The commitment to service and excellence that marks these achievements are nowhere more evident than in the person and accomplishments of Miss Mary L. Morrissey, Director of Special Events and the Information Center, whose 45-year career at MIT will draw to a close this coming September. Mary developed the Information Center from a small outpost of the Registrar's Office in the 1950s into a communications hub for members of MIT community as well as visitors to the campus; created the systems and spirit for special events of all sorts at MIT; and guided the development of an operation to support MIT's international community of scholars.
Above all, Mary Morrissey has been a leader, advisor, and exemplar of what it means to care for a community. She has created extraordinary moments of celebration, bringing together people from all walks of the Institute to celebrate new buildings, new graduates, and new presidents. With exquisite grace and sensitivity, she has worked with bereaved colleagues to create memorial tributes to those who are no longer with us. Her insistence that there is a proper way for things to be done, and for people to treat each other, has informed the way in which she has worked with her staff and her colleagues throughout the Institute. Her sense of style and her sense of humor are legendary. The beneficiaries of her wit and her wisdom are legion. I am not alone when I say I will miss her steady hand and her guiding sense of what is right for MIT.
Kathryn A. Willmore
The Communications Office accomplished its three goals set last year. To evaluate the extent to which the course catalogue provides information that is accurate, accessible, and useful, the Office surveyed key catalogue customers, our current students. Based on survey results and its consideration of information design, the Office will continue to redesign information elements in the catalogue to better meet the needs of its audience.
Second, the Communications Office worked at many different levels to better understand the issues around publishing in print and electronic formats. Projects included work with the PSRG+ team and Resource Development to publish MIT Facts on the World Wide Web; cochairing the Agile Publishing Working Group, which designed an information template for the Faculty Picture Book; exploring the viability of digital photography; and developing an "electronic agenda" for all reference publications produced by the Office, including an electronic version of the Reports to the President 1994-95.
Third, the Office continued to integrate computer technology into its business processes, such as an electronically generated index for the course catalogue and on-line communication with information providers.
Finally, since March, the manager has served on the Institute reengineering team assigned to evaluate how the Institute purchases publishing services. For next year, the Office foresees a redefined role based on the recommendations which emerge from the publishing reengineering team and will integrate its plans for electronic versions of future reference publications with those recommendations.
One of the primary responsibilities of the director is to serve as Executive Officer for Commencement. This year, the sun shone brightly and an east wind gave comfort to all in Killian Court during the 129th Commencement Exercises. Professor Hanna H. Gray, the Harry Pratt Judson Distinguished Service Professor of History and President Emeritus of the University of Chicago, was the guest speaker, and President Vest gave the charge to the candidates. It was a perfect capstone to twenty years' of MIT commencements for the Director. The evening before Commencement, the Hooding Ceremony for 379 doctoral degree recipients was held in Rockwell Cage, and was once again a success. Families and friends loudly cheered as recipients marched across the stage, many with small children and babies in their arms. Over 70 faculty members, representing all the departments, proudly marched and clapped as a faculty representative from each of the departments assisted Dean Frank Perkins in the hooding of each candidate.
In addition to serving as a consultant and advisor to various departments and functions at the Institute, the director has had a varied list of duties. The yearly events included the Killian Lecture and the Alpha Phi Sorority tea. The special events for this year included coordination of the dedication ceremonies for the new Biology Building, the Festschrift for Dr. Henry C. McBay, and memorial services for past presidents Dr. Jerome B. Wiesner and Dr. Julius A. Stratton, and for former Treasurer Joseph J. Snyder. The director had the distinct honor and privilege to assist in the events of Charm School, held each year during the Independent Activities Period. It was a pleasure to act as hostess for the ever-gracious etiquette guru herself, Miss Manners , aka Mrs. Judith Martin.
In addition, the Office worked with MIT's Program in Technology, Management, and Policy on the arrangements for three summer courses. We also assisted the Office of Laboratory Supplies on its third annual "Vendor Trade Show" held beneath a tent in McDermott Court in September, an event that brought over 100 vendors to campus and provided an opportunity for more than 2,000 members of the community to interact directly with representatives of suppliers of office and laboratory products.
This office also handled the arrangements for more than 125 recruitment presentations by companies and other organizations that visit MIT under the auspices of the Office of Career Services and Preprofessional Advising.
Marie Seamon, Assistant Coordinator, once again provided invaluable assistance to the Manager on all of these events.
Among other significant accomplishments of the year were the following:
* The ISO effectively responded to a DOL audit of selected H-1B cases.
* Handouts and procedures concerning the mandatory health insurance requirement for J-1 visa holders which went into effect September 1, 1994 have been very effective.
* During the year, ISO staff members continued participation in the appointment process systems (TAPS) reengineering team devoted to revising and computerizing the academic appointment process for the Institute, including reference to the immigration work that is needed as part of the hiring and appointing process.
* The ISO continues to prepare customized annual reports for the United States Information Agency and the Institute for International Education, as well as MIT.
