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Statements from James L. Sherley and MIT Administration Regarding the End of Sherley’s Hunger Strike

On Friday, Feb. 16, James L. Sherley and MIT issued the following statements regarding the conclusion of Sherley’s 12-day hunger strike that same day. Sherley was protesting racial discrimination in his tenure case. For more information, see the article on page 1.

Statement Released by Sherley

Dear colleagues:

As MIT observes its Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration today, I want to thank my supporters and other sympathizers of my hunger strike outside of the offices of the President and Provost. I am ending this part of my struggle. Starting today, I will in fact break my fast, in celebration of the attention that has been brought to bear on issues of equity, diversity, and justice at MIT and in higher education. Carefully modified from the original, my demands are still on the table. I urge the administration to act in good faith, to openly acknowledge and respond to the lines of communication and negotiation that have been in place for two weeks and to find its way to meet these demands.

Sincerely yours,

James L. Sherley

Statement Released by MIT

MIT deeply regrets that Professor Sherley’s experiences at the Institute have resulted in his fast to express his concerns about racism. MIT bears responsibility for ensuring an environment in which all members of our diverse community feel welcome and respected. Professor Sherley’s protest has focused attention on the effects that race may play in the hiring, advancement and experience of under-represented minority faculty, and on ensuring that our grievance processes are comprehensive, fair and timely. MIT is fully committed to addressing these issues and will continue to work toward resolution of our differences with Professor Sherley.