In the Fall of 1994, Dean Arthur Smith announced his intention to resign as Dean for Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs. Then-Provost Mark Wrighton assembled a committee, chaired by Professor Linn Hobbs, and gave it two charges: to assemble a list of candidates to fill the position, and also to recommend how the position of dean, and more generally the office of Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs, might be redefined and reorganized to better serve the Institute's educational mission.
As one result of the deliberations of the Hobbs Committee, I was asked to serve as Dean Smith's successor. Since becoming Dean in September 1995, I have worked to bring about the changes in scope and organization recommended by the Hobbs Committee. In its report, that committee proposed that the two major elements of the office - one concerned with student residential life and campus activities, the other with academic affairs - should be more clearly separated, and that each should be strengthened with more authority and resources. The committee therefore advised that MIT hire a Dean for Student Life who would report to the Dean for Undergraduate Education. With this organization the two offices would work in a coordinated fashion, while assuring a primary focus on academic issues.
Accordingly, in December 1995 Margaret R. Bates was hired as Dean for Student Life. In very little time she has developed a broad knowledge of MIT and a deep understanding of its culture, and she has been an enormous help in running the office and in interacting with the rest of the Institute. Because the process of defining our respective roles has gone smoothly, I am finding more time to devote to academic issues. Most notably, I have been able to help organize the Task Force on Student Life and Learning, which President Vest has charged with undertaking a comprehensive review of MIT's educational mission.
What will take more time is the strengthening of the authority and resources of both the Dean for Student Life and the Dean for Undergraduate Education. This can be done only by developing closer relationships with other administrative units concerned with educational issues. The creation of these relationships is proceeding slowly - as it should - but it is proceeding, primarily through the creation of an array of student services reengineering teams during the past academic year. One team, under Margaret Bates, has been established to consider the reorganization of housing and residential life; another has been established, under student leadership, to design better administrative procedures in the area of co-curricular life. Although the boundaries of a more integrated organization for residential and campus activities are not yet clear, they should begin to be defined in the coming year.
On the Undergraduate Academic Affairs side of the office, administrative boundaries are also being re-examined in a collaborative spirit. One of the student services reengineering teams, the FAST team, has so far focused on routine financial and registration transactions, but it is also involved in areas such as curricular information and academic advising. In the fall, two other teams will propose redesigns in areas that have direct relation to academic affairs: career services and educational support services. Finally, in the spring of 1997 a reengineering team focused on student orientation will be started.
Therefore, on the academic side as well as on the student life side, the scope of this office will be changing. As we move forward, I will miss the comradeship and wisdom of Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs Travis Merritt, who has just announced his decision to retire on October 1, 1996. Dean Merritt has contributed extraordinary creativity and energy to the improvement of undergraduate education at MIT. He has done wonders with very limited resources, and one of the challenges that confronts me in the coming year is how to respond to the retirement of this truly irreplaceable person.
Another challenge I face is to serve effectively as sponsor of student services reengineering now that it is entering a phase of intensive, multifaceted activity. When I began as Dean, I looked forward to working as co-sponsor with Vice President James Culliton. The relationship that began so enjoyably and compatibly ended far too soon with his illness and death. No doubt other ways will be found to share oversight of the reengineering process, but the loss of his experience and guidance in this role is profound.
Yet another challenge for me during the coming year is to develop a clearer sense of common mission within the dean's office. During the past year we held a number of all-office meetings to discuss this and to begin to set some priorities. As a result of these meetings, communications throughout the office have improved, and during the coming year we will continue to improve them. We will also be working to develop administrative mechanisms and financial structures necessary to carry out our core mission: to provide coherence, leadership, and historical vision in defining, articulating, and supporting MIT's educational mission in the academic and residential lives of our extraordinary undergraduates.
Rosalind H. Williams
When I was appointed to the newly created position of Dean for Student Life, beginning December 1, 1995, my charge was a wide-ranging one: to serve as an advocate for students, and to seek to improve the living and learning environment at MIT. Despite the inevitable difficulties associated with organizational change, to say nothing of the literal dislocations occasioned by my arrival, I have found a warm welcome indeed. Moreover, I have already had occasion to work cooperatively with a wide range of colleagues and offices, within UESA and beyond, as well as with both undergraduate and graduate students. The issues we have addressed have ranged at least as widely, from the pilot program for large student social events, to voter registration for students, to overcrowding in the residence halls, to the feasibility of a preorientation program for freshmen, to name only a few.
One of my first meetings was with the Student Services Reengineering Team, and that involvement continues, most directly as team captain for the Housing and Residential Life Implementation team, but also more generally with the many other groups addressing the quality of student life. I have also been privileged to join the MIT Museum Advisory Board, to participate in the deliberations of the Committee on Student Affairs, to moderate a guest panel at Leadershape, to introduce myself to the IACME group of industrial sponsors, to serve on the selection committee for the Compton and Stewart awards, and even to observe the heretofore mysterious rites of broomball. The experience has been an exhilarating one for me personally, but I also hope to foster such opportunities and connections for others in future, with the kind of support and encouragement that Dean Rosalind Williams has so generously provided me in my introduction to MIT.
Margaret R. Bates
During the 1995-1996 school year we completed and put into place the new Discipline and Conflict Resolution System. This new system had been several years in the making and a decade in the talking. The new system preserves the opportunity for students to resolve conflicts informally and at the lowest level. To that end, Residence and Campus Activities (RCA) continued to handle most cases informally, a process that draws on RCA's expertise in mediation. For the first time, however, students are involved in matters of discipline not heard by the Committee on Discipline (COD), since panel participants are chosen from a pool of trained staff and students. By including students, the system is now parallel with COD, and the perception that justice is dispensed fairly has been enhanced accordingly. The new procedures were piloted in the Spring of 1996 and a revised system will be in place for the year.
W11, the Religious Activities Center, has continued to be one of the most active pieces of property on the campus. During the year the Lutheran Chaplaincy appointed The Reverend Constance Parvey to fill the void left last year when The Reverend Susan Thomas departed. David Thom, director of Campus Crusade for Christ, left after seven years to take a position with Athletes in Action at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. A replacement has not been appointed. The Reverend Nick Fatato left during the year and has been replaced by The Reverend Mike Olejarz who will be an Associate Chaplain.
Over the course of the year the regular gatherings of the Religious Life Council brought student organizations together to further their understanding of one another and to keep our office aware of their general needs. Interfaith conversation occurred each time we gathered, but for the Institute at large these conversations across creed and history largely went unnoticed. This may change in the year ahead as the Jewish, Islamic and Christian communities begin a series of seminars on the views of science in the three traditions. The idea informing the creation of W11 was that by bringing these communities together we would be improving communication between them. This seminar series will turn this idea into a public reality.
The resource development efforts on behalf of programs housed in W11 has proceeded well. The Technology and Culture series is on sound footing for the immediate future and a September 10th program and dinner with President Vest will kick off the series for 1996-97. The efforts of Ms. Diane Goldin in Resource Development have aided not only Technology and Culture, but also MIT Hillel and hold potential for other programs as well.
Still needed, however, are resources to underwrite the operation of W11. The building is an important naming opportunity; efforts thus far to elicit the donation needed to endow its operation have not been successful, but should not be abandoned.
The Student Life Now designation for the Parent's Fund generated nearly $10,000 to be used by the Dean in support of immediate student needs. The Alumni Fund will offer this option this year and increased resources should result.
The Yannis Krikelis Memorial Scholarship fund was set up in the months after Mr. Krikelis' untimely death. The fund grew so rapidly that the first scholarship was given this spring to a continuing MIT student. Plans now call for a major effort in the early fall to raise additional funds for the scholarship from the Greek community and others who knew and valued Yannis.
This past year three undergraduate students died. Yannis Krikelis was killed in September in a motorcycle accident. Melissa Ronge took her own life in February, and John Selormey died in April. Each death was a tragedy in its own right and the Institute responded effectively to the needs of the moment. Our willingness to respond with compassion conveys the proper impression of the kind of community we are. We know that in a community as large as this one that the odds are that we will continue to deal with sudden death; on average it happens at least once each year. While we have the people to respond, it is important that other resources for responding appropriately be reserved, identified, and available.
In terms of community, the uncertainties that go with reengineering and with the early retirement of so many individuals in the Institute, combined with the greater uncertainties of the times, have contributed to a malaise that is clear to all. One way to address present anxieties and to focus attention on future opportunities is to understand and honor MIT's past. Efforts to capture the threads of history are underway that will have implications for how we bring new students, faculty and staff into this community and orient them to it. How important and successful these initiatives are will depend on interest and funding. The new year dazzles with opportunity - so much so that some fear we will stumble off a cliff. Our ability to sharpen our vision of the future is the appropriate answer to dazzling opportunities, and a sharpened vision can keep you sure footed.