* Staff members held two sessions for administrative officers, one on various immigration procedures and another focusing on H-1B matters, and sponsored the annual workshop on taxes for foreign scholars.
* The Commission on Immigration Reform, which was appointed by President Clinton to study and make recommendations on a range of issues, called MIT Professor Eugene Skolnikoff to testify. The ISO staff supplied him with information on scholar activity and university immigration concerns.
A new student category of visiting student will soon be introduced at MIT. The purpose of the category is to permit students studying abroad to come to MIT to pursue research activities that will enhance their studies. This category will be implemented through the International Students Office. It is necessary to distinguish this activity from the more usual scholar activity served by the International Scholars Office: academic-level researchers coming to MIT to collaborate with MIT faculty and staff. Transitional issues will require close attention.
Frances Helmstadter continued to serve as New England area representative of the NAFSA: Association of International Educators' Government Regulations Advisory Committee. In this capacity, she worked with immigration officers in both the district and regional offices and with other agency personnel. These contacts are powerful tools for serving scholars and MIT faculty members and for informing colleagues about procedural changes. Ms. Helmstadter and Ms. Keeth have been active members of NAFSA, attending meetings and, with Penny Sundberg, presenting at regional conferences. Dana and Fran also attended the annual `Ivy League plus friends' meeting to share information and approaches to common concerns.
I particularly wish to salute the three members of the central Information Center staff who have served a total of 74 years. They include:
* Kathleen Barrett, who has greeted visitors and the MIT community with consistent caring, knowledge, and dignity. Her office colleagues also have been the recipients of her dependable, generous, and giving nature.
* Terri Priest, whose imagination, skills, and accomplishments are noteworthy. Terri has effectively and creatively administered many projects, particularly the organization of programs for the short-term international visitors to MIT.
* Donald Ferland, whose organizational proficiency is well known. Donald always managed to meet the challenges, particularly during stressful times, all the while keeping his desk very clean. His delightful sense of humor, keen mind, efficiency and speed, constant attention to detail, and careful mindfulness of the office needs for over 16 years, have proved his value to the Institute time and again.
I note here that Frances Helmstadter, head of the International Scholars Office, retired on June 30 from the Institute and returned to her home in Ithaca, New York. Fran served tirelessly and effectively on behalf of MIT's international scholars for six years and kept a constant vigil concerning the impact of changes, procedures, and regulations in immigration laws. She also served as a guiding hand to other colleges and universities who have depended on her for advice in the area of immigration. The Institute is most fortunate that Dana Bresee Keeth will take on the reins as director of this office, which will begin reporting to the Office of the Provost, under the supervision of Associate Provost Philip Clay, as of July 1, 1995.
Each year in the President's Report, I have bid a farewell to a particular member of the wonderful, small group of associates in the Information Center. After 45 years, it is now time for me to bid adieu to the Institute as a whole, and pass the baton of leadership to the capable hands of Gayle Fitzgerald. Gayle has shared so much with me these past 14 years that it is difficult, if not impossible, for me to list it all. Gayle has been a constant and consistent part of my life. I must also mention Kathryn Willmore, my supervisor, close associate, and good friend, who has always given me the trust and opportunity to be creative and independent. I shall miss the laughter and close association with these talented, remarkable, and accomplished co-workers. Finally there is Constantine Simonides. I miss his warmth and laughter (but not so much his teasing!). He was invariably confident that I would be able to take on any task successfully. He was my biggest cheerleader and my great friend.
I shall miss the challenges and the camaraderie of working with so many people from departments throughout the Institute, including the many volunteers, who have given of themselves so unselfishly for over twenty years' of special events, including Commencement ceremonies, building dedications, community celebrations, and memorial services. Their sense of caring and helping on behalf of the Institute has been a heart-warming experience that has never failed to touch me.
It has been an honor and a privilege to have served the Institute, and it is with a humble heart and tender sadness that I take with me the gifts of love, understanding, joy, and laughter that have been so generously given me all these years.
Mary L. Morrissey
* Established stronger communication links between internal offices, including the Communications Office, Information Systems, Graphic Arts, and senior administration, which resulted in a collaborative effort to review goals for specific MIT publications, provide information about new media technology and equipment, and support electronic publishing by coordinating training workshops for staff members with Information Systems.
* Continued to upgrade publications and explore new publishing technologies that created more efficient methods for printing, including design templates and style guidelines for electronic versions of the Reports to the President and Policies and Procedures; the MIT Bulletin, the MIT Directories, the Guide for Dealing with Harassment at MIT, the Alumni Association mailers, the MIT Briefing Book, the Guide to Studies in Racial, Ethnic and Intercultural Relations, and Project Earth Health 2000.
* Implemented efforts to increase awareness among major Institute clients of our expanding design capabilities with an office representative who began promoting our services and showcasing our work to determine how our internal customers see their "information requirements" evolving in the next several years.
