MIT Reports to the President 1998-99



During the last year I have traveled across the country to consult with a large number of MIT alumni and friends about the future of MIT, and its responses to a rapidly changing world. In these discussions, many questions of fundamental importance have been raised. Additionally, issues and experiences in campus life, and interactions with government and industry have also raised a number of questions. In this report, I offer a few thoughts and opinions on three such important questions:

Each of these questions deserves deeper analysis than is presented here. Nonetheless, I hope that these thoughts will stimulate further consideration of these matters.


For about fifty years, MIT, the Ivy League universities and many other outstanding private colleges and universities adhered to principles known as need-blind admission and need-based distribution of financial aid. "Need-blind" means that those making admissions decisions do not know the financial status of the applicants. "Need-based" means simply that we expect admitted students and their families to pay what they reasonably can of the cost of education, and we will make up the difference. These policies enable the institution to do the greatest good by distributing finite resources to those most in need.

Why did these colleges and universities follow the principles of need-blind admission and need-based distribution of financial aid?

First, they believed that they should select students from the richly talented pool of applicants on the basis of their capability, accomplishment, talents, fit to the institution, and contribution to the characteristics of the class as a whole. No preference would be given to wealthier students, and no discouragement would be given to needy students.

Second, the policies worked. Institutions like ours have been able not only to attract absolutely remarkable young men and women, but also to help them financially to pursue their education. Fortunately, by utilizing a combination of institutional and federal scholarships, loans, and remuneration for work, we have had sufficient financial resources to implement these idealistic policies.

There is a third motivation. Financial aid to undergraduate students in private universities largely comes from alumni donations. Almost all such donors to our financial aid programs tell me, often with considerable emotion, that they would not have been able to attend MIT if they had not been helped financially. They want to be sure that other bright but needy young people will be able to attend, just as they did.

During this same period, and today, public universities generally have taken a different approach. Most public institutions have less per student available through endowments to use as financial aid, and they encounter a wider range of talent among the students who apply. They try to be sure that any state resident admitted to their campus can somehow afford it, usually through charging relatively low tuition and offering scholarships and loans. Nonresident students usually are charged a much higher tuition. In an effort to increase the quality of the student body, public universities frequently use a part of their scholarship funds to create "merit-based financial aid." Merit—based aid is made available to students judged to have unusually high academic qualifications, and may well go to a student who has no strong need for financial assistance. Frequently it is targeted at bright nonresident students.

A Changing Environment For Financial Aid

During the past several years, the picture I have sketched here has begun to change, largely because of financial pressures on the institutions. Some colleges and universities that believed in need-blind admission and need-based distribution of financial aid were increasingly unable to afford the system, especially as they strove to restrain increases in tuition. Many families also felt increasing pressure, and the range of students needing financial assistance began to rise up well into the middle class.

Federal policy also is a large driver of the changing financial pressures and of the broad shift of financial aid away from the neediest families and toward those of somewhat greater means. The federal government is a major player in the financing of students' education. Thirty years ago, the government primarily provided need-based grants, i.e. scholarships, to assist students and their families. In more recent years, the government has cut back dramatically on outright grants and moved toward federal loans, to be paid back with reasonable interest after graduation. In the last few years, government programs have begun to provide tax credit and deductions for educational expenses. These provisions do little to help those at the bottom of the economic scale, but are helpful to those in middle income ranges. They accrue to those in high tax brackets as well.

The result of these various pressures has been twofold. First there has been a substantial increase in the awarding of merit aid. Second, throughout higher education, there has been a substantial drift of financial resources away from the most needy students and families and into families who have less need.1

But the picture is a bit more complicated than this. In addition to some shifting from need-based to merit-based aid, there has been a clear increase in bargaining between schools and families on a case by case basis. The squeaky wheel increasingly gets the financial oil, in the form of "discounting" for individual students and families. Discounting simply means charging less than the advertised price of tuition, room and board. To be sure, all financial aid is a form of discounting, but it has traditionally been applied across the board in accordance with guiding principles and rules. Discounting as overt bargaining or matching of offers from other schools is a relatively new phenomenon.

In some institutions all of this has been taken to an extreme through the application of so-called "enrollment management." Enrollment management basically is an optimization process, in which a school tries to maximize the quality of its student body given the fixed amount of funds available for financial aid or discounts. Enrollment management involves a combination of merit aid, a conscious attempt to attract a certain number of wealthy students and a certain pot of money with which to conduct bargaining and discounting. Indeed, there now is a web-based, for-profit company that intends to bargain among schools to drive the best financial deal for its clients.