Robert M. Randolph
Betty H. Sultan
The Central Section assists the staff and students affiliated with Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs with decisions and support in the areas of Personnel, Space, Finance and Information Systems. The year was marked by the departure of Art Smith as Dean for Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs, and the arrival of Rosalind Williams, Dean for Undergraduate Education and Margaret Bates, Dean for Student Life. The introduction of new leadership has produced implications around office space and organizational structure which continue to affect the department. With the exception of the leadership change, the department enjoyed a low turnover of administrative staff with only one departure and two new hires. Reengineering efforts in the areas of mail services and the hiring of temporary help affected the business practices of the office. Central personnel were actively involved in smoothing the temporary hiring process. The central office was and continues to be actively involved in the assessment and design of the student activities accounting process. In the area of Information Systems UESA introduced its web site at the start of the academic year. Additionally we coordinated the development of a new database architecture for the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program and installed additional hardware and software for the research function of UESA. Support provided to major initiatives inside the department such as the Writing Requirement Discovery Team and outside the department such as the FAST team have implications for the gathering and distribution of information in future years.
Affirmative Action successes in UESA consisted of the appointment of four females to administrative staff positions, two of whom are in senior leadership positions. As a result the UESA staff is now 65% female. Over all classifications the UESA staff is 23% minority and 74% female. The table below displays the ethnic and gender profile of the 57 full- and part-time UESA staff as of June 1, 1996.
& Academic Staff
Seven of the 40 administrative staff are African American (4 men and 3 women). The remaining minority members of the staff are an Mexican male, an Asian American female, and a Native American female. The 3 minority support staff are all female, one Asian American and two African American. UESA will continue its commitment to Affirmative Action in Fiscal Year 1997 by actively recruiting and hiring minorities, particularly Asian and Hispanic administrative staff and African American and Asian support staff.
Richard L. Brewer
Steven M. Burke
This office continues to dedicate itself to the personal support of all MIT students. In CSS, personal support is defined broadly to include a student's academic, psychological, interpersonal, and even career and financial well-being. Services are designed to address this combination of issues, with an emphasis on the student's ability to cope - and, we hope, flourish - within the learning environment at MIT. The mission of Counseling and Support Services is to provide personal counseling to all students in a highly competitive and stressful environment. Such counseling will seek to dignify each individual student in his or her efforts to learn within both academic and personal contexts.
The goals of the office are:
1995-1996 was a difficult year regarding student mental health at MIT, with a student suicide, several other student deaths, and a large number of particularly extreme psychiatric crises to respond to. As is true every year, the counseling deans teamed with the psychiatric service to handle numerous psychiatric hospitalizations, working with families, hospital staff, MIT faculty, housemasters and other students around these situations. Both our personal counseling and academic support counseling (involving discussion and advocacy around classroom academic difficulties or CAP review) were in great demand: four counseling deans often had to scramble to cover student requests for help. The addition of a learning disability consultant to our staff enhanced our services, but created new challenges in terms of community education, clarification of legal compliance issues, and the integration of services into existing structures. MIT's two peer hotlines, Nightline and Contact Line, continued receiving supervision and support from several staff members in this office. Finally, CSS offered an array of trainings, workshops, discussions, and small group meetings described below, designed to address a variety of student and staff needs.
These areas of responsibility, including the granting of leaves of absence and excused absences from final exams, place CSS in the midst of students' academic struggles. The counseling deans also help students when illness or serious circumstances interfere with the timely completion of their academic work. These responsibilities continue to provide an excellent means of drawing counseling-shy students into the office, and put the counseling deans in close touch with faculty around a wide array of student problems. Such work also acknowledges the potent interaction between academic and personal well-being at MIT.
This year CSS continued to strengthen its readmission process. Decisions are made by the counseling deans in a group format; standards for readmission have become more uniform and clear. Input on readmission decisions is routinely solicited from academic departments, since many students have been required to withdraw by the CAP due to poor performance. Work with the CAP this year has required clarification of several issues, including the impact of learning disabilities on student performance and on the Committee's process, and the role of MIT Medical and CSS in the Committee's decision-making. Such discussions within this complex Committee can be challenging at times but often serve to enhance understanding of the difficult student circumstances CSS brings to the CAP.
Students of Color (Ayida Mthembu, Arnold Henderson)
Assistance with Kwanzaa, Hispanic Month, Black History Month, Puerto Rican Week, Cinco De Mayo, The Minority Awards Banquet and the Minority Graduates Luncheon; support to the Black Theatre Guild; study skills trainings with SHIPE and minority students in New House; Committee on Campus Race Relations; Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee.
Women Students (Lynn Roberson, Kim McGlothin, Ayida Mthembu)
Freshmen women's discussion group; graduate women's lunches (networking and programs); advising for women student groups of African-American, Asian-American and Latina background; workshops and presentations on relationships, communication, self-esteem, rape, harassment and violence prevention; participation in international women's conference at Harvard; MIT's Women's Advisory Group and Nutrition Resource Group.
Students with Disabilities (Rich Goldhammer, Arnold Henderson, Jackie Simonis)
Student screenings to determine need for Learning Disabilities evaluations; tutoring and coaching support; arrangement of Learning Disabilities accommodations with faculty; meetings and trainings with key faculty, departments and committees concerning learning disabled students at MIT; development of faculty advisory committee to set policy; frequent collaboration with MIT's Disabilities Coordinator on behalf of students; disabilities support for commencement.
Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Students (Arnold Henderson, Lynn Roberson)
Contact Line peer hotline supervision and group facilitation; lesbigay R/O reception.
Institute Trainings, Inter-Office Programs, and Other Activities (Arnold Henderson, Kim McGlothin, Ayida Mthembu, Lynn Roberson, Jackie Simonis)
Admissions work; support to MITES and Interphase; training group with Undergraduate Academic Affairs Staff; R/O appearances and programs, Parents Weekend; discipline advisor panel training; MedLinks training.
The addition of Kim McGlothin to the counseling staff has helped CSS to cope with the intense work load created by the counseling demands of MIT's student population. Rich Goldhammer's work as a learning disability consultant has enhanced our work with students, providing us with more insight into learning problems, and giving students an essential resource for their difficulties. However, certain issues remain problematic and unresolved in CSS. Although we have an excellent and dedicated staff, four counseling deans may truly be an inadequate number to serve 10,000 students at a highly stressful institution like MIT. Our office's broad charge to engage both the emotional and academic well-being of students, the related processes administered through this office (such as readmission and leaves) and the programmatic support offered to special student groups, create an excellent, low-barrier, and multiple-entry atmosphere for student support. However, the breadth of our charge greatly taxes the work days of a minuscule staff. In addition to all the direct service we provide, other CSS responsibilities - programming support for special student groups, readmission, CAP advocacy, etc., - are time-intensive as well, adding more pressure to a very stressful work setting. As a result, talented staff members are recruited but become depleted; commitment and enthusiasm clash with serious battle fatigue. My hope for the coming year is that we can work as an office to consider ways to replenish staff and provide essential "down" and reflective time so that individuals can continue to bring kindness, creativity, and energy to the students they serve.
Space remains an unresolved issue for CSS as well. Although July 1 will see an administrative change as the International Students Office begins to report to the Office for Graduate Education, we are still crowded into one work space. Issues of staff supervision, student privacy, and autonomy for offices with very different missions have become difficult to manage. Moreover, the CSS staff who are not housed in 5-106 have suffered from the lack of collegial and supervisory connection, as have the students they serve. It is my sincere hope that the next President's Report does not reprise this lament.
Jacqueline R. Simonis
Lynn A. Roberson
Arnold R. Henderson, Jr.
Brima A. Wurie
The purpose and mission of the International Students Office (ISO) is to provide services and support programs which meet the special needs of international students and help them to fulfill their academic goals.
When an international student is admitted to MIT, a legal component is added to the normal process of admission. Federal laws regulate the procedures that institutions and students must follow in order for students to come to the U.S. to study and maintain their legal non-immigrant student visa status for the duration of their program of study while in the US. The International Students Office issues the required legal forms and provides programs aimed at introducing the students to their new environment.