* Worked on internal staff development and education by coordinating with Information Systems a two-day training workshop for staff members on Adobe Photoshop, as well as additional courses in Microsoft Word, Aldus Pagemaker, and Microsoft Excel. Training continued throughout the year with several Campus Wide Information System (CWIS) meetings at which staff gathered information on opportunities and developments in electronic publishing at MIT.
* Explored and improved procedures for generating income by changing the focus of our work to bring in larger, more substantial publications which supplement our existing income. Examples of some of these publications include the bookMIT Lincoln Laboratory: Technology in the National Interest, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering recruitment pieces, and the Media Lab Newsletter Frames.
Among the goals for the coming year are the following:
* Explore design implications for publishing in the "new media" environment and continue collaborations with colleagues to support other publishing efforts at MIT including the Agile Publishing initiative, potential publication options for the MIT Bulletin such as CD-ROM, and specific electronic publishing projects on the World Wide Web.
* Continue the exploration of design and information technology as it relates to academic publishing at MIT, improve and accelerate the production process in Design Services, and provide information design to our customers that is timely, accurate, and visually compelling.
* Continue efforts to improve services and to increase cooperation with other offices in the area of agile publishing, in order to create a publishing system at MIT that is economical, efficient, and still customized to meet the needs of individual publishers.
* Design an Internet home page for MIT Design Services to promote our current services and expand our existing client base.
The program topics were organized into three categories:
Tools -- the latest developments in electronic publishing technologies,
Techniques -- putting the new technology to work effectively, and
Futures -- how will publishing change and what will it mean to us and our organization?
The key issues were lively, going back and forth between filmless, plateless, paperless publishing on one hand, to the more traditional world of plates and presses on the other. The topic of electronic delivery seemed to explode on every front and issues central to Internet publishing swept in like a tidal wave. There were several other areas that emerged and caught the group's attention. Color publishing was in the news as a mainstream operation with new features, including better color copiers, large-format color printers, and enhanced color management and matching systems. Page layout programs have grown in sophistication and Internet authoring tools such as HTML and SGML continue to grow in importance. Content management will also be critical to the electronic publishing workflow -- from information design and architecture, to ease of navigation. As anyone who attended the conference realized, the publishing industry is about to begin a long period of rapid and revolutionary change.
The News Office mission is to support the educational and research initiatives and accomplishments that have kept MIT in the forefront by communicating them to the public through the news media. However, as Congressional budget-cutting pressure threatens the enormously successful half-century research partnership between the government and universities, the News Office is finding it necessary to focus more on the public relations component of its mission. Briefly stated, MIT and other research universities are finding it necessary to remake the case for education, research and development with legislators and the public.
It was a case vividly put forward 50 years ago by Vannevar Bush in his report Science: The Endless Frontier to President Truman: that research and development is not a cost but an investment in the quality of life, health and welfare of the American people.
As the year ended, President Vest was putting the finishing touches to a National Press Club speech intended to highlight the need to maintain the course set by Vannevar Bush. Dr. Vest delivered the speech in July and the News Office was involved in making arrangements and calling attention to the speech, which later was carried on the C-Span TV network. In it, Dr. Vest addressed the fraying of the erstwhile partnership between the government and research universities. The title he chose for his remarks, "In Search of Mediocrity: Is America Losing Its Will to Excel?," reflects the dangerous consequence he sees if the nation persists in turning away from its commitment to education and research.
The News Office is managing - but not without some difficulty, given our small staff and budget - to devote more time and resources to public relations efforts while maintaining the flow to the Institute community.
Our vehicles for these communications continue to be Tech Talk, which was published 34 times this year; Research Digest, of which 10 issues were published; and news releases, of which 143 were issued.
The most important "continuing story" carried by Tech Talk this year concerned the reengineering effort being headed by Vice Presidents William R. Dickson and James D. Bruce. Tech Talk carried several articles and produced a special reengineering edition on May 1, 1995.
Other Tech Talk headlines in the last year included:
* 21% more women in freshman class
* Cuts in DOD research endanger US preparedness
* Clinton names 4 from MIT to [PCAST] posts
* New robots may aid Old Ironsides
* Reactor used in trial of new cancer therapy
* Robotuna is the first in new `genetic' line
* Shull joins ranks of MIT's Nobelists
* President emeritus Jerome Wiesner is dead at 79
* MIT scientists discover arsenic-eating organism
* Single-atom laser technique developed
* Provost Wrighton announces new MLK visiting faculty program
* Microchip has potential to restore lost vision
* Most student aid spared in House. . .cuts
* US News ranks MIT #1 in engineering, business, economics
* Custodial teams start reengineering pilot program
* New way found to cleave nitrogen molecule
The news media paid major attention to a number of research stories, many involving students in lead roles. These included a student's work on a prototype robot, Cleo, that one day may be used by medical doctors to perform microsurgery inside the body; a gripping device that can allow people with arthritis to open doors and do other difficult tasks; and the work on "Robotuna," a project to develop a highly mechanically efficient autonomous underwater vehicle that can turn and dive with the agility of a fish.
Kenneth D. Campbell
MIT Reports to the President 1994-95