A Primer on the Finances of Higher Education

Before addressing my own view of all of this, let me state some basics of the financing of private higher education that are so obvious that they are often not discussed.

If higher education is a business, it is a very strange business. The reason is bound up in the concept of subsidy. As Professor Gordon Winston of Williams College,2 points out: In the world of business, companies produce a product at a cost and sell it for a price. If the price is less than the cost, the business does not survive for long. Colleges and universities are a different kettle of fish. Our "product" is education. The cost of that product is determined by the expenses of faculty and staff salaries, buildings, laboratories, equipment, computers, and services that support the learning environment inside and outside the classroom. The price of the product is called tuition, and it is invariably lower than the cost. The difference between tuition and the cost of education is made up by a subsidy. In a private college or university the subsidy is paid for by returns on an invested endowment and by annual gifts from alumni and other supporters. In the case of public institutions, the subsidy largely comes from funds allocated by the state legislature.

At MIT we calculate that tuition covers about 50 percent of the actual cost of educating a student. This is rather typical among private universities. Thus, as we contemplate the issue of financial aid, the context of a high-quality, subsidized undergraduate education must be kept in mind. The tuition, or "sticker price", is substantially less than the actual cost, so financial aid or any form of discounting is simply a variation in the level of subsidy the institution and its trustees believe they can afford.

What About MIT?

Given the great variety of public and private colleges and universities in this country, there is room and logic for many different approaches to financial aid. One shoe does not fit all, and I do not presume to know what is best for any other college or university. But I do have a strong view about MIT and other universities that share many of our characteristics.

The commitment of our most competitive private colleges and universities to need-blind admission and need-based distribution of financial aid served the nation and the world very well for several decades, and I believe continuation of such policies will serve us well. These policies open up our institutions to a broad range of bright students in a competitive and meritocratic context. As students choose among such universities, these policies enable them to base their decision primarily on what they believe to be the best fit in terms of their needs and aspirations, rather than simply where the best financial deal can be struck. This approach also enables us to maximize the good done with finite resources. I believe that our continued adherence to these principles will, at least in part, help to stem the flow of financial aid away from those who truly need it toward many who do not. And I believe that it honors the wishes of most donors to our financial aid coffers.

But why wouldn't MIT want to optimize the quality of its student body by providing extra financial incentives to the very best students to attend?

First, through the quality of our programs, our reputation and our recruiting efforts, we are able to admit and enroll classes of truly exceptional students. Indeed, it would be very difficult to differentiate among them in terms of talent, accomplishment and promise. We educators are notoriously inept at actually predicting which individual students will end up with the highest grades, make the greatest contributions to our intellectual community, be the most inventive, or be the most successful in life.

MIT's Dean of Admissions Marilee Jones has said, "A lot of schools offer merit awards, but we'd have to pay every kid who walked in the door. There is no Top 20. How would you pick 20? By what criteria? There are more than 20 gold medalists on the International Physics Olympiad alone in this pool. Three percent of the class we just admitted has 800s on every single testin all that's five tests. Sixty percent of the class has at least one 800. By every measure we use, a full third of the entering class will have either national or international distinction in something. So that's hundreds of kids. How do you pick the Top 20?"

Second, if such a talented class is divided into merit aid "haves" and "have-nots", it creates unnecessary social tensions. Some of those deemed to be less meritorious when they are admitted would inevitably end up outperforming some of those who had achieved special status and financial reward based on high school achievements. The meritocracy we value so highly is based on accomplishments here at MIT, not on a prediction.

In summary, as long as we can garner the level of gifts and endowment to make it possible, we should remain true to our principles of need-blind admission and need-based distribution of financial aid. MIT has long been a place that attracts the best and brightest and is accessible to them regardless of their financial status. This should continue to be our goal.


The answer to this question may vary in detail, or even in the large, from campus to campus throughout the cornucopia of U.S. colleges and universities. This probably is good–particularly if the fit of individual students to the institution at which they study is good.

At MIT the Faculty defines admission philosophy, criteria and procedures. They alone determine the curricular requirements for the various degrees, and they are responsible for the development and implementation of individual subjects. Few would wish it to be any other way.

But when we consider life beyond the formal classrooms and laboratories, the debate begins.