During the past year, the ISO issued the initial immigration documents for approximately 1000 students; 800 of them eventually enrolled at MIT. As in the past, the ISO, in cooperation with the International Residence Orientation Committee, provided an Orientation Program for new international undergraduate students. In addition, the ISO held daily information sessions on immigration regulations, life at MIT and in the U.S., and cross-cultural issues for all incoming international graduate students throughout the summer period as well as during the month of January. During the month of August the office sponsored weekly Coffee Hours where new students could meet current students and other members of the MIT Community. The Orientation Program also included presentations on banking in the U.S., Social Security, Campus Safety Issues, tours of the Medical Department and MIT Libraries, and a Welcome Party co-sponsored by the Alumni Association. Finally, a few days before the beginning of the academic year, the ISO together with the Medical Department sponsored the International Open House for incoming students.
During the academic year and annual vacation periods, the ISO continued to provide legal documents and advice on immigration regulations for students who wished to travel, to have some work experience in this country, change educational level, transfer to and from other institutions, change visa status, or extend current visa status. In addition, the office provided letters certifying enrollment at MIT required by foreign countries to transfer money to the U.S., postpone military service, or to invite spouses, siblings or parents for a visit to the U.S. The office has provided personal advice when students encountered difficulties in adjusting to their new environment, in meeting their financial obligations, or any other problem they might have encountered on or off campus. Approximately 70% of the current international student population at MIT visited the ISO during this past year, and many of them came more than once.
The ISO-sponsored Hosts to International Students Program has continued to be very successful, with a large number of students having the opportunity to get to know and interact with American families on an on-going basis. The office has also worked closely with the Coordinator of the Wives' Group, a program sponsored by the Medical Department, which provides a social network for spouses of international students.
This past year has also seen the implementation of the first Student Exchange Program-between the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics and European institutions-and the Visiting Students Program-which has brought to MIT a larger number of non-degree short-term students.
While the ISO has continued to carry out its most important functions and programs in an apparently routine fashion, there have been a series of external and internal events that have affected the Office. The Government shut-downs made it very difficult for a number of students who had gone home for the Winter Break to receive visas to return to the US. The Social Security Office and the Massachusetts Motor Vehicles Department implemented contradictory regulations that have made the process of obtaining a driver's license very frustrating for international students. Internally, the office has had to cope with a high turn-over of support staff and many organizational changes. Actually, what has made this past year different from the others has been the high level of uncertainty-uncertainty about the reporting structure, space, and staff. Finally, the staff and the students have had to cope with the unexpected death of two well known and well liked international students-one in a car accident and the other after a long-term illness.
Looking at the future, the ISO, now under the auspices of the Graduate Education Office, hopes that all the recommended changes in personnel and location will be implemented and that next year will bring a renewed commitment to the mission of the office.
Milena M. Levak
Brima A. Wurie
Under the new leadership of Leo Osgood, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education and Director of the Office of Minority Education (OME), the OME has strengthened its present programmatic efforts, increased awareness of the Office of Minority Education services, and further extended efforts on behalf of underrepresented minority students. With the growth of the underrepresented minority student population at MIT over the last eight years, the OME staff remained diligent in its visibility, accessibility, and increased quality of services offered to the underrepresented students. The OME staff continued to be involved in an array of Institute committees, programs, and reengineering initiatives.
The mission of the Office of Minority Education is to provide effective academic enrichment programs, to enhance matriculation, to promote higher retention and greater excellence in underrepresented minority (African American, Mexican American, Native American, and Puerto Rican/Hispanic) students' academic and general educational achievements, and to encourage their pursuits of higher degrees and professional careers. OME's mission will embrace a strategy to address academic and graduation gaps between underrepresented minority and non-minority students on MIT campus.
The goals of the office are:
To address the educational and graduation gaps, the OME plans to request an additional professional staff to focus on developing academic and support programs for underrepresented minority students in their sophomore, junior, and senior years.
This section highlights an intensive and productive year of programs sponsored and operated by the OME during 1995-1996. Additional activities will be emphasized in this section.
Project Interphase is one of the major efforts in providing academic enhancement to minority students. The program enrolls one-third of the admitted underrepresented minority students who decide to attend MIT. The curriculum covers Physics, Calculus, Writing, Physical Education and a myriad of co-curricular activities during a seven-week period prior to their first year at MIT.
Tenured faculty, with the assistance of graduate and undergraduate tutors, make up the teaching core for Project Interphase. Faculty and tutors' efforts remain one of the strongest academic buttresses in preparing underrepresented minority students to face the rigors of an MIT curriculum.
Sixty students were accepted into Project Interphase 1995. Two students did not complete the seven-week program due to medical and extenuating circumstances. There was a slight change in the ethnic and gender profiles in the program: African American representation increased from 43% in 1994 to 45% in 1995. The participation of Latino and Hispanic origin (Mexican-American, Puerto Rican and other) remained constant at 53% during Project Interphase `95. The figure of 40% women was consistent with the number admitted in the Class of 1999.
This year's Project Interphase `95 saw continued improvement in the area of academic outcomes. At the conclusion of the program, students were referred to the Writing Center and encouraged to complete Phase I of MIT's Writing Requirement. The following highlight should be noted: 38% of the 58 participants of Project Interphase passed the first phase of the Institute's Writing Requirement. Another strikingly positive outcome of the program was in the area of Calculus-thirty-one participants, 53% of 58 students, received advance placement credit for 18.01.
This year, XL (EXCEL) continued to be an effective academic enrichment program for first-year underrepresented minority and non-minority students. Participants who enroll in the program are divided into small study groups that focus on Calculus, Physics, Chemistry and other courses associated with the core curriculum. The groups meet twice a week for one and a half hours during the semester. All study groups are coordinated by XL Facilitators, who are usually graduate students. However, in some situations this year, the program has utilized upperclassmen who have demonstrated a high level of academic achievement in the subject. Facilitators oversee the interactive discussion of materials covered in the subjects. Eighteen facilitators/tutors were utilized in the Fall term and ten were utilized in the Spring term.
At the beginning of the 1995-96 academic year, the participation level in Program XL exceeded previous years by approximately 40 students. In the Fall term, Program XL established twenty-seven study groups to respond to the high level of Calculus, Physics, Chemistry and other courses. There was a decline in participants during the Spring term, which was consistent with previous years. During the academic year, the Director of the OME was approached by several upperclass minority students to establish a pilot Program XL for upperclass core courses in Science and Engineering.
The following are Program XL statistics for 1995-96:
7, African American 26, Hispanic 20, Caucasian 5
2, African American 6, Hispanic 12, Caucasian 5
The major users of Program XL are underrepresented minority freshmen students. The program continues to attract and enroll Asian and non-minority freshmen.
The Office of Minority Education's Tutorial Services continue to provide effective academic support to a significant number of underrepresented minority students. The TSR also experienced a growth of tutorial hours by non-minority students over the 1994-95 academic year. This year the OME hired approximately 100 graduate and undergraduate tutors. All tutors were interviewed by the Assistant Director of the OME, who is responsible for coordinating, hiring and training tutors for the program. Grades of the tutors were verified to ensure quality control within the program. The TSR employed tutors who represented an array of ethnic backgrounds and academic discipline.
As the result of stronger fiscal management and a renewed focus on the primary clientele of the TSR, there was a slight reduction in the overall use of the TSR (see chart) as compared to previous years.
Freshmen and sophomores represent the majority users of the TSR. Last year, the TSR provided academic and tutorial support services to 457 student-clients. In recent years, members of the TSR staff have observed an increase in the number of women students utilizing the services offered by the program, while there has been a decline in the use of the TSR by male students. The total number of service hours received during the 1994-95 academic year was 2,882 hours (service hours include the tutorial, Independent Study and Athena Use hours.)
Below is the Tutorial Services Room Annual Report for the 1995-96 academic year. The report provides key information on the total number of Service Hours, Service Hours by Class Year, Service Hours by type of Service, and students' ethnicity and gender.
Total Number Of Student-Clients:
(Fall + Spring Totals. Some repeats included)
Number Of Visits:
(Repetitive of students)
Number Of Service Hours:
(Repetitive of students)
* "Athena Use" are sometimes hidden as "Independent Study", and vice versa.
For over twenty-five years, the Second Summer Program has complemented MIT's academic experience in an array of professional disciplines. SSP is an academic program that enriches and supports students' intellectual growth while assisting them to develop a keen sense of their professional possibilities. Program interns explore possible fields of interest, while making real contributions in their assigned workplace. Participants in the program return to their classrooms in the fall with a depth of knowledge and experience that greatly enhances their learning.
This year, forty-three students qualified to participate in the Second Summer Program by passing the academic requirement of the program. During the 1995-96 Independent Activity Period (IAP), these students participated in the Program's Engineering Design Workshop that covered a two-week period. There were 20 African Americans, 21 Latinos, 1 Native American, and 1 Other. The gender breakdown consisted of 21 men and 22 women.
