To: Students, Faculty, Other Academic Appointees, Postdoctoral Researchers, and Staff
From: Ka Yee C. Lee, Provost
Subject: Fostering Belonging and Supporting Full Participation at UChicago
Date: October 12, 2022
The University of Chicago is committed to supporting our faculty, students, staff, other academic appointees, and postdoctoral researchers to ensure they can fully engage in campus life and produce their best possible work. With a new academic year now underway, I write to ask everyone to take an active role in fostering a sense of belonging across our Chicago and global campuses and continue supporting the full participation of all members of our community.
Belonging affects all aspects of the University experience. Everyone here should feel welcomed, accepted, valued, appreciated, and heard. We should all be empowered to express our views openly and be willing to listen to those with different perspectives. By creating a sense of belonging at the University, we will uphold our commitment to free expression, maintain our rich academic environment, and deliver on our core purpose as a leading global research university. I hope that each of us will commit to working collaboratively to enhance everyone’s sense of belonging at UChicago.
Many aspects of campus life can impact a person’s sense of belonging, including issues related to inclusion and accessibility. The University does not tolerate harassment, discrimination, or sexual misconduct of any kind. We also prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other legally protected classes.
The University makes substantial efforts to prevent and address allegations of harassment, discrimination, and sexual misconduct, and to further enhance accessibility for the campus community. Here is information on related policies, support, and resources to aid in our full participation efforts:
  • The University’s Policy on Title IX Sexual Harassment and Policy on Harassment, Discrimination, and Sexual Misconduct define relevant terms, processes, reporting obligations, and support services. Our Digital Accessibility Policy defines relevant guidelines, processes, and responsible parties.

  • The Center for Awareness, Resolution, Education, and Support (UChicago CARES) enhances efforts and resources to prevent and respond to all forms of harassment, discrimination, and sexual misconduct. The multidisciplinary UChicago CARES team takes a holistic approach to supporting all members of the University community through outreach initiatives and prevention education, the coordination and provision of support services that focus on the care and empowerment of individuals, and the expansion of available resolution options.

  • Support and resources, including confidential resources, are available to all members of our community. For more information, please review the University’s resource guides for students, faculty/other academic appointees/staff/postdoctoral researchers, and individuals with Title IX reporting responsibilities, along with the UMatter website. Appendix I in the University’s Policy on Title IX Sexual Harassment and Policy on Harassment, Discrimination, and Sexual Misconduct contains a comprehensive overview of available support and resources.

  • Sexual misconduct awareness and prevention training is required annually for all students, faculty, other academic appointees, staff, and postdoctoral researchers. You will receive a follow-up message in the coming weeks with details on completing the training program. Please visit the Annual Training Requirement website for more information.

  • The Bias Education & Support Team (BEST) is a resource for students impacted by bias to report incidents and receive support and information regarding options. Students may report a bias incident by submitting an incident report or contacting a BEST member. BEST is also a resource to support staff who work directly with students who may experience bias.

  • Where access may not be accomplished in the same way for every program participant or employee, the University provides accessibility through accommodations. Accommodation requests based on a disability are facilitated through the following units:

  • Access UChicago Now provides information regarding accommodations and resources that support accessibility and inclusion of people with disabilities.

  • The Center for Digital Accessibility (CDA) supports the campus community in meeting accessibility guidelines as set forth in the Digital Accessibility Policy. The CDA provides accessibility resources for individuals who create and design University digital content (e.g., videos, websites, PDFs, slide decks, etc.). For more information, contact the CDA about digital content and SDS about course materials. You may also use Sensus Access, an open-source document conversion resource, to convert files into accessible formats.

  • Events are expected to be accessible. Event accessibility resources are available to assist event organizers, who are responsible for accessibility and accommodations related to their events. The Accessible Event Resource Guide and Accessible Event Resource Guide Checklist can assist event organizers with creating accessible events.

These initiatives and resources help strengthen the University’s response to harassment, discrimination, and sexual misconduct, and foster an inclusive and accessible living, learning, and working environment. Please refer to them as needed throughout the academic year. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to this important work.
Policy and Administration