I recently had a discussion with an accomplished and respected young MIT alumnus about a somewhat controversial change in the residential options available to our students. I noted that the change had important origins in discussions and debates among our faculty. His reply was that such matters should be of no concern to the faculty, who have no relevant basis of experience or understanding to address them. I was told the same thing last spring by a group of 80 students who camped for a period in the hallway outside my office.

The 1998 Report of the Task Force on Student Life and Learning3 takes a diametrically opposite view. This group of faculty and students proposes that MIT's educational philosophy be explicitly based on a triad of Academics, Research and Community. They state that "the ultimate goal is to bring students, faculty, and staff together in the pursuit of the common educational enterprise, and doing so entails recognizing the relationship between what happens within the classroom or laboratory and the informal learning that takes place outside."

More bluntly, the Task Force called for a cultural shift "from demanding separation of student life and learning

to demanding they be inseparable, from focusing on formal education to emphasizing learning in both formal and informal settings, from a community divided by place, field and status to a community unified by its commitment to learning, from keeping research, academics, and community apart to unifying the educational value each provides."

Such notions are hardly radical, but the term "cultural shift" makes it clear that as life in our universities has become increasingly complex, intense and demanding, some ideas of the collective responsibility of faculties have changed as well. Any exploration of this matter must begin with an understanding that the deepest commitment of faculty members in research universities is to maintain an environment of academic excellence, and that their most precious resource is time.

American universities grew rapidly in size, scope and accessibility during the two decades following World War II. They were transformed further during the last three decades as their student bodies became enormously diversified in every dimension–by gender, age, economic status, geographical origin, life goals, race, religion, culture, experience, and so forth. These developments, as well as changes in societal expectations, funding patterns, legal requirements, and so forth have resulted in a shift of many duties from faculty members to professional staff and administrators.

Indeed, the modern university is in many ways a modest-sized city. In addition to its core mission of teaching and research, it provides housing, food services, medical care, counseling, financial services, a police force, transportation, computers and telecommunications, aid to individuals with disabilities, and much more. Though we may dream of a simpler time, the reality is that the demand for all of these services beyond the classroom continues to grow.

As a result, student services professionals have taken on many duties once performed by faculty–including aspects of personal, career and even academic counseling. Generally, this is more efficient and in many dimensions more effective. Still, the nagging internal voice suggests that the balance may have swung too far.

Not only has the balance shifted, but roles and responsibilities have become unclear. Indeed, the MIT Residence System Steering Committee,4 composed of students, faculty and alumni, recently stated, "In our many discussions with hundreds of students, faculty, staff, and alumni/ae about our residence system, a fundamental issue is always one of authority, responsibility and accountability. Not only are our students unclear on these matters, so too are our staff and faculty.… This must change." I suspect that this appropriately characterizes many other campuses as well.

My view is that faculty do have certain collective responsibilities to our students beyond their core duties in the formal classroom and laboratory. I suggest three critical duties–to visibly engage in responsible, moral and ethical action and decision making; to recognize the cumulative effect of incremental decisions; and to work toward better integration of life and learning within our campus community. I offer these views in full recognition of the demands on faculty time, and of the interaction between such duties and the quality of their personal and professional lives. Of course, many professors at MIT do far more than meet this minimum set of obligations I suggest below.

Responsible, Moral, and Ethical Actions and Decisions

Colleges and universities teach by their actions as well as through their curricula. Faculties and administrations alike owe it to their students to visibly deal with important discussions and decisions in a way that displays a conscious effort to act responsibly, morally and ethically. Much of the lesson will be contained in what we choose to think about, to do, and not to do. We owe our students open discussion, serious consideration of various points of view, and clear explanations of decisions made. All must realize, however, that timely and clear decisions are necessary.

MIT has an interesting advantage in this regard, because our institution rests so firmly on the strong foundation of science. Integrity is the only possible substrate upon which science can be built. In teaching, demonstrating and guiding our research by the rigorous methods of scientific inquiry, we set a tone of action and decision making that is very important. But this is not enough.

Let me cite a powerful example of appropriate decision making. In 1974, Professor David Baltimore and his colleagues on biology faculties here and in other universities led a national moratorium on the use of recombinant DNA technologies in their research. This very new, and obviously important, research tool struck an uneasy chord with the public. Were there terrible dangers of unleashing strange, unnatural mutants or new diseases into the human environment? Did we really understand the procedures needed to avoid contamination of the environment or gene pool? Rather than dismiss such concerns, they engaged the broader community, including scholars from non-science disciplines and political and religious leaders, in intense discourse and analysis of the issue. In a relatively short time, these discussions led to both increased understanding and broad consensus.

