Dear Harvard College Students,
Earlier this morning, the University shared the results of the Pilot Pulse Survey on Inclusion and Belonging. The Pulse Survey is part of a larger effort to better understand inclusion and belonging at Harvard. Findings indicate that 23 percent of the 20,000 students, faculty, and staff who took the survey disclosed they did not feel a sense of belonging at Harvard. These numbers clearly indicate that we have more work to do to make Harvard the community we aspire to be.
I am inspired by the work done every day by members of our community as we strive for a better Harvard. The College continues to identify new programs and events aimed at fostering a greater sense of connection for our community. I encourage you to share your own ideas for creating a more inclusive Harvard by submitting a proposal to the Culture Lab Innovation Fund.
At Harvard, the people are the place. Every member of our Harvard community matters, and everyone belongs here. Harvard at its best will be a vibrant human and humane community where everyone can thrive, and we will continue to work towards that goal.
Danoff Dean of Harvard College
Dear Members of the Harvard Community,
Earlier this year we sent the 10-question Pilot Pulse Survey on Inclusion and Belonging to all students, faculty, academic personnel, and staff at Harvard. We asked whether you felt that you belong and have the opportunity and support to succeed at the University. Thank you to those of you who took the time to complete the survey. Today, I share the results, which I believe will contribute to creating a Harvard where every member of our community can thrive and excel.
This pilot survey was one of several recommendations from the Presidential Task Force for Inclusion and Belonging. We heard from more than 20,000 individuals—close to half of our community.Overall, the survey gives us some reason for optimism: 77 percent of you said you feel that you belong. However, that means that 23 percent of our community did not agree with the statement “I feel I belong at Harvard.”Clearly, while we are working hard, there is still room for much improvement. We need to continue to work as a community towards positive change.
Each of you—whether you are here to learn, to teach, & to work, or some combination of these activities—should feel that you belong here and that we are a better Harvard because you are a member of this community. The diversity of people, experiences, and ideas at Harvard enriches all our lives.
The results of the Pilot Pulse Survey are already informing the work led by Senior Advisor John Wilson and the team in the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging. John has convened a new Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Leadership Council composed of representatives from every School and many of the units across the University. Through sharing best practices and other efforts, the Council will support the good work already taking place across Harvard. Additionally, we have launched a search for a Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer who will help lead our efforts.
As we are reminded by events that have occurred at Harvard,as well as those routinely reported in the broader media around the country, we still live in a world where many members of our community are made to feel marginalized. This first Pulse Survey was a very useful pilot, and we have gleaned important insights to refine this tool. I look forward to working with all of you to build upon what we have learned so that we can create an environment in which all members of our community may thrive. Let us begin this important work together.
All the best,
You can learn more about the survey, recommendations, and how the University is already acting on those recommendations in the Harvard Gazette.