SSP participants were divided into teams and each team was required to design and build a device/product for an urban school playground. At the end of the two-week period, each team competed in the program's engineering design competition. Through the support and direction of Professor Alex Slocum of Mechanical Engineering, the program academic officer, the winning team secured a patent for the product they produced during their SSP experience.
After completing the SSP Engineering Design Workshop, participants entered an intensive interviewing process with the OME's Industrial Advisory Council for Minority Education (IACME) companies participating in the Second Summer Program. Twenty-nine students were placed with 17 companies in engineering intern positions. MIT faculty continue to strengthen its partnership with the OME/SSP by volunteering to visit interns on-sight and to report on the students' experiences.
Beyond the collaborative effort of the SSP, members of IACME provide financial support to enhance the OME's ability to organize effective academic and professional development programs to assist our professional student organization: AISES (American Indian Science and Engineering Society), NSBE (National Society of Black Engineers) and SHPE (Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers). During the course of this academic year, the OME contributed over $9,000 to support an array of underrepresented minority students' organizations and activities.
Secrets and Strategies for Academic Success
SSAS has been a part of the OME's core of support programs offered to underrepresented minority students for over twenty years. The primary aim of the SSAS program is to expose underrepresented minority students to the Institute's network of academic and support services available to all students. This year, coordinators of the SSAS Program observed a significant increase in participation by underrepresented minority students in sessions held in both terms on topics such as "Time Management," "Ways to Develop Effective Study Skills," and "How to Choose a Major."
Coordinators also held a session that provided an opportunity for minority students to network with minority faculty and administrators.
Office of Minority Education Student Advisory Council
OMESAC was created to provide a mechanism for minority students to bring their concerns and issues to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education and Director of the OME. OMESAC's membership consists of a cross section of underrepresented minority student professional and social organizations.
The 1995-96 academic year found OMESAC increasing its presence in both the minority and the non-minority communities. As a result of the Council's efforts, there was increased participation in activities and programs offered to minority students. The Council was instrumental in providing critical recommendations to the Metal Detector Policy Committee during MIT's moratorium on parties and special events.
The OME continues to be a repository for information for internships and scholarships that target underrepresented minority students. Minority students receive scholarships from public, private, and corporate organizations. This year, the OME facilitated partial and full scholarship support for over thirty minority students, with amounts ranging from $1,000 to $26,000 to be applied to tuition, room and board, fees, and books.
Minority Awards Banquet
The Office of Minority Education held its Twentieth Annual Minority Awards Banquet at the end of 1995-96 academic year, in cooperation with the Counseling and Support Services, the Office of Career Services and Preprofessional Advising, the Office of the Dean for the Graduate School, the Office of the President, and Residence and Campus Activities. Over three hundred faculty, administrators, staff, and students attended the event. Graduate and undergraduate students received academic and community service awards for their contributions for improving the quality of life for minority students at MIT.
The "Spirit" newsletter maintained its circulation of 2,000 readers consisting of faculty, staff, students, members of the IACME and parents.
Leo Osgood, Jr.
The Residence and Campus Activities (RCA) section coordinates the activities related to residence life, student activities, independent living groups, crisis management, conflict resolution and mediation, student governments, and public service. These functions provide students with opportunities to develop important skills outside the classroom: leadership, communications, group dynamics, understanding differences, teamwork, and conflict management. The staff in RCA provide direct service to students and their organizations through one-to-one interaction and by working with the approximately 300 student organizations and residence halls.
The programs and services of RCA, for both undergraduate and graduate students, are connected to the educational mission of MIT, and to the development of a sense of community at MIT. For example, this past year three staff members served on the Steering Committee for Leadershape, a leadership development program that helps 60 student leaders develop their skills and design solutions to problems at MIT. By providing the staffing for the informal resolution of most complaints by students against other students, RCA educates the individuals involved, as well as the general community about resolving conflict. As part of the team that plans and implements R/O, the RCA staff contributes expertise in program planning that enables a balanced residence selection and academic orientation schedule. By providing opportunities for public service and grants for fellowships in the Cambridge Public schools, we work with students to develop citizenship, leadership, and community involvement. In working with the planning and design of student events at MIT (including the event registration process and response to crises at events), our staff works directly with students in a collaborative way to foster involvement in campus life.
Another area of support for students involves being available for individual students and groups with special needs. Our staff works with students around issues of race, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality. We advise individual students who have concerns, as well as working with student groups representing a larger constituency, i.e., GAMIT or the Asian Caucus. Although this work often occurs behind the scenes, the time given to direct support translates into students feeling that they are part of the community at MIT and that they have someone who understands them. A related area of our work happens when a crisis occurs such as a student death. In addition, we work directly with the Housemasters and Tutors on a daily basis to address both major and minor issues of concern in the residence community.
RCA staff dealt with a significant number of disciplinary cases, such as damage to property, theft, arson, and assault and battery with a deadly weapon. They also dealt with harassment cases including inappropriate attention, unwanted touching and comments, and harassment via Athena. The sanctions imposed were verbal warnings, restitution for damages, community service, agreement to stop the behavior, and probation. For more information, please refer to the report to the Faculty, which was presented in February.
This year, approximately 30 staff, students, and faculty have been certified through mediation@mit. The number of formal mediations is small, but the option of formal mediation for students will continue to be available.
This past year, undergraduates were again able to indicate their house preferences and receive their assignments using Athena. Over 90% of the 745 students who participated received one of their top three choices of residence halls. For the first time, temporary assignments were completed electronically, eliminating the approximately 60-80 work hours required to assign temporary housing manually.
Crowding for first year students was comparable to that in previous years, with 154 crowds at the beginning of the year, compared with 132 the previous year.
For the first time, students were able to submit on-campus housing requests, housing change requests, housing cancellations, and summer housing requests electronically over the World Wide Web at the Residence and Campus Activities web site.
The strength, initiative, and energy of the new Housemaster couples have been a welcome addition to the residence hall system. The GRT training program was very well received, not only in the August Orientation Training, but also throughout the year. Particularly popular were the Listening Skills Seminars. Five ongoing listening skills classes were established, all led or assisted by experienced Tutors. Some of the recommendations developed from the previous year were implemented, particularly in the area of hiring, orientation, training, and evaluation processes for GRTs.
Housemasters, Graduate Resident Tutors, and RCA staff have been engaged in a significant effort this year to examine the residence program with the goal of improving services to and quality of life for our students. Recommendations have been developed in the areas of roles and responsibilities, information flow, and hiring, orientation, training, and evaluation.
In addition, a group of representatives from areas across the campus began to discuss program issues that affect students. For the first time in several years, all Housemasters chose to continue in their positions.
Approximately 390 freshmen took residence in one of the Institute's 36 Independent Living Groups. This was a slight drop from 1994 but still well over the ten year average of around 370.
Sigma Nu Fraternity became the Institute's thirty-sixth Independent Living Group last Fall with their purchase and renovation of a three-story building located at 523 Newbury Street in Boston. Renovations, funded through MIT's Independent Residence Development Fund, increased its capacity to 20 occupants.
In June, MIT completed the purchase of a property at 480 Commonwealth Ave. After renovations are completed, will house 24 members of Sigma Kappa Sorority beginning in Fall 1997. This will be MIT's third housed sorority.
In October the MIT colony of Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority received its charter, and became the Institute's fifth national sorority.
The House Fellows Program, now in its eighth year, promotes greater interaction and sense of community between students in Institute Houses and MIT faculty members. This past year, over 30 Fellows were associated with five undergraduate and one graduate house and seven Independent Living Groups.
The second annual Event Planning and Student Leadership Workshops were held with the distribution of the Planning Events guidebook. A manual of policies and procedures for students accessing and depositing funds into their Student Activities and their Undergraduate Association Accounts was completed. Check-writing for both the Student Activities and Undergraduate Association is now done by computer to expedite students' ability to access their funds. In addition, several staff are engaged in examining the student activity funding process and the possibility of moving to outside bank accounts.
The Undergraduate Association (UA) reinstated the Free Airport Shuttle Program, available to all MIT students for major holidays. The UA sponsored the MIT Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) classes for the second year. This program's student enrollment has increased and now has scholarships available. The UA, with coordination by the Association of Student Activities (ASA) and financial support by Residence and Campus Activities, printed the 1996/97 Student Activities Directories including all currently ASA-recognized student organizations. Additional copies will be made available to other departments.