Although some others may disagree, I believe that our institution has worked hard to act in a responsible, ethical and moral manner in many other important though controversial instances: in acting to build the diversity of our community, in battling the Justice Department over the matter of implementing need-based financial aid, and, quite recently, in engaging students, faculty and alumni/ae in the redesign of our residential system.

In any event, it is incumbent upon us to act responsibly, ethically and morally, and to maintain an environment in which responsibility and accountability accompany the considerable freedom accorded to us.

Cumulative Effects of Incremental Decisions and Actions

Campuses are complicated systems. People and actions are interrelated in many ways. There is continual opportunity to make decisions or take actions without considering, or even recognizing how, in the aggregate, they affect our students.

A simple, but important example is the set of guidelines established by the Faculty for examinations or reports due at the end of each academic term. Each term the Chair of the Faculty receives many complaints from students about individual professors who have deviated from these rules. I suspect that in most cases, the faculty member's decision was made in order to reflect some particular element of the subject's nature or content. Nonetheless, such locally sensible changes can cause unresolvable conflicts for students who are balancing the demands of several subjects. This type of regulation is made collectively by the faculty and should be adhered to.

A more complex example of collective responsibility is that discussed in the Report on the Status of Women Faculty in Science at MIT.5 This important report was authored by a group of distinguished women and men on the faculty of our School of Science. It portrayed a long-term pattern of bias or discrimination against senior women in the School, and also noted recent steps that had been taken by the School, and especially by Dean Robert J. Birgeneau to address the situation.

This report, and a more detailed, confidential document that supports it, presented many facts and figures, to be sure. But note how they described the essence of the matter:

While the reasons for discrimination are complex, a critical part of the explanation lies in our collective ignorance.… [The tenured women faculty] identified the forms that gender "discrimination" takes in this post-Civil-Rights era. They found that discrimination consists of powerful, but unrecognized assumptions and attitudes that work systematically against women faculty even in light of obvious goodwill. Like many discoveries, at first it is startling and unexpected.

The italics are mine; they emphasize that here again is an example of why we must understand the cumulative effects of individual decisions and actions. Furthermore, the ways in which we at MIT collectively think about and extend the work of this group, and address the issues it raises and the recommendations it makes, will be an implicit lesson to our students, as well as a determinant of our future excellence.

An Integrated Approach to Life and Learning in a Residential University

In a residential research university such as MIT, many dimensions must be integrated–teaching, research and living–so that the total experience of our students far exceeds the simple sum of their involvement in each individual element.

The MIT faculty has long been deeply dedicated to integrating the education of undergraduates with the superb research activity that surrounds them. They do this by continually renewing and enlivening undergraduate subjects with methods and results from their own and their colleagues' research. In an even more explicit manner, they provide, through the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP), a direct involvement of undergraduates in research.

But–as noted by the Task Force on Student Life and Learning–the third element of the living environment and experience of our students needs to be better integrated. The concept of a true community of scholars adds an extra dimension to faculty life and goals. By engaging with students beyond the formal classroom and laboratory we can help to develop wisdom and understanding as well as knowledge and skill. We can display and enhance our humanity as well as intellectual expertise. I believe that students and faculty can benefit dramatically just from understanding more about each other's lives. Virtually all of us can point to encounters with specific faculty members that had a profound influence on the fulfillment of our potential in our personal and professional life.

Change need not be dramatic, but it needs to be systemic. A modest involvement with living groups, a few evenings or lunches spent in discussion with undergraduates, holding seminars in residence halls, teaching a freshman advising seminar, creating exciting field trips or other off-campus experiences for students, participating in a pre-term orientation program, conducting an informal IAP class, talking with students on the net, or simply stopping to chat in the hallway can have an amazingly positive influence on students. Many of these things happen quite naturally in graduate education, but not always for our undergraduates.

There are a number of our faculty colleagues who shoulder massive amounts of this responsibility, such as those who serve as housemasters in our residence halls. But each of us has a role. Our students came to MIT to engage with world-class professors. If we all devote ourselves to building campus community, the incremental time involved can be modest, but the consequent enhancement of our already vital and exciting student experience will be great. It is our responsibility to do so.

In sum, my response to the second question is that faculty, and administrators and staff as well, have a collective responsibility to our students that extends beyond meeting our basic duties in the classroom and laboratory. We must build community by integrating student life and learning into a more coherent whole. We must not only teach, but exemplify moral, ethical and responsible behavior. And we must understand the cumulative effects of our individual actions on our students, colleagues and others, and act accordingly. This is particularly important at MIT because of our strong tradition of being a single faculty–we are of a whole cloth, dedicated to the Institute, not just to our individual departments or schools. This is an important value in and of itself.


