MIT Reports to the President 1995-96


The main focus of this year's initiatives was the continuation of reengineering efforts designed to provide timely, measurable, quality service for our customers and to reduce our operating costs. To support that mission and provide for greater customer interaction, we developed many new communication vehicles which provide voice and data options using the World Wide Web, e-mail, and voice mail. We also began a massive training effort for both our workforce and customers to keep current with the changes underway.


Custodial Services completely transitioned into a reengineered, team-based process. Twenty-six custodial teams were rolled out providing coverage for a three-shift, 24-hour, seven-days-per-week operation. Supervisors and coaches received extensive training on the development of a self-directed work force in which teams assume overall responsibility for day-to-day cleaning. Each custodial team received individual team training and is now receiving computer training as well. A Web page was created for the MIT community along with an easy access e-mail address for each team.

The Repair and Maintenance process, redesigned last year and further defined this year, was implemented in two local zones. The redesign involved many months of hard work from over 50 members of the department. The local zones, rolled out in the East and Northwest Campuses, reflect the beginning of a new structure and new process that demonstrates how we will accomplish cross-function repair and maintenance work in the future. This structure should lead us into a new and improved way of providing a higher level of service to our customers at reduced cost.

Project work included the development of a Master Plan for the campus fire alarm system and the modification of the fire alarm systems in Building E55 and 37. Work also began on upgrading the elevator systems in Buildings E38 and 7 and management was provided for the W84 elevator modernization project for the Housing Department. The Building 12 roof was replaced

The MIT Mail Services, a newly created entity within Physical Plant, became fully operational this year. In total, 30 Distributed Mail Centers (DMC's) were established which provide pick-up service throughout the campus. In addition, a new state of the art central mail facility was created in a portion of the former Office of Laboratory Supplies space in Building WW15. Incrementally, as postage meter leases expired, outbound mail is being processed by Mail Services. It is estimated that approximately 25 percent of all the outbound campus mail is now handled by the department, with new departments coming on-line daily. Operational changes were also made enabling bar-coding and presorting of mail, thereby bypassing several handlings within the Postal Service, which moves outgoing mail much faster.


Grounds Services is the only operational unit not yet reengineered but that effort will begin early next year. During the year, Grounds provided campus landscape plans and upgraded garden areas by planting additional low maintenance shrubs and ground cover. Of special note, however, was their excellent response to the snowiest winter on record. Under very trying conditions, they managed to keep the Institute open and operating as close to normal as possible. This record winter left us with a tremendous amount of campus landscape repair and replacement in preparation for the first time ever consolidation of Commencement and Alumni activities.


This year, after two years of construction, the long awaited cogeneration project commenced operation. This $50 million project included the reconfiguration of the electrical distribution system which has allowed us to go from three incoming substations to one at the Central Utility Plant. Within weeks of the start of actual operations, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities ordered the Institute to pay the local utility company and exit fee of $1.3 million a year for leaving their system. This was to become the first case of assigned stranded asset cost in the country. This order was appealed and the Institute continues to fight what is being considered a landmark case. Recently a program to expand the Central Utility Plant's chilled water capacity commenced with the purchase of a 5,000 ton steam driven chiller which is scheduled to be operational next year.

The Systems Engineering Group completed the separation of the potable and non-potable water systems in Buildings E17, E18, and E25 as part of a ten-year program.

The Design and Construction group managed 102 new projects. The Tang Center, a 32,000 ft.2 classroom building was completed this year and renovation of Building 56 began with completion expected next winter. The final portion of renovation work at Senior House began with completion scheduled in time for students to return to the dormitory for fall occupancy.

Campus elevator upgrades continued this year necessitated by changes in the 1996 Elevator Regulations and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).


The Plant's MIS team provided superb I/T guidance and assistance in a year where computer usage and development grew by leaps and bounds. Support was provided for all of the reengineering efforts as well as for deploying computers and instituting training for hourly staff, including Repair and Maintenance, Custodial, and Grounds personnel. Several programs used by employees were enhanced including the programs to track equipment lockout-tagout procedures, environmental permit tracking, and project tracking for the Design and Construction Services group. Development and maintenance of CAD facility drawings depicting campus-wide and internal building systems continued.

Victoria V. Sirianni

MIT Reports to the President 1995-96