This year, the Association of Student Activities (ASA) began to service student organizations which were seeking room allocation and ASA recognition. ASA now handles applications for Campus Activities Complex's (CAC) programming board. In addition, ASA went on-line this year; all electronic Bulletin Board space information and Activity Midway programs are now conveniently located at the student's fingertips.
In addition to its committees listed below, the Graduate Student Council (GSC) tries to represent graduate student interests to the administration by providing a channel of communication. Nominations for institute and presidential committees are made through the GSC.
The Academic Project and Policy Committee (APPC) dealt mainly with academic issues.
The Activities Committee organized over 20 subsidized events this past year, 95 percent of which were sold out. These events included the GSC annual weekend trip to the Montreal Jazz Festival , a Fall Foliage Weekend at Talbot House, and the second annual Formal Ball held at Morss Hall. Regular favorites such as ski trips, hiking trips, Red Sox Games, performances at the Wang Center, Tanglewood, and a Christmas shopping trip to Kittery, Maine, were also big hits.
The Graduate Newsletter was revived in August, produced quarterly and mailed to every graduate student with an on-campus address (office, lab or housing). It appears to be an effective way to communicate with graduate students, informing them of activities at the GSC and in the administration. It also provides an assortment of funding and fellowship information and even information on what is happening in Washington with the help of the National Association of Graduate Professionals (NAGPS).
The Housing and Community Affairs Committee (HCA) has the large responsibility of trying to improve graduate student life at MIT. The members are always busy and involved with departments around the Institute in an effort to make life more equitable.
The Orientation Committee organized a fall orientation jam-packed with events. The Lobby 10 information booth provided information on MIT departments, local area bus schedules, tenant/landlord responsibilities, and brochures on local sights, museums, and sports team schedules. The committee enlisted the help of the other GSC committees (APPC, Activities, HCA) to focus on workshops and off-campus events ranging from trolley tours around Boston, and Night on the Town, Red Sox Game for 200 and Harbor Cruise for 400. The annual picnic at Killian Hall was open to all 1100+ incoming graduate students.
HARG's planning group went through changes as its leaders are transitioning on to other things. Understanding that student involvement in this project will ebb and flow, Dan Goldner, one of HARG's founders, wrote up the HARG training curriculum manual which was distributed to various offices around the Institute as well as the RCA office. People who are interested in doing a training can refer to this manual, as well as the accompanying videotape.
From last year's successful effort in planning an Asian student R/O, the Asian Student Caucus helped to initiate the implementation of an official Asian Student R/O this coming August. They received substantial backing from the RCA office. This year, an Asian Heritage summer intern has been hired, Peggy Chen. She will continue to give Asian R/O administrative support. With the departure of Mary Ni, the Institute loses a major source of support for Asian students.
The year-long CityDays program, a unique partnership with the Cambridge Public Schools, was kicked off on Friday, September 1, in collaboration with the School Department of the City of Cambridge. On that date, 400 Cambridge public school children came to MIT where they were hosted by 600 MIT student volunteers who ran a variety of activity stations ranging from lab tours to sports and crafts. The CityDays component of R/O has become a tradition of freshman orientation at MIT.
The CityDays Festival is a nice lead in to the LINKS component of the year-long program, which extends throughout the school year with the mission of improving the quality of science education in the Cambridge Public Schools. Each volunteer spends 1-2 hours per week at one of ten Cambridge elementary schools. The program had about 175 volunteers during the fall semester and 150 in the spring, with 15 ILG's and 8 Residence Halls participating. Training sessions and follow-up discussions were offered to student participants at the beginning of each semester.
KEYs is a student-run program sponsored by the PSC which holds one- and three-day science and technology workshops matching up MIT student mentors and 11-13 year old girls from the Greater Boston area. KEYs is dedicated to empowering adolescent girls by promoting self-confidence, increasing self-esteem, and unveiling opportunities for potential career paths. The students ran six one-day and two three-day programs this year which allowed 200 girls and 70 MIT students to take part in one or more programs during the year. KEYs, with the help of a grant from ECSEL, was also able to create a promotional video and manual for dissemination to other institutions and organizations who may wish to duplicate or expand on the KEYs model.
The PSC helped Panhellenic coordinate its annual Giving Tree program which solicited donations for over 1,000 gifts from students, faculty, and administrators from MIT this holiday season. The gifts were distributed to 15 local agencies and shelters.
Twenty-four PSC Fellowships of $1,200 each were awarded over IAP this year. Sixteen of the Fellows were responsible for working with a 7-8 grade Science Teacher in one of the elementary schools, while the other eight worked with the Coordinator of Educational Technology in a number of schools. All of the Fellows were also responsible for encouraging and working with groups of Cambridge students on their Science Expo projects and most of the Fellows continued this work through the spring term.
The fourth annual MIT/Cambridge Science Expo was held at MIT on May 1st, involving 150 fifth through eighth graders from twelve Cambridge schools who came to exhibit their science projects, participate in hands-on experiments, and tour Institute labs. Approximately 150 MIT student volunteers helped make this event possible.
On April 16, the second annual Community Service Day was co-sponsored by the PSC, Sigma Chi fraternity, the Race Relations Committee, and the Timberland Company. Fifty MIT undergraduates from ten different living and social groups on campus participated in this day-long event designed to enhance race relations on campus while providing needed help to the Cambridge community. The students were divided into diversified service groups and sent to one of six local agencies where they spent the day painting, doing yard work, working with children, and similar activities. Teams were composed of students from a mix of racial and cultural backgrounds in order to reflect the diverse nature of the MIT/Cambridge community.
This summer, eight fellowships of $4,000 each have been awarded to students who will work a minimum of 400 hours in community service. Three are assigned to work with the Science Coordinator for the Cambridge public schools on curriculum development and teacher training. In addition, three agencies have been chosen as recipients of a fellow: Shelter Inc., Tutoring Plus, and Summerbridge/Cambridge, which are all located in the surrounding community of MIT. The eighth Fellowship was awarded to a student who developed an independent proposal to work in the Edgerton Center on their Outreach Program.
Copies of OUTREACH: A Resource Guide for Volunteering in Cambridge and the Greater Boston Area, with a listing of over 100 local agencies, were sent out to interested undergraduates and other constituencies in the early fall. The PSC newsletter was published during both the fall and spring semesters, which listed upcoming projects and featured articles written by students about different public service efforts through the PSC. Volunteer opportunities have continued to be published weekly in Tech Talk and posted in the PSC display case.
The PSC is in the second year of a three-year grant from the Germeshausen Foundation which was specifically donated for IAP and summer fellowships. The Lord Foundation granted additional funding for the same purpose again this year. The PSC was also written into a grant awarded to the Cambridge Public School Science Department by the National Science Foundation, and it is in its second year (of three) for receiving support for the facilitation of the LINKS program. Approximately $10,000 has also been donated to the Priscilla King Gray Endowment over the past year, and the PSC is in the process of seeking additional funding through Foundations and individual donors to support the KEYs program and other PSC activities.
The process of reengineering and redesign of student services at MIT will have a major impact on the programs and services of RCA. We have been involved in several of the teams to date: Housing, Food Service, Co-curricular, and the Student Services Center. We foresee major involvement in the redesign of the student activities component of RCA and in the development of a plan to combine housing and RCA. We have offered our expertise in student affairs, our contacts in the field at other campuses, and our knowledge of other models to the re-design teams. Although we do not know what the final structure for student life at MIT will be, we envision a coordinated range of programs and activities that include RCA and several other departments. This will require working with staff to change their focus and help them develop the necessary skills and understanding necessary in a new environment.
In addition to the formal reengineering teams, efforts are underway to develop policy across departments and to coordinate the delivery of services to students. Some examples of this include the pilot program for events that took place last spring and will be implemented this fall, the opening of tutor training to staff in housing, the development of an Outside Bank Account Policy, and the hiring processes for staff vacancies. In all of these cases, RCA has worked with representatives from various departments and with students to create programs that meet the needs of the groups affected.
Susan Allen, Assistant Dean for Student Activities, left in December and was replaced by Katherine O'Dair in June.
Mary Ni, Assistant Dean, leaves MIT in July.
Margaret A. Jablonski
Andrew M. Eisenmann
Philip M. Bernard
Eleanor P. Crawford
Katherine G. O'Dair
Neal H. Dorow
Emily B. Sandberg
The Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) program at MIT provides challenging and comprehensive leadership and academic training for students attending MIT, Harvard, Tufts, and Wellesley. We continue to recruit and commission men and women as 2nd lieutenants in the United States Air Force. Year-end enrollment in AFROTC as of June 1996 was as follows:
The assortment of special cadet activities continued unchanged from previous years and included a Freshman Orientation Program emphasizing Air Force knowledge, physical fitness, and drill; an Air Force Dining-In, a formal dinner with guest speaker; and the Tri-Service Military Ball, parade, awards ceremony, and commissioning ceremony at the USS Constitution.
