updated 7/15/2005 11:08:08 PM ET 2005-07-16T03:08:08

Harvard has chosen its first diversity adviser, a position created after the university’s president angered many faculty members when he questioned women’s aptitude for top-level math and science.

Lisa Martin, a professor of international affairs in Harvard’s government department, will advise the dean of faculty on matters relating to gender, racial and ethnic diversity in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

Martin said her job is to a craft a “long-term strategic vision” to “make sure that minorities and women at Harvard are in the best position to do their work.”

The faculty took a vote of no confidence in President Lawrence Summers in March after he gave a speech in which he said that innate differences between the genders may partly explain why fewer women apply for top jobs in science.

After the no-confidence vote, two task forces on women recommended creating Martin’s job. Her appointment was announced Wednesday.

Harvard is offering a sociology course for the first time this fall called “Women and Science: Sociological Aspects.” The new course catalog said the class will explore the “similarities and dissimilarities between the situation of women and that of other minority groups in science.”

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