MIT Reports to the President 1995-96


The mission of the Office of the Associate Provost is to assist the Provost in carrying out a variety of academic and program support functions. In the past year the Office of the Associate Provost has focused on four major areas of activity.


We revised portions of Policies and Procedures related to Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure procedures. The aim of this rewrite was to clarify procedures relating to faculty and academic staff and to update existing policies and procedures. The changes were made after extensive consultations with Department Heads, Deans, the Faculty Policy Committee, and after approval by the Academic Council.

Some of the revisions include:

These changes are incorporated in the new version of Policies and Procedures to be published in Fall 1996.


The second area of activity was following up recommendations of the Jacoby Committee with respect to investigations relating to charges of harassment and other matters. In March 1996, the Jacoby Committee recommended that the Institute establish a special independent procedure to investigate charges of harassment against faculty and staff that cannot be handled under normal procedures within departments and offices. The committee also recommended training and other support for those officers and staff who routinely handle grievances or for faculty and senior staff selected to investigate them.

The recommendations of the committee were discussed at the Faculty Policy Committee and at the Faculty Committee on Administration. Academic Council approved an independent procedure. Under the procedure a committee composed of Officers of the Faculty (and headed by the Chair of the Faculty) will review grievances and determine whether an independent procedure is required and if necessary, put a procedure in place to investigate selected cases. The committee carries out its work in consultation with the Associate Provost.

In the coming months, general guidelines will be available for how investigations are to be carried out. The guidelines will be provided to investigators on a just-in-time basis. A description of the investigation procedure will be published in Policies and Procedures.


In February 1996, the Provost appointed the Associate Provost to chair the International Council. The purpose of the International Council is to advise and support the development of an institute strategy for international research and education initiatives. The responsibility for these initiatives rests with individual faculty and with academic and research units. However, the council's responsibility will be to make sure that major programs and the overall approach to major international efforts support the institute's academic goals.

Members of the Council include Professors Alice Amsden, Suzanne Berger (Co-chair), Joel Clark, Daniel Hastings, Don Lessard, Greg McRae, Fred Moavenzadeh (Co-chair), Mario Molina, Ken Oye, Peter Perdue, Richard Samuels, Judith Tendler, Lester Thurow, Bob Weinberg, and Mr. Karl Koster.

During the Spring term the Council held three meetings. These meetings were for the purpose of generating an agenda and beginning to explore various topics. These topics include the nature of past international initiatives and the lessons learned from those experiences and the relationship between international initiatives and resource development activities. In addition, the Council held discussions on several pending initiatives, including proposed activities in Thailand.

There were other international highlights of the year. Among these were more than a dozen visits from international delegations, a highly successful meeting of international alumni attending the Habitat II in Istanbul, participation in the first ILP meeting of European member companies, and participation in the Catalunya project Conference in Barcelona, Spain. The Associate Provost also held meetings with faculty members to explore issues associated with developing international components for educational programs for graduates and undergraduates.


On July 1, 1995, the International Scholars Office was assigned to the Office of the Associate Provost. The International Scholars Office (ISO) assists MIT faculty and staff in bringing international researchers and professors to campus for a variety of purposes. The ISO advises on immigration matters, issues visa documents, and provides guidance, information booklets and flyers on a wide range of issues relevant to the international scholar population. Weekly orientations are held for incoming scholars and family members.

The ISO served a total of 1,296 international scholars who were affiliated with MIT during the period 7/1/95 to 6/30/96. These scholars represented 75 different countries and 75 departments, laboratories, and centers. During some or all of that period there were 907 scholars sponsored under MIT's J-1 exchange visitor program, and 144 scholars sponsored by MIT on the H-1B visa. Sixteen petitions for permanent residence were submitted on behalf of MIT faculty members and upper-level researchers.

Immigration-related matters have been in the political and media spotlights, with major House and Senate bills at various stages of the legislative process throughout the year. A major focus for the ISO has been advocacy to prevent draconian changes in the non-immigrant and immigrant visa regulations which are important to the MIT community. The ISO director joined the American Association of Universities Immigration Advisory Group, which has played a key role in representing the interests of international educational exchange. Jack Crowley, director of MIT's Washington office, has once again provided invaluable support. The result of this advocacy is that the most damaging legislative changes have so far been averted.

The ISO remains active in the professional organization NAFSA: Association of International Educators, with some staff members participating in monthly meetings, presenting at regional conferences, attending the national conference, and serving on working groups pertaining to J-1 and H-1B visa issues. These gatherings provide MIT and other institutions with opportunities to clarify regulations and discuss policies of mutual concern, and often enable ISO staff members to address MIT's questions and concerns directly with officials from the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the United States Information Agency (USIA), the State Department, and the Department of Labor (DOL). This year has also been an important one for regulatory change. The USIA published substantial and problematic changes to the J-1 regulations in both April and June, and the DOL published a welcome proposed rule in April, finally recognizing the importance of distinguishing academic and industry salaries when determining prevailing wage for the H-1B and permanent resident visas. MIT has been proactive in each case, and has also actively responded with comment letters and follow-up. Among other significant staff activities were the following:


Frances Helmstadter retired on June 30, 1995, and is very much missed. Fortunately, the International Scholars Office continues to benefit from an energetic and capable staff. Dana Bresee Keeth was promoted to Director, Penny Sundberg was promoted to Advisor to International Scholars, Diana Faust LeLacheur was hired as Advisor to International Scholars, part-time. Jennifer Wellman was hired as Administrative Assistant, and Heather McConley ably continued as Senior Staff Assistant.

Phillip L. Clay

MIT Reports to the President 1995-96