Colonel Steve B. Borah
The purpose of the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) is to provide instruction and training in military science subjects, to include a focus on leadership development. When coupled with the completion of a bachelor's degree, this training qualifies selected students for commissions as officers in the U.S. Army, U.S. Army Reserves, or U.S. Army National Guard.
Our training, administrative, logistical, and recruiting operations remained very strong as exemplified by our commendable ratings during our First ROTC Region Command Inspection in October. Additionally, the establishment of a super-tiered scholarship will greatly enhance our future recruiting efforts. The MIT Army ROTC detachment has been allocated 15 of these scholarships annually which pay $20,000 towards tuition, a book allowance of $225 per semester, and $1500 a year for living expenses.
Over the academic year, a total of 66 students participated in our program. At year's end 55 students were enrolled. Of those 55 students 19 (35%) were minority and 10 (18%) were female.
Of the 19 MIT students, 15 are currently on scholarship, while two of the four non-scholarship students won scholarships this year.
This year the Army ROTC Department commissioned nine new second lieutenants, two of whom were from MIT. Of the nine, four are entering the Reserves, and five will be reporting to Active Duty.
Two faculty positions changed this year. Captain Lewis replaced Captain Campbell and will be assigned as the Recruiting Officer; Master Sergeant Holley applied for retirement from the service with no replacement named as yet.
Social highlights for this year included a Military Ball where cadre, cadets, and guests participated in a formal event that included dinner and dancing. Again the Army ROTC sponsored the Annual Tri-Service Awards Banquet with over 120 cadets receiving awards from 40 organizations. Army ROTC also participated in the Annual Tri-Service Ball as well as commissioning ceremonies at Tufts, Harvard, and at the USS Constitution.
On- and off-campus learning opportunities both continued to expand. Cadets trained voluntarily at Fort Benning, GA (Airborne), Ft. Campbell, KY (Air Assault), and other U.S. posts (troop leadership). Participation continued strong in the MIT Pershing Rifles Company, a group of both ROTC and non-ROTC students dedicated to the pursuit of tactical excellence and patriotism.
Lieutenant Colonel Buckner M. Creel IV, P.E.
The Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) program at MIT provides challenging and comprehensive leadership and academic training for students attending MIT, Harvard, and Tufts. In the 1995-96 Academic Year, a total of 17 graduating men and women were commissioned. Program enrollment just prior to June commencement was as follows:
The Navy's financial assistance totaled approximately $1,562,000 for the year, including about $903,000 for MIT students. Approximately 96% of all NROTC students receive full tuition, payment for books, and a monthly stipend. We are expecting total enrollment to rise in the fall with a higher number of freshmen entering the program than the number who are departing due to being commissioned.
Annual activities included Freshman Orientation held in Newport, Rhode Island, and the Navy and Marine Corps Birthday Ball, where Lt.Col Phillip Shutler, USMC, was the honored speaker. The MIT NROTC Color Guard participated in the Boston Veteran's Day parade, as well as in several MIT football games. The midshipman battalion was also active in community service, working closely with the New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans. The MIT NROTC sailing team competed successfully this year. The team sailed to victory at Georgetown and Cornell Universities and hosted the Second Annual Beaver Regatta on the Charles River, where the team was again victorious. The spring semester included two military excellence competitions at Villanova and Holy Cross.
During the summer, all of the scholarship midshipmen participate in active duty training with deployed naval units. This summer, midshipmen are cruising aboard submarines, maritime patrol aircraft, aircraft carriers, amphibious assault ships, and other vessels.
The MIT NROTC unit hosted the Vice Chief of Naval Education and Training, Rear Admiral Paul E. Tobin, in the spring semester. Admiral Tobin visited the unit and met with President Vest to discuss the importance of the Navy's relationship with MIT.
The culmination of four years of training was reached on June 7, 1996, as seven MIT students were commissioned as Ensigns in the United States Navy in a service alongside the USS Constitution. The guest speaker was Mr. Frank Kendall, the Vice President for Engineering at Raytheon Corporation.
Captain Michael L. McHugh
1995-96 was an unusually challenging year for Undergraduate Academic Affairs (UAA). First-stage planning toward the reengineering of student services drew substantially on the time and energy of several senior staff members, requiring heightened contributions by their junior colleagues in some key programmatic areas.
At the same time, important changes in leadership and organizational structure for UESA as a whole necessarily brought with them an interval of adjusted expectations complicated by some uncertainty regarding priorities for the long term.
All in all, however, these challenges seem to have been stimulants, not impediments, to UAA achievement. The UAA continues its mission of insuring that undergraduates receive high-quality education and advising by working in collaboration with faculty, staff, and students to improve existing academic programs and initiate new ones as needed. As detailed in the sections that follow, this year has seen, among other developments:
In addition, we have started to benefit from closer networking ties with the academic schools and departments, with other sections of the Deans' Office, with such allied offices as Admissions and Career Services, and with faculty and students in advisory groups and individually. We are quite justified in looking forward to increasing levels of such engagement.
It has been a year in which we can all take pride. For the Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs personally, completing a decade of work with this office, this report provides an apt occasion to express thanks, however succinctly, to all the members of the MIT community - and especially the entire UAA staff - who have helped make his time here so thoroughly satisfying.
The Class of 1999 was advised primarily through the highly successful Freshman Advisor Seminar system. A record 1033 freshmen (94% of the class) elected Freshman Advisor Seminars, while 65 others received advising primarily from administrators in randomly-assigned clusters of three-to-five freshmen each. There were no residence-based clusters this year.
The Freshman Advisors comprised 106 faculty members, 16 non-faculty teaching staff, 7 researchers, 47 administrators (including 5 UESA deans), and 4 graduate students. Assisting them were 227 upper-class Associate Advisors, of whom 198 worked with seminar leaders and 29 with cluster advisors.
The number of Freshman Advisor Seminars remained stable at 133 for Fall `95, which allowed almost every student who wanted to be in a seminar to be placed in one. Although proud of the success of their efforts in recruiting FAS leaders thus far, UAA staff are concerned about their ability to continue intensive one-on-one recruitment and are working with the Schools and departments to find a more efficient, reliable way to ensure sufficient seminars to meet the continuing the needs of freshmen.
Prominent among the changes for this year's class was the new system for evaluating freshman academic performance during term-time. Instead of the multi-copy midterm report for all freshmen, freshmen performing at non-passing level, and their advisors, received Fifth Week Flags in the form of e-mail messages or letters from their instructors, informing them of their poor performance and encouraging the students to meet with their instructors.
In the spring, UAA conducted an informal survey of 179 recitation instructors who had freshmen in their subjects about the effectiveness of the new fifth week flag system. Of 47% who responded, 79% said the fifth week flag was effective in alerting freshmen to their poor performance and prompting the students to contact them. Open-ended comments consisted primarily of praise for the new system, including many remarks about its improvement over the old performance evaluation system.
Subsequent to the Fifth Week Flags, in Science Core subjects Freshman Watch letters were sent this year both to students who did not pass a test and to their advisors. (Previously the letters had been sent only to the students' advisors.) In addition to Fifth Week Flags and Science Core Freshman Watch Letters, freshmen received unofficial internal grades not just at the end of the spring term, but also at the end of the fall semester, as well as IAP.
This new component of our advising system, a contact group drawn from the ranks of experienced Freshman Advisors, has met several times this spring. Its work will focus on improving the quality of freshman advising and on providing a critically close perspective on the freshman year itself. In Academic Year 1996-97 the Council will expand to include liaison student members from the Associate Advising Steering Committee.
The Associate Advisor Steering Committee completed another successful year, having planned, organized, and implemented the following annual activities:
New this year, the Steering Committee added a "Sensible Schedules" workshop as a precursor to academic R/O. And, during IAP, the first annual "Choice of Majors Day" was pilot-tested, highlighted by a well-attended pre-med workshop and the student-to-student "Choice of Majors Fair."
UAA has continued its policy of encouraging students to designate a Course at the end of their Freshman year, rather than to remain undesignated, since we feel students need the attention of a department, as well as the sense of belonging inherent in choosing a career path. Academic Year 1995-96 began with 56 sophomores remaining undesignated. That number decreased to 36 by the end of the Fall term and to 19 by the end of the Spring term.
