Skip to content

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


2009 Accreditation Report

Institutional Self-Study

Process and Participants

In Fall 2007, MIT's Self-Study Steering Committee commenced planning for our decennial accreditation visit. It began by reviewing the standards of accreditation for the New England Association of Schools and College's (NEASC), and the recommendation report from the Institute's last evaluation visit in 1999. In addition to focusing on areas of progress over the last decade, the Steering Committee suggested several key topics for reflection in the 2009 report, including: the work of MIT's strategic task forces; our continuing emphasis on issues of curricular renewal, diversity, globalization, and interdisciplinary research; and the historic aspects of MIT that foster our culture of creativity, collaboration, and innovation. These topics were presented to members of the Academic Council, MIT's senior academic and administrative leaders, at their January 2008 retreat. To draft the report, the Steering Committee assigned a coordination team to work with MIT committees, departments, and units across the Institute. Beginning in Spring 2007, the coordinators met monthly for a year and a half to collect and synthesize information.

In Fall 2008, the coordinators presented chapter outlines and major emerging themes to the Steering Committee in a series of executive briefings. Guided by feedback from the briefings, chapters were drafted and vetted by faculty, students, and administrators throughout the 2008-09 academic year. Additionally, members of the coordination team provided informational briefings on accreditation at MIT's Faculty Policy Committee, the Committee on the Undergraduate Program, the Committee on the Graduate Program, an Institute-wide Faculty Meeting, and at sessions with undergraduate and graduate student leaders. A draft report was made available for community comment in summer 2009, and third-party comment was solicited via the MIT website.

As part of the accreditation process, NEASC has requested that institutions become increasingly explicit in the areas of student achievement and success. To this end, MIT was asked to complete data forms demonstrating our explicit assessment efforts (E Series) and our measures of student success (S Series). Given our routine use of comparative data and desire to highlight MIT's Visiting Committee structure, we ascertained that the standard templates were an imperfect fit for our institution. At the encouragement of NEASC, we proposed – and were approved to use – an alternative set of data forms. The Office of Institutional Research analyzed extensive survey data and consulted with academic department heads to prepare the required documents. The results of our analysis are integrated into relevant chapters, and the completed data schedules are provided as a separate appendix.

Steering Committee

Susan Hockfield, President
Phillip L. Clay, Chancellor
Michael J. Faber, Advisor, Office of the President (Self-Study Coordinator)
Kirk D. Kolenbrander, Vice President for Institute Affairs and Secretary of the Corporation
Steven R. Lerman, Vice Chancellor and Dean for Graduate Education
L. Rafael Reif, Provost
Theresa M. Stone, Executive Vice President and Treasurer

Coordination Team

William H. Colehower, Senior Planner, Facilities
Elizabeth D. Cooper, Senior Project Manager, Office of Faculty Support
Pamela P. Delphenich, Director of Campus Planning and Design
Michael J. Faber, Advisor, Office of the President
Robert V. Ferrara, Executive Director of Strategic Planning, Communications and Alumni Relations, Office of the Dean for Student Life
Steven Gass, Associate Director for Public Services, MIT Libraries
Barrie Gleason, Director of Communication, Office of the Dean for Graduate Education
Jerrold M. Grochow, Vice President for Information Services and Technology
Stuart Kiang, Director of Reference Publications Office
Kirk D. Kolenbrander, Vice President for Institute Affairs and Secretary of the Corporation
Lorenna Lee-Houghton, Graduate Student Representative
Deborah A. Leitch, Senior Director, Special Projects, Office of the Executive Vice President and Treasurer
Douglas W. Pfeiffer, Assistant Provost for Administration
Elizabeth Reed, Senior Associate Dean, Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education
David Segaloff, Special Assistant to the Vice President for Information Systems and Technology
Ballin Smith, Undergraduate Student Representative
Lydia Snover, Director of Institutional Research
Sharon E. Westerfeld, Assistant Director, Office of the Dean for Student Life
Ann J. Wolpert, Director of Libraries
Nancy Y. J. Wong, Research Analyst, Office of the Provost

Acknowledgements and contributors

We wish to thank the following individuals who provided information, contributed data, or reviewed one or more sections of this report.