Research universities are supported by society in a variety of ways because of the common good they serve: educating young men and women for responsible, productive lives, and generating new, fundamental knowledge that expands the human spirit, and increases our collective understanding of the physical, biological, social, and artistic aspects of our world. But increasingly, much of the knowledge generated through university research has quite immediate practical and economic value. This complicates the mechanisms by which the common good is promoted.

Since the close of World War II, the federal government has been the primary supporter of university research in the US, and universities have become the nation's primary researchers. This relationship stemmed from recognition of the contributions that science and technology had made to the defense effort and of the promise that they held, in President Roosevelt's words, "for the improvement of the national health, the creation of new enterprises bringing new jobs, and the betterment of the national standard of living." The principles underlying this relationship were articulated by MIT's Vannevar Bush, then Director of the Office of Scientific Research and Development, in his report Science–The Endless Frontier. 6

In short, these principles are that it is in the nation's long-term interest for the federal government to support scientific research and advanced education conducted in universities, and that the nature of such research should be determined by the scientists themselves and not guided toward particular applications. The assumption was that in due course, the new knowledge would find its way to improve our industry, commerce, medical practice and national defense.

The quality, vigor and societal contributions of the great research universities of this country are directly linked to the adoption of these principles by the federal government. This is certainly the case for MIT, which was able to leverage this support to build its world-class faculty and research enterprise.

Our reliance has been great: in 1965, sponsored research support, predominantly federal, accounted for over 60 percent of all of MIT's campus operating revenues. But now things are changing, as they should. Some would argue, and I am one, that MIT became overdependent on federal support. While the federal government willproperly in my viewremain the dominant source of research support, industry is starting to play a more substantial role at MIT. By Fiscal Year 1999, sponsored research had dropped to 45 percent of our campus operating revenues. Of this, approximately 70 percent came from the federal government, 20 percent from industry, and the remainder from private foundations and other sources. This is the age of the private sector, and such change is appropriate and, indeed necessary.

A Changing Scene

MIT has worked hard during the last few years to develop strong and appropriate research relations with private industry for three reasons: to improve our education; to diversify our sources of financial support; and to create new pathways for contributing to the common good.

The world of commerce and industry that our graduates now enter is very different than it was even a few years ago. Contemporary industry is fast-paced, knowledge-based, global, electronically interconnected and often created by entrepreneurs. It thrives on innovation. As a consequence, I believe that, especially in engineering and management, our education must change to better serve our students and their future employers. To accomplish this, some of our faculty and research students need to be engaged with contemporary industrial problems and environments. Such engagement will generate not only new types of academic research, but improvements in our curricula.

Conflicts and Responsibilities

Interactions with industry create new pathways to serve society. However, as with all paradigmatic change, questions of appropriateness and mission are properly raised. Faculty members interact with industry in a variety of ways. They do so as educators, as leaders of research programs, as consultants, as generators of intellectual property, and as entrepreneurs. In each of these possible roles, money crosses boundaries and missions and objectives become intertwined. Thus we must examine the implications of these new relationships, raise questions, and set policies to address them.

With regard to any non-MIT activities, faculty, officers and staff have an obligation to avoid ethical, legal, or other conflicts of interest and to ensure that their activities do not conflict with their obligations to the Institute or its welfare.

The ability of professors to spend up to a day a week as consultants to business, government or industry has long been accepted as a valuable way of gaining new experience, which can lead to increased curricular vitality and can open new areas of research. MIT monitors consulting only to the extent necessary to assure that there is no conflict of commitment, i.e. that consulting faculty adhere to the time limits and that their outside activities do not interfere with meeting their professorial duties and responsibilities.

When faculty act as entrepreneurs, or when the intellectual property they generate is otherwise commercialized, further considerations and policies come into forcefor them and for MIT as an institution. Our conflict of interest policies have two basic objectivesto ensure openness of information flow in our classrooms and laboratories, and to keep research agendas in our laboratories from being improperly affected by the personal financial interests of faculty or staff.

In today's world, we pay particular attention to the issues associated with ownership of intellectual properties and to potential conflicts arising from ownership of equity in companies. We have recently established new guidelines for avoiding and managing such conflicts. These guidelines are basically clear, but the complexity and pace of commercialization today require that we all be vigilant and thoughtful in this regard. Common sense, foresight, and thoughtful consultation are the most important vehicles for avoiding conflicts of interest and commitment.


