During the year, the MIT Card office developed an information infrastructure to improve the efficiency and technological independence of its business processes. In addition, new equipment was acquired and the quality of the service provided to customers was upgraded. Through hands-on employee training, the department was able to develop the computational and programming skills to run its operations without outside consulting assistance. In order to affirm the status of the Institute as the leader in technology and to meet the challenges of the ever-changing card industry, the office conducted research on new technologies and market trends that could improve the services provided by use of The Card.
For the first time, the MIT Card Office will be able to carry out the in-house production of cards for the entire student population beginning with the fall semester. This mass production effort requires the production of approximately 15,000 temporary and permanent cards. Additionally, the office is working with the Alumni/ae Office in an effort to create a seamless process through which all MIT alumni/ae will be able to receive an MIT Affiliate Card.
This year's amendment to the Food Services contract with ARAMARK was negotiated to be on a straight profit and loss basis, whereby ARAMARK must pay a commission to MIT of 23 percent of all net receipts in excess of $9.8 million per year. Since ARAMARK experienced a loss this year, they are seeking relief from the Institute. Discussions are ongoing and should be completed shortly.
The Customer First! Program was implemented across the campus which includes an employee incentive program. An emphasis on customer services, at all levels of the Food Services organization, has been stressed through manager meetings, unit employee meetings, and at the annual employee meeting last August.
Food Services now has a home page for each food service location on campus. Information includes: hours of operation, menus, employment needs, and menu specials. A catered event can even be ordered via the web.
A very successful vegetarian program, that includes weekly vegetarian offerings posted on the Worldwide Web, was implemented this year. Baker was advertised as "the place for vegetarians to eat dinner", and the Mediterranean Trade Winds in Lobdell went completely vegetarian.
The Food Services department worked on several community service projects with the Hunger Action Group, Campus Police, and a campus sorority.
Food Services launched an initiative, through a mass mailing and advertising in conjunction with The MIT Card Office, to advise all employees to sign up for the MULTIPLAN and take advantage of the payroll deduction option.
Management worked closely with the Baker Dining Committee to design a program that meets the students' needs. It was specifically advertised to vegetarians and students athletes. At this time, however, the program still is not self-sustaining.
Three new dining concepts were introduced at the Walker dining facility: New England Traditions; Trattoria, an upscale Italian concept; and Something Fancy, a new deli program.
At Lobdell Food Court, the menu of Mediterranean Trade Winds changed to become completely vegetarian. In addition, security at the entrance was improved with the installation of glass doors.
At the Faculty Club, audio visual equipment and black-out shades were purchased and internet access was added to meet customer demand.
The Housing Office has carried on its process of implementing many long-term projects that benefit both the students and the MIT community. One of the main goals of the department is to be sure that the customer has a positive experience living in the dormitory system while both long-term and short-term maintenance issues are addressed. The estimated cost for this year's maintenance and repairs is $3 million.
Some of the maintenance projects during the year included bathroom renovations in E55, W85, W1, W5, W13, W51, W61, W4, W70, and NW16; kitchen renovations in W51, W4, W13, and NW61; plumbing renovations in E55, W85, W1, W7, W13, W51, 62-64, W61, W70, and NW61; HVAC upgrades in W1, NW61, and W13; painting in all houses; and continued involvement in the Senior House construction project and Baker House restoration feasibility study.
Improvements to the Student Information System now enable the Housing Office to keep better track of individuals eligible for residential housing. This now opens up more spaces for new students needing fall term housing.
The Off-Campus Housing Service data base project is nearing completion and the equipment should be in place to test the program early this fall. Ultimately, off campus rental listings will be available via the Intra-Net (within MIT only), thereby reducing the necessity for students to visit the office when searching for off campus housing.
Interest in graduate campus housing has risen this year due to the costs of off campus housing. The end of rent control in Boston, Cambridge, and Brookline has created some dramatic rent increases that should stabilize within the year.
Lawrence E. Maguire
MIT Reports to the President 1995-96