Note: Provost Ka Yee C. Lee sent this message on August 5, 2020 in response to the faculty letter, “More Than Diversity – A Call to Action from University of Chicago Faculty.” The names of the recipients have been removed.
I deeply appreciate the letter that you and our fellow faculty members delivered to me, “More Than Diversity – A Call to Action from University of Chicago Faculty.” It reflects a great deal of thought and dialogue, and will require serious engagement by the Office of the Provost and our faculty colleagues throughout the University. I would like to find a time at your earliest convenience to have an initial discussion with you and members of the Executive Committee of the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture about the central points raised in the letter.
I have read the letter and will give it the careful consideration it deserves. It is already clear that we share a number of common goals, including a commitment to ensure that the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture, and related efforts of University faculty, have the support needed to “become an even more vital part of the University of Chicago community.” I have been eager to discuss and develop strategies to achieve this, and I look forward to further collaboration with you and other faculty members.
I also want to share that I value input and engagement on all issues of diversity that affect our faculty, students, and other members of the University community. I know the pace of change can be frustrating, especially at a time when our society is confronting the pressing need for new ways of thinking and action in the search for racial justice, and I share a sense of urgency to make concrete progress. At the same time, I should note that I have a different point of view on some points advanced in the letter, and in some areas it’s quite possible that we will ultimately disagree on the overall approach and best course of action. Regardless of our relative positions on such issues, I am committed to an exchange of views characterized by careful listening and candid discussions.
Thank you again for your letter – I look forward to discussing these issues soon.
Ka Yee
Ka Yee C. Lee  
Provost | The University of Chicago
Academic values
Diversity and Inclusion