year we launched a partnership with Northwestern University to create the Chicago Collaboration for Women in STEM, with programs aimed at supporting career advancement.
“The University of Chicago continues to pursue this work vigorously. Our future relies on our ability to attract talented women and men and support their best work.”