MIT Reports to the President 1994-95

Office of the Registrar


In 1994-95 student enrollment was 9,774, compared with 9,790 in 1993-94. There were 4,472 undergraduates (4,509 the previous year) and 5,302 graduate students (5,281 the previous year). The international student population was 2,150, representing eight percent of the undergraduate and 34 percent of the graduate populations. These students were citizens of 100 countries. (Students with permanent residence status are included with US citizens.)

In 1994-95, there were 2,813 women students (1,604 undergraduate and 1,209 graduate) at the Institute, compared with 2,757 (1,528 undergraduate and 1,229 graduate) in 1993-94. In September 1994, 433 first-year women entered MIT, representing 39 percent of the freshman class of 1,104 students.

In 1994-95, there were, as self-reported by students, 2,496 minority students (1,944 undergraduate and 552 graduate) at the Institute, compared with 2,417 (1,905 undergraduate and 512 graduate) in 1993-94. Minority students included 356 African Americans (non-Hispanic), 44 Native Americans, 490 Hispanic Americans, and 1,606 Asian Americans. The first-year class entering in September 1994 included 502 minority students, representing 46 percent of the class.


Degrees awarded by the Institute in 1994-95 included 1,104 bachelor's degrees, 1,192 master's degrees, 22 engineer's degrees, and 521 doctoral degrees -- a total of 2,839 (compared with 2,869 in 1993-94).


Most of the above 1994-95 figures are taken from the several tables that follow this report. These tables, together with others dealing primarily with historical comparison and demographic data, comprise the annual Registrar's Report, separately published and available upon request.


The following highlights some particular accomplishments in addition to the normal services provided by the Office in the areas of registration; maintenance of academic/address/biographical records; certification of MIT attendance; transcripts; tuition administration; cross-registration; subject, classroom, and exam scheduling; classroom maintenance and renovations; Academic Calendar; degree audit; Commencement and diploma preparations; Catalogue subject/curricular management; interpretation of policy; maintenance/operation of the Student Information System; privacy of information; and statistical reporting:

Strengthen support of the Institute's academic programs

Assisting the work of various Faculty Committees, for example, in: developing a three-year experiment with plus and minus grades; reviewing issues related to the new mechanical engineering curriculum and IAP-only subjects; developing policies and pilot test of new procedures for lotteries in over-enrolled non-HASS subjects; assessing policy issues related to the new Biomedical Engineering Minor; implementing the new Institute Calendar; expanding support to the CAP and making end-of-term activities more efficient, including clearing most S.B. degree candidates directly with departments prior to the CAP meeting, entering CAP actions in real time on the new Student Information System (MITSIS) as they are voted at the meetings, and personally contacting seniors to inform them of problems prior to the CAP meeting.

Streamlining Pre-registration and Registration Day procedures through the use of simpler pre-reg forms and development of a new integrated Registration form; providing both the Final Exam schedule and the resolution of conflicts earlier than ever to allow students and faculty better end-of-term planning; developing mechanisms to support the COC/CUP initiative for earlier lotteries; providing departments with better tools for enrollment management; implementing a new comprehensive scheduling system for freshman physics (8.01) to address departmental concerns both for simplicity of administration and provision of conflict-free schedules, and negotiating classroom assignments to allow 8.01 faculty to teach in the same classrooms back-to-back.

Meeting periodically with the undergraduate and graduate academic departmental administrators to keep them up-to-date on policy changes and MITSIS; providing 20 hands-on MITSIS training sessions for departmental administrators plus additional one-on-one training; maintaining a help line and being available by telephone and e-mail for questions by MITSIS users; providing up-to-date student address information on-line earlier in the term; participating in policy discussions regarding privacy concerns associated with the on-line release of student photographs; establishing direct support for incoming transfer students during their orientation; streamlining the procedures for registering the Project Interphase participants by meeting with the group.

Collaborating extensively with Physical Plant, Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs (UESA), and Planning Office regarding maintenance and renovation of classrooms: providing design input for the new classrooms in the Tang Center and Building 56 and the scope of renovations for E51; working with CRSP to re-acquire 2-102; in response to Faculty desires, planning major upgrades (heat/cooling, blackboard space, aesthetics, etc.) to four classrooms; implementing a policy for between-lecture blackboard cleaning by students that satisfies highly-varying faculty preferences; realizing substantial furniture savings by salvaging and restoring material from areas under renovation and taking advantage of discount purchase opportunities; collaborating with MIT Audiovisual and Academic Computing to install equipment suitable for classroom operation, such as video demos, computer-notes, etc.; responding to several requests for concise classroom utilization data.

Fulfilling a wide variety of requests for information, statistics, and analysis (e.g., Provost's Office, Schools of Engineering and Science, Career Services, Planning Office, etc.); developing the capacity to more usefully provide such information in electronic form; assisting the International Students Office in developing policies and procedures for bringing visiting students to MIT to work with Faculty on research projects; assisting the Schools with the processing of their Minor programs; streamlining the production of the Awards section of the Commencement Book through use of electronic mail; working with Information Systems to put Catalogue information on the World Wide Web.

