Official Statements

The following official statements express strong support at the university and college levels for making Notre Dame a diverse community in which women faculty and other diverse faculty are welcomed and helped to thrive.


At Notre Dame we are committed to being an academic community in which faculty of color and women are full members, full contributors, and fully supported. Our commitment in this regard derives, of course, from our mission as an institution of higher education committed to excellence. Like many other colleges and universities in the country, we recognize that an academic community that is more diverse ethnically, socio-economically, and by gender is a richer community for learning, discussion, and inquiry, and one whose graduates are better prepared to live and work in a world that is ever more global and diverse…

Because of Notre Dame’s distinctive mission, however, our commitment to diversity flows from an even more profound source. For this university is committed to the principle that every individual has an intrinsic dignity as a child of God, that every culture in its highest and best expression reflects God’s grandeur, and that all are part of a human community. A Catholic university with a large “C” is compelled to be one that strives to be catholic in the sense of universal or embracive, drawing all into a community grounded in God’s creative and redemptive love. So we strive to be a university in which we not only learn from the various backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives of others, but also form a community with them in which the gifts of each individual enrich the lives of every individual. Thus we better appreciate and embody the richness of creation and the embrace of God’s love.

– Notre Dame President John Jenkins, Address to the Faculty, September 16, 2008


Notre Dame is strongly committed to affirmative action in the form of its support for women and minorities. The rationale is at least three-fold: to address injustices, in which case affirmative action should be recognized as a temporary transition effort; to increase the diversity of the University in both personnel and curricula (the value of an idea is determined by its validity, not its genesis, but different life experiences may give one a lens for new and interesting ideas; in addition, studies clearly show that diversity adds to the quality of an educational environment, including the fostering of curiosity and dialogue); and to give our female and minority students models in the faculty ranks.

– College of Arts and Letters, Reference Guide for Arts and Letters Chairpersons and Faculty