One of the most direct ways in which research-intensive universities serve the greater society is by moving new ideas and technologies into the commercial sector, thereby building wealth and creating jobs. Indeed, a now well-known 1997 study showed that MIT graduates had founded or co-founded over 4,000 companies employing over 1.1 million people, and having annual world sales of $232 billion. Other leading universities could tell similar positive stories. This represents a huge return on the investment made by the federal government through its sponsorship of research and graduate education, and by individuals and foundations that have helped support universities and students over the years.

Today, the movement of ideas, technologies and graduates from universities to the world of commerce occurs at a blinding speed. And the rapidity at which money can be made in conjunction with this movement is sometimes astounding. Entrepreneurial activities have always been a very important part of the culture of MIT, but their roles and importance have accelerated dramatically.

We foster this aspect of our culture in many ways. We have, for example, a growing Center for Entrepreneurship, located at the Sloan School of Management, that engages students and faculty from throughout the Institute; research and educational programs in electronic commerce and in new product and venture formation; and a variety of programs for mentoring students and alumni who are interested in starting new businesses.

These activities demonstrate an important aspect of MIT's nimbleness in responding to a rapidly and fundamentally changing world. I would have it no other way. It is exciting and important. Some people question whether this new strength of entrepreneurship and electronic commerce are fundamental transformations, or are a modern version of the Tulip Craze of early seventeenth century Holland. I believe that they are fundamental transformations, and that it is important for universities to play a major, though properly balanced, role in their development, and in preparing our students to participate.

However, there are three dangers, in my view:

Thus, we should vigorously develop our programs and contributions to this new world of innovation and commerce, but do so in the context of our fundamental values in scholarship and education.

Interaction With Companies

Research universities have a dual responsibility in relationship to contemporary industry, especially in the fields of engineering, management and, to a lesser extent, science.

To fulfill our educational mission we must bring some fraction of what we do closer to the contemporary and future world of industry. We need to teach new skills of collaboration and teamwork, a more integrated approach to design projects, a deeper involvement with multiple disciplines, and a better understanding of process, production and economic factors. In order to do so, some of our faculty members must be deeply engaged with industry in research and educational activities, because it is faculty interests, insights and experience that ultimately drive the learning experience of our students.

But we have an even greater responsibility for research that is, in a sense, at the opposite end of the spectrum. During the last fifteen years or so, large companies have adapted to a dramatically changing world market by increasing productivity and quality, while reducing product cycle times and costs. This required a major reorientation of corporate research toward product development and production. As a result, relatively little corporate research is now fundamental and long-term in nature and shared openly and broadly with the scientific community. Increasingly, universities are the only game in town when it comes to developing fundamental knowledge through research.

During the past few years, MIT has worked at both ends of this spectrum of research and education by forming new partnerships, alliances, consortia and centers involving industry collaboration and funding. Examples of path-breaking collaborations between the Institute and consortia of sponsoring industries include the System Design and Management Program, the Lean Aerospace Program, and the Center for Innovation in Product Development. These programs seek to discover new principles of industrial practice and build them into engineering and management education. There are numerous other exciting industry-sponsored consortia for pre-competitive research throughout the Institute.

In addition, we recently have pioneered a number of industry partnerships with individual corporations. These are major undertakings, funded at a substantial level for a period of at least five years. The research agendas of the partnerships have been hammered out by teams consisting of MIT faculty and research or technology leaders from the companies. For the most part, these partnerships explore advanced research into fundamental topics of strategic interest to the company and to MIT faculty. Examples of partnership topics include environmental research, fundamental biology, biotechnology, the uses of future information technologies, the engineering function in global corporations, improved information technology infrastructure and practice in higher education, and emerging financial technologies.

All of the partnerships include a strong component of support for graduate education. For the most part, they deal with long time horizon research. All result in open publication of research results after the usual modest period of time for review by the sponsoring company. Intellectual property agreements are fairly standard, with MIT owning the rights to most discoveries, and with clearly specified ground rules for the partner company to negotiate for exclusive or non-exclusive patent rights, depending on the royalty situation.

There is another form of exclusivity that is important to contemplate. Companies that engage with us at the partnership level should not be the sole company in their industry or sector to have a presence at MIT. So far, this has not emerged as a problem. Indeed, in some instances our partners have actively worked to engage other companies in the research efforts.