Sandy Alexandre
Richard L. Amster Jr.
Scott C. Barge
Daniel T. Barkowitz
Alecia Batson
Robin Baughman
Debbie H. Berechman
Robert G. Boes
Alisa K. Braithwaite
Lori Breslow
Vladamir Bulovic
Richard Caballero
Mary Callahan
Claude R. Canizares
Christopher Capozzola
Stephen E. Carson
Anantha P. Chandrakasan
Robbin N. Chapman
Amy E. Clark
Costantino Colombo
Peter Cummings
Francine J. Crystal
Wilson D'Souza
Thomas DeFrantz
Michel Anne-Frederic DeGraff
Margaret K. Delano
John C. Desforge
Louis DiBerardinis
John DiFava
Thayer Donham
John J. Donnelly
Martin Dugal
Veronica R. DuLong
Pamela Dumas Serfes
Sara F. Ellison
Gillian C. Emmons
Mary Z. Enterline
Laurie A. Everett
Genevre Filiault
Deborah L. Fisher
Christine Fitzgerald
Anna Frazer
Elaine C. Fulton
Tiffany W. Guo
Joseph F. Gifun
Amy K. Glasmeier
Suzanne L. Glassburn

Patrick Hale
Gregory A. Harris
Wesley L. Harris
Daniel E. Hastings
John B. Hawes, Jr.
Malgorzata Hedderick
Diana Henderson
Walter E. Henry
Erica C. James
Christopher M. Jones
Edmund A. Jones
Stephanie Keeler
Martin J. Kelly
Melanie Kenderdine
David Kennedy
Philip S. Khoury
Leila W. Kinney
Vijay M. S. Kumar
Thomas A. Kochan
Steven M. Lanou
Julia Ledewitz
Helen Elaine Lee
Monica O. Lee
Steven R. Lerman
Colleen Mazzeo Leslie
Sonia Liou
Barbara H. Liskov
Susann Duff LuperFoy
Kathleen L. MacArthur
Allen M. Marcum
Barbara A. Masi
Joy Matos
Matthew L. McGann
Timothy J. McGovern
Kathleen MacArthur
Jennifer L. Marshall
Marianthe Mewkill
Ryan Miller
Rebecca M. Millson
Carrie S Moore
R. Gregory Morgan
Doreen Morris
Simon A. Nasser
Jeffrey L. Newton
Nathaniel W. Nickerson
Karen A. Nilsson
Julie B. Norman

O'Neil A. S. Outar
Michael Kobina Owu
Tomas Palacios
Pardis Parsa
Jagruti S. Patel
Margaret L. Peterson
Preeya S. Phadnis
Charlene M. Placido
Jason M. Pontin
Tracy F. Purinton
David W. Randall
Robert M. Randolph
Janet Rankin
Theresa M. Regan
Audrey E. Resutek
Gail Rock
Ruthy K. Rosenberg
Israel Ruiz
Jocelyn S. Sales
Richard J. Samuels
Bishwapriya Sanyal
Martin A. Schmidt
Stuart Schmill
Camilla Shannon
Anthony P. Sharon
Lianne P. Shields
Lisa O’Leary Shuler
Alan E. Siegel
Mandy D. Smith Ryan
Robert W. Smyser
Paul Spangle
Sally Susnowitz
Andrea R. Sutton
David M. Templeton
Oliver Thomas
Rashmi Tiwari
James Torres
Daniel Trujillo
Hsin-Yu Sidney Tsai
J. Kim Vandiver
Joel Voldman
Tara E. Walor
Jed Wartman
Shirley Wong
Shawna L. Young
Dick K. P. Yue
Victor Zue


MIT would also like to thank staff from the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education who provided support, guidance, and advice throughout the drafting of this report: Julie Alig, Barbara Brittingham, Robert Froh, Patricia O’Brien, and Louise Zak.