MIT's admission of transfer students continues to decrease, reaching an all-time low of 14 students accepting admission in the fall and 6 in the spring. Transfer students are offered the possibility of taking two or more Science Core subjects on Pass/No Record. Of the 14 students admitted in the Fall, five exercised that option, while none chose it in the Spring.
Over time UAA has increasingly evolved into an office that serves all undergraduates, offering academic advice and information to help students improve their academic performance through individual and group sessions on study skills and time management. UAA outreach includes the Study Skills portion of the Office of Minority Education's Project Interphase and "road show" sessions at independent living groups and campus organizations. With the help of the Associate Advisor Steering Committee, UAA leads monthly workshops on time management, handling academic crises, study techniques, and test preparation. This year, over 750 students attended one or another of these sessions. Approximately 125 students attended at least one of the study skills sessions offered during this year's IAP.
The Committee completed its proposal this year to reform the Institute's policy on the grade of Incomplete. The motion to change the current Incomplete policy was brought to the Faculty at its April meeting and approved at its May meeting. As a result of the new policy, an expired Incomplete grade ("R") may not remain on a student's transcript. The faculty member in charge of the subject must submit a final grade by the last day of the regular term during which the work was to have been completed. No grade of Incomplete can be assigned to any student in the semester in which he or she graduates, and all grades of Incomplete must be resolved prior to graduation.
Additional issues that the Committee discussed during the year were exceeding the IAP Credit Limit, Financial Holds (the Committee will be working with CUP, CUAFA and other Institute offices to form and implement a new policy during the next year), Students with Disabilities, and the Freshman Pass/No record grading system.
A total of 569 petitions were acted upon this academic year (approximately half of these petitions were acted upon administratively by the Chair and the remaining were brought to the Committee).
CAP actions voted at the end-of-term grades meetings resulted in a total of 51 Required Withdrawals (compared with 76 last year - a decrease of 33%) and 433 Warnings (compared with 429 last year), distributed as follows:
The pattern of total academic actions (ranging from mildly cautionary to official action) on Freshmen over the past five years shows a distinct recent increase.
For this area of UAA activity, 1995-96 was a year particularly affected by institutional upheaval and change. Because the new student services reengineering effort drew off so much energy, many curriculum support activities were carried at a maintenance level, particularly in the support we provide to the freshman year program.
This year UAA staff continued its responsibility for providing institutional support to the Faculty Committee on the Undergraduate Program. This activity is described in more detail in the report from the CUP under the Chair of the Faculty.
UAA continued to administer the yearly Pre-Calculus Math Diagnostic for entering freshmen, which has become a valuable tool in evaluating the high school mathematics background of our students and providing students and their advisors with guidance about physics and math subject selection.
Meetings among faculty undergraduate officers - representatives from all academic departments who share a common responsibility for overseeing the advising and educational programs - have been resumed after a several years' hiatus. This year, there were two such meetings; discussion topics included student services re-engineering, the three-year experiment with intermediate grades, and undergraduate advising. Monthly meetings among undergraduate program academic administrators were resumed in the spring, as well. These gatherings provide an opportunity for staff representatives from each academic department to meet on a regular basis, to hear about new policies or programs, and to share common concerns.
UAA worked with the Dean for Undergraduate Education to organize this year's awards process for the Class of '51 Fund for Excellence in Education and the Class of '55 Fund for Excellence in Teaching. As a result of better publicity, there was a large increase in the number of proposals submitted by faculty and other members of the teaching staff. Seven proposals were awarded a total of $68K in funding for the coming year.
During the Spring Term, UAA was asked by the Associate Dean of the School of Engineering to look into the status of the student-run Course Evaluation Guide. In subsequent meetings with students, in discussions with individual faculty and department representatives, and finally in a meeting with students and faculty to discuss the future of the Guide and subject evaluation, it was decided that options for a new system of subject evaluation should be investigated.
This year the Teaching Resource Network (TRN) - a linked set of related activities sponsored by the offices of Undergraduate Academic Affairs and the Dean of the Graduate Education in conjunction with academic schools and departments - expanded its activities on a number of fronts.
The number of faculty and other teaching staff who take advantage of the Classroom Videotape Consultation Program continued to grow. The consultant for these sessions, who teaches communication in the Sloan School, has joined the UAA staff on a part-time basis. Over the year, 98 faculty or other teaching staff (principally graduate student TA's) were videotaped in their classrooms; 64 met with the consultant to review their tapes.
A record number of the Institute's top teachers (33 faculty and 7 TA's) participated in this Fall's Orientation Workshop for New Faculty and Graduate Teaching Staff. The event was sponsored by the UAA and the Graduate Education Office. The planning for next year's orientation began earlier than usual because of two major changes: (1) the Orientation for New Faculty will be expanded from one day to three and will include topics not directly related to teaching as well as more thorough coverage of teaching fundamentals, and (2) the TA Teaching Workshop will be held separately, one week later, to increase the attendance of TA's, many of whom receive their appointments during the first week of classes.
A new edition of MIT's popular guide to recitation section teaching, The Torch or the Firehose, completely re-written by Professor Arthur Mattuck, was issued in late August 1995, just in time to distribute to faculty and staff teaching in the Fall. We are pleased that the oversight and distribution responsibility for The Torch or the Firehose has returned to UAA.
The IAP Series "Better Teaching at MIT" continued for its third year. Eleven interactive presentations were offered to 360 faculty on topics ranging from broad overviews to more focused treatment of specific pedagogical issues.
The Department of Mechanical Engineering (Course 2) and UAA are in the process of establishing a Teaching Innovation Partnership (TIP) to explore and implement teaching innovations in the new Mechanical Engineering undergraduate curriculum. The first initiative will be the revision of "Mechanics and Materials II" (2.002) for next Fall and Spring to incorporate collaborative learning techniques. Other TIP initiatives will include the general improvement of teaching and learning in the core undergraduate Mechanical Engineering lecture/recitation subjects, an evaluation of the new Mechanical Engineering curriculum, and the dissemination of information on TIP's activities and programs.
The Educational Studies Working Group (ESWG), convened by UAA staff, is a group of administrators who share an interest in MIT-related educational studies and who collaborate on research projects. Membership has expanded this year and includes administrators from all parts of the Institute. ESWG is the process of compiling an educational research bibliography about past and present student-related MIT studies.
This survey of sophomores about their first-year experience was developed by ESWG and UAA staff under the sponsorship of the Dean for Undergraduate Education and the Provost. The response rate was 42%, the same as the response to the `94 Senior Survey. On the whole, sophomores had a more positive view of their freshman year academic experience than would have been predicted based on the findings from the `94 Senior Survey. Sophomores were somewhat less positive about their R/O experience than Seniors: a sizable number of Sophomores indicated that academic and residence orientation lacked sufficient depth. Student perceptions of improvement during their time at MIT were similar in both surveys with the majority indicating that their analytical and problem-solving skills had improved, while their academic self-confidence, knowledge of social and political issues, writing skills, and self-esteem had not improved (Senior Survey) and had, in fact, worsened (Freshman Year Survey).
Preliminary findings have been presented to CUP, to representatives from the freshman science core departments, and to faculty and administrative staff who assisted with the development of the survey. The final report will be available in the fall. Based on the interest engendered from the `95 survey of the freshman year, plans are currently underway to send a mini-version of last year's survey to all the sophomores immediately after they begin classes in the fall.
The ad hoc faculty committee on academic dishonesty, after having reviewed the findings of the '93 Report on Academic Dishonesty, made a number of recommendations which were brought before the FPC. Under FPC authorization, the recommendation regarding fuller reporting and centralized record-keeping on cases of proven academic dishonesty is now in the process of being implemented by UAA in conjunction with the academic departments and UESA Central. The UAA has also begun to explore with the Committee on Privacy means for publicizing proven cases of academic dishonesty in a way that ensures the anonymity of individuals.
This year the OME decided to conduct, with UAA assistance, a formal student assessment of XL, something that has not been done since 1989. The XL student assessment forms were mailed to students in the spring. Questionnaire analysis is currently being undertaken. The usual yearly survey on the effectiveness of Project Interphase was also carried out.
Despite a blizzard on the first day which closed the Institute and heavy snowfall throughout the period, IAP still showed an increase in the number of activities for credit and grades awarded. Eighty-one of the nearly 700 activities offered credit. Undergraduate registrations climbed to 1,495 while graduate student registrations dipped by a few to 819. The 1660 student registrations were still the second highest on record, surpassed only by last year's 1709.