The most important characteristic of the industry partnerships is that they truly are partnerships. There is strong and essential intellectual involvement of industrial scientists, engineers and managers. They thrive only through trust, mutual respect and increased understanding of each others' cultures and working time scales. Both organizations expect to receive substantial intellectual value from the undertakings. All recognize that producing innovative, well-educated students who are knowledgeable about future-oriented fields, especially those that combine or cross traditional disciplines is a key goal of the partnership.

My view on the third question: Increased industry sponsorship of university research does not distort our mission; it widens and enables it. Indeed, done properly, it broadens the scope of our scholarship, improves education, creates opportunity, expands our infrastructure, diversifies our portfolio of revenue sources, and contributes to society in new ways. However, as with any other partner or patron, there are risks and potential conflicts to be directly confronted, especially when, as at MIT, we take bold new approaches. Above all, we must protect the overall freedom and flexibility of our faculty and students to pursue research and scholarship wherever it leads, and to serve society as objective critics.


The issues I have raised in this reportfinancial aid, the collective responsibility of our faculty, and our relations with industrymay still hold more questions than answers. I offer my views here in the hope of stimulating an ongoing discussion of matters that I believe to be of fundamental importance as MIT responds to a rapidly changing world.

They speak to the questions of who we educate, how we do so, and what principles we rely on to guide our future. They are quite interrelated.

We attract remarkably talented students to MIT. Through our financial aid policies, we seek to assure that they are selected because of their talent, accomplishments, and potential for benefiting from an MIT education and contributing to our academic endeavorswith no regard to their financial status. While they are here, we as faculty have a growing obligation not only to provide them with an excellent and rigorous formal education, but also to create a more holistic experience of living and growth within a dedicated learning community. This community will increasingly interact with private industry, thereby expanding the scope of our scholarship and creating new pathways for the knowledge we generate to benefit society. In these interactions, as in those with our government patrons and partners, we must carefully avoid inappropriate conflicts of interest and commitment, and remain true to our fundamental mission and values.

The future is bright and challenging for MIT, and for our sister research universities. Our opportunities to contribute greatly to the common good in the century ahead are unlimited. I hope that this modest exploration of three issues we all must face will contribute to meeting our opportunities and responsibilities.

Charles M. Vest

November 1999


  1. Michael S. McPherson and Morton Owen Schapiro, The Student Aid Game, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1998.
  2. Gordon Winston, College Costs: Subsidies, Intuition and Policy, Williams Project on the Economics of Higher Education. Discussion Paper 45, Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1997.
  3. Report of the Task Force on Student Life and Learning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1998.
  4. Report of the Residence System Steering Committee, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1999.
  5. Report on the Status of Women Faculty in Science at MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1999.
  6. Vannevar Bush, Science–The Endless Frontier. A Report to the President. United States Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1945


The academic year 1998—99 brought several significant changes to MIT's senior academic and administrative leadership.

Glenn P. Strehle stepped down from his dual role as Vice President for Finance and Treasurer of the MIT Corporation at the end of 1998. A loyal alumnus, devoted to the Institute and its people, he has served MIT with great distinction in a number of roles. His contributions to the enhancement of MIT's resources include service as Vice President for Resource Development (1986—1994) as well as the stewardship of the endowment. His MIT connection continues with work on behalf of projects in technology-enabled education in the Center for Advanced Educational Services.

Following the announcement of Mr. Strehle's retirement, the Corporation elected Allan S. Bufferd, Deputy Treasurer and Director of Investments, to serve as the Treasurer of the Corporation. Dr. Bufferd brings to his new role nearly a quarter-century of experience in the management of MIT's investments.

New deans were appointed in two of the Institute's five schools. Thomas L. Magnanti, Institute Professor, was named Dean of the School of Engineering. Professor Magnanti brings to his new role expertise in operations research and experience in the development of innovative, cross-cutting educational programs including the Leaders for Manufacturing Program and the System Design and Management Program. Associate Dean and Cecil and Ida Green Distinguished Professor of Materials Science John B. Vander Sande had served as Interim Dean of the School of Engineering following the appointment of Dean Robert A. Brown as Provost last summer.

Richard Schmalensee, Gordon Y Billard Professor of Economics and Management, was named to succeed Glen L. Urban, David Austin Professor of Marketing, as Dean of the Sloan School. Formerly Deputy Dean of the Sloan School, he is an industrial economist who has served on the President's Council of Economic Advisers and is an expert on the economics of competition. Joining Dean Schmalensee in the leadership of the Sloan School are Gabriel R. Bitran, Nippon Telephone and Telegraph Professor of Management, and Donald Lessard, Epoch Foundation Professor of International Management, both appointed Deputy Deans.