Implementation on 31 October 1994 of Phase I of the new Student Information System (MITSIS)

Providing substantially strengthened functionality to support the business needs of the various user areas of MITSIS; supporting all user areas in the development of their parts of the system and conceptualizing the requirements of the Registrar's Office to substantially improve the services to students, faculty, academic departments, alumni/ae, and other MIT administrative offices. Major accomplishments in the development process include: completing the detailed specifications of the new system; coding and comprehensive testing of the thousands of forms, programs, and processes; coding and testing the detailed rules needed to convert the complex active and archival data into the radically different MITSIS data structures; making disaster recovery provisions; and concurrently keeping the old IBM system running.

Setting up over 250 users on MITSIS and training them in general use of the system; writing documentation of Forms for the new system; writing procedural documentation for Registrar's Office procedures; maintaining user support and a help line; undertaking Oracle 7.0 conversion and Forms 2.3 to 3.0 conversion; developing a variety of interfaces and downloads for various offices/departments, as well as numerous production and ad hoc reports; developing more efficient ways to pass data from MITSIS to the SIS Server on Athena.

A few of the significant improvements in the new MITSIS include: on-line real-time interactive access to current and archival records; rule-based, table-driven architecture for user ease and minimal maintenance; extensive audit trails of financial and academic transactions; significant expansion of the student information that can be viewed and/or updated by academic departments/faculty; significant reduction in paper and increased flexibility to respond to departmental requirements; complete integration and reconceptualization of the pre-registration, scheduling, and registration procedures for greater ease, efficiency, and timeliness; greater depth and clarity of the information on students' academic records; students' capability to preregister (Phase II) and update information on Athena and view their academic record and other public and private information; electronically prepared academic transcripts and certifications of attendance (enhanced speed and quality); MIT-assigned ID numbers (for privacy, consistency); automation of "future term" record maintenance; reconceptualization and integration of descriptors of student's enrollment status; flexible student address structure allowing multiple, time-ranged addresses; grading, degree audit, entrance status, tuition, and future term eligibility structures that are rule-based and flexible; greater integration of Financial Aid and Bursar information and procedures.

Strengthen effectiveness in administrative procedures and office operations

Making significant changes to improve and expand the level of service to students, faculty, and alumni/ae at lower cost; implementing the new electronic transcript process and transcript request form; developing an automated Transcript Information Phone Line; using cost-effective desk top publishing for a variety of forms, including the new Registration form; conducting study of the Registration Information/Class Schedules booklet; fostering effective working relationships with the departmental academic offices, including working through transition issues with MITSIS.

Working with the Communications Office to improve the effectiveness of the MIT Catalogue; working with an ad hoc group to strengthen, using electronic means, the coordination and effectiveness of scheduling classroom and other space for ad hoc use; expanding services in the satellite Registrar's Office in the main building; initiating a process to fully document future operations in the Registrar's Office as part of developing an operations manual for the new MITSIS; expanding communication and collaborative efforts with the Admissions, Bursar, UAA, HASS, PE, Writing Requirement, and International Students Offices to smooth procedures.


Complete development of Phase II of MITSIS, including making optimal use of MITSIS in providing new and more effective services to students, faculty, and the administration (substantially expanded Student Access on Athena including student access to more academic and financial information, pre-registration, etc.; electronic certifications; substantially upgraded usability of MITSIS by Faculty to access class lists, class pictures, academic information on advisees, etc.).

Strengthen the academic research capabilities and involvements by the Registrar's Office, including the effective sharing of appropriate data.

Play an active role in helping to effectively reengineer MIT's student services.


Robert Principato left the office after nearly six years of service as Manager of the Student Information System; his contributions to all aspects of the MITSIS development and implementation are immeasurable. Lauri Hugentobler left the office after nearly five years of service as one of the Team Leaders; she made substantial contributions in developing aspects of MITSIS serving Bursar, Housing, Medical, and Dining. Andrea Bernard was promoted to Administrative Staff as the MITSIS System Coordinator. Raisa Budman joined the staff as analyst programmer and Robert Rippcondi as Manager of MITSIS. Ann Braden Reilly from the Bursar's Office was promoted to the position of senior analyst programmer.

Staff members were involved in numerous ways in Institute faculty committees, Institute community service, community outreach, freshman seminar program, freshman advising, etc. We gratefully acknowledge the many accomplishments and contributions of all the members of the Registrar's Office in service to the Institute.

No words can adequately thank the Registrar's Office staff, both the MITSIS technical staff and the service operations staff, for the hard work, skill, sacrifice, and caring that made possible the implementation of the new Student Information System. It was an awesome accomplishment by a truly extraordinary team.

David S. Wiley

MIT Reports to the President 1994-95