For the first time two departments - Mechanical Engineering and Physics - required their majors to complete subjects during IAP. The IAP Policy Committee reiterated its support of the 12-unit credit limit during the period. It also began a discussion of ways in which to combine IAP credit offerings with semester subjects in order to make them more attractive teaching options for faculty.
The IAP Student Board, now one year old, has established itself as a recognized group on campus. It has added to the visibility of IAP by its presence at the Activities Midway and the Academic Expo. The Student Board is busy creating an interactive IAP Homepage as well as streamlining the IAP Guide on the Web.
The fourth annual Charm School was bigger and better than ever, featuring 24 different topics taught by 114 members of the MIT community. Special Charm School events included the Infrared Dating Game (organized by the Center for Advance Educational Services and broadcast on the television monitors in Lobbies 7 and 10), and Commencement, at which journalist and author Dan Zevin gave hilarious yet useful tips on real-life conduct. It is estimated that Charm School `96 was attended by 400-500 students; once again, it proved a media attraction, being featured on CNN, in the Improper Bostonian, and in Boston Magazine.
Residence/Orientation (R/O) was successfully implemented under the leadership of three student interns: Sanjay Chugh as Chair, John de Guzman as Personnel/Publicity Manager, and Arlene Frech as Logistics Manager. They were supported by 35 student volunteers who worked on various sub-committees.
The President's Convocation officially kicked-off R/O. President Vest invited biology Professor Eric Lander to address the class and inspire them for the academic challenges the next four years were sure to bring. Killian Kick-Off for the first time featured a student speaker, Catherine Conley, chosen through a competition run by the R/O interns during the spring semester. Academic Orientation was marked by a new event called "Core Blitz," a mandatory one-hour program which featured short presentations by faculty from the freshman core.
Parents Orientation offered parents a greater opportunity to interact with administrators than in years past. The traditional President's Reception was integrated with a continental breakfast at Walker Memorial where parents could visit tables staffed by personnel from Institute departments and offices.
The Scholarship Resource Center (yet to be named formally), founded in February of 1995, enjoyed continued success as a first stop for students seeking information about scholarship, fellowships, grants, travel abroad, and other recognition opportunities. Over 500 students visited this Center, which houses a library of listings and resource books. As always, staff offered support through individual counseling sessions. Demand for information and counseling could not be fully met, as currently only one staff member oversees the Center on a part-time basis.
UROP appears to be recovering from last year's abrupt decline in participation brought about by new federal regulations governing indirect costs published in OMB Circular A.21 in 1994. This year participation was up by 14% in the fall and 16% in the spring; paid UROP was up 15%. Compared with pre-1994 numbers, this year's numbers show a decline of only 7%.
The UROP hourly rate rose from $6.90 to $7.00 an hour in September 1995; this is once again below the Institute minimum student wage, which rose in June to $7.25. A UROP rate increase for the fall semester is under consideration.
Discussions held by the CUP subcommittee headed by Professor John Southard led to general agreement that a fundraising campaign to bring endowment to $10 million is the best way to ensure UROP's stability over the long term. A resolution to that effect was brought to the CUP and endorsed in the spring.
Data from the 1994 Senior Survey provided evidence of UROP's effect on students' educational experience that up to now had been only anecdotal. The most striking finding was that high UROP participation correlated with reported improvement in writing skills, public speaking, academic self-confidence, and intellectual curiosity.
In the Undergraduate Corporate Research Fellows Program (UCRF), five projects are now underway with six undergraduates, and four more are being negotiated. To date UCRF has contributed just under $60,000 in corporate payments to MIT, including payment for UROP administrative costs.
The UROP office created an electronic web site which encompasses the entire UROP Directory, important deadline information, a project listings bulletin board, and all program handouts. A UCRF program page is also tied in. The annual hard copy of the Directory will become a bi-annual publication.
The Writing Requirement Office continues to administer and coordinate the two Phases of the current undergraduate Writing Requirement. At the same time, the office provided support for deliberations and subsequent actions by the Committee on the Writing Requirement to replace the current proficiency-based requirement with a more substantial experience-based curriculum.
The Committee on the Writing Requirement decided to raise the level of proficiency necessary for a student to complete Phase One of the Writing Requirement through the Freshman Essay Evaluation: the Committee tightened its standards to express its conviction that writing skills are essential for success in any profession. As a consequence, only 17% of the Class of 1999 passed the evaluation, compared to 48% in 1994. The Committee's change in policy was reported internationally and elicited almost entirely positive responses from the MIT community, from MIT alumnae, and from other educators.
During academic year 1995-96, the Writing Requirement Office evaluated 311 Phase One papers, and 257 students completed Phase One through the paper option. Another 352 students completed Phase One through subjects offered by the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies and the English as a Second Language Program in Foreign Languages and Literature.
Of the students receiving the S. B. Degree during the 1995-96 academic year, 71.6% completed Phase Two through the Undergraduate Technical Writing Cooperative, 7.5% by submitting a paper to their departmental writing coordinator, and 20.9% by receiving a grade of B or better in a Phase Two writing subject. Unfortunately, four seniors failed to graduate solely because they did not complete the Writing Requirement. All of these students are currently working on completing the Requirement for graduation on the September 1996 S.B. Degree list.
The Writing Requirement Office provided support for the CUP subcommittee on the Writing Requirement and the Committee on the Writing Requirement in developing a proposal for a new undergraduate communications requirement. The subcommittee presented its final report to the CUP in the fall of 1995, recommending that the present proficiency-based Writing Requirement be replaced by an experience-based requirement that will integrate instruction in communication skills into the entire undergraduate program and provide students with a substantial experience each year in writing and speaking. In response to a charge from the CUP, the Committee on the Writing Requirement developed an implementation plan for a new requirement, which was accepted and endorsed by the CUP in May 1996.
The Writing Requirement Office collaborated with Information Systems in redesigning the Writing Requirement databases to support both current and long-term business and policy needs of the office. The Discovery Team, sponsored by Dean Leslie Perelman of UAA and Gregory Anderson, Director of Information Technology Discovery, and led by Timothy McGovern, Director of the Information Technology Competency Group, and Andrea Publow, Administrative Assistant of the Writing Requirement, developed the design for a new system that: 1) will reduce paper, manual processing, duplicate data entry; 2) integrate all current applications into one single user-friendly system; 3) make the exchange of data between the Writing Requirement and other offices easy and often automatic; 4) function in current UESA, MITSIS, and Campus Network environments; 5) adapt easily to the new MITSIS; and 6) anticipate major policy changes in the nature of the Writing Requirement.
After a hiatus of several semesters, the Institute's Committee on Privacy was reconstituted this year. At approximately the same time a new committee charged with examining problems raised by the new MIT Card began to meet. Both committees have a UAA member designated as a representative of the Dean for Undergraduate Education.
Policies relating to the handling of student information are central to the work of both of these committees as well as to the operation of many MIT offices, both central and department. Because these policies affect so many groups, members of UAA established a Working Group on Student Information Issues, which will develop overall guidelines regarding the using, sharing, preserving, and protecting of student information.
UAA continues to provide registration support for Wellesley students taking MIT subjects. In the fall 76 Wellesley students enrolled at MIT; in the spring, 90. In addition the office publicizes the opportunity for MIT students to take subjects at Wellesley and provides information for those who do so. The academic year saw 81 MIT students taking Wellesley subjects. The office also organized an information session on the MIT/Wellesley teacher certification program. Interest was high, with seventy MIT students and seven staff members attending.
Dr. Lori Breslow, who teaches in the Sloan School, and who has been consulting for UAA on teaching performance, joined the UAA administrative staff part-time as Director of Teaching Initiatives.
Senior Office Assistant Rachel Jacobs moved to another MIT position. Her replacement on the UROP team is Michael Bergren, who has major responsibility for the January Mentor Program and a role in UCRF. Other departures included Toby Elliott, Administrative Assistant for IAP, and Justin Knight, Senior Office Assistant in the Advising Center. Three other Senior Office Assistants were added to the roster during the year: Madeline Brown, currently involved with Curriculum Support activities, including arrangements and notes for CUP; Margaret Ryan, working with financial administrative matters and in support of R/0; and Rosanne Swire, part of the team for Educational Studies and Research (and a key player in Charm School).
Travis R. Merritt
Mary Z. Enterline
Margaret E. Devine
Margaret S. Enders
Donna L. Friedman
Marshall D. Hughes
Alberta G. Lipson
Norma G. McGavern
Jeffrey A. Meldman
Leslie C. Perelman
Debbie H. Shoap
Bonnie J. Walters
MIT Reports to the President 1995-96