During the year it was also announced that Isaac M. Colbert, formerly Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Education, would assume the new position of Dean for Graduate Students and become a member of the Academic Council. This appointment and related changes to the Graduate Students Office (formerly the Graduate Education Office) and the committees associated with graduate education are intended to enhance consideration of graduate education in Institute policy-making.

Joan F. Rice, Vice President for Human Resources, retired at the end of April after twenty-seven years at MIT, where she started as a secretary and advanced through the ranks of the Personnel Department. As vice president, she oversaw employee relations, benefits and systems, training and development, equal opportunity, disability services, and the Medical Department. She will be remembered for her unwavering commitment to serving all members of the community. As the academic year came to an end, a search for her successor was continuing.

The year also saw changes in the leadership of the Institute's administrative operations. John R. Curry, previously Vice President for Business and Finance at the California Institute of Technology, joined MIT in the new position of Executive Vice President. In his new role, Mr. Curry will be responsible to the President for the overall leadership, management and organization of the Institute's administrative and financial affairs, including operations, financial management and planning, human resources management, information systems, resource development, and facilities.

Kathryn A. Willmore was named Vice President and Secretary of the Corporation. Prior to this appointment, Ms. Willmore had served as Executive Assistant to the President and Director of Public Relations Services as well as the elected Secretary of the Corporation. Ms. Willmore continues to serve as the key interface between the MIT administration and the Institute's trustees and is responsible for relations and communications with internal and external constituencies.

New academic department or program leaders whose service began during the year were Olivier Blanchard, Head, Department of Economics; John V. Guttag, Head, and Tomás Lozano-Pérez and L. Rafael Reif, Associate Heads, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Douglas A. Lauffenbyrger and Steven R. Tannenbaum, Co-Directors, Division of Bioengineering and Environmental Health; Ronald G. Prinn, Head, Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences; Daniel Roos, Head, Engineering Systems Division.

Leadership changes in laboratories and centers included the appointments of Cynthia Barnhart and James B. Orlin, Co-Directors, Operations Research Center; Vincent W. S. Chan, Co-Director, Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems; Alan J. Grodzinsky, Director, Center for Biomedical Engineering; Paul A. Lagace, Co-Director, Leaders for Manufacturing Program; Douglas A. Lauffenburger, Director, Biotechnology Process Engineering Center; Richard G. Milner, Director, Bates Linear Accelerator Center; Fred Moavenzadeh, Director, Center for Technology, Policy, and Industrial Development; Edward B. Roberts, Chairman, MIT Entrepreneurship Center.

Among notable changes in the administration during the past year were the appointments of Stephen A. Dare, Director of Resource Development; Karl Koster, Director, Office of Corporate Relations; Jane Pickering, Director, The MIT Museum; Charles A. Shaw, Director, Financial Systems Services; and Toni Robinson and Thomas P. Zgambo, Ombudspersons.

* * *

The honors bestowed on MIT's faculty and staff each year are a striking reminder of the outstanding quality of the Institute's and research. The following summary touches on only a few examples of the awards and recognition earned by members of the MIT community during 1998—99.

MIT reserves the title of Institute Professor for a small number of faculty members of particular distinction, who are recognized by their peers for exceptional leadership, accomplishment, and service in the scholarly, educational, and general intellectual life of the Institute and of the wider academic community. Phillip A. Sharp, Salvador E. Luria Professor of Biology, and Sheila E. Widnall, Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of Aeronautics, were accorded this honor during the year just ended. Both have contributed greatly to the Institute, their respective disciplines, and the world beyond our walls.

Three MIT professors were elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), one of the highest distinctions accorded within the scientific community. This year's new members from MIT were Professor of Physics David E. Pritchard, Ford Professor of Engineering Emeritus Ronald F. Probstein, and Professor of Psychology Elizabeth Spelke.

The National Academy of Engineering elected two new members from the MIT faculty: Alan H. Epstein, the Richard Cockburn Maclaurin Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and George Stephanopoulos, the Arthur D. Little Professor of Chemical Engineering. This year's elections bring to 95 the total number of NAE members from the Institute.

MIT faculty members inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences reflect the breadth of the Institute's academic programs. This year's new MIT Fellows are Howard M. Brenner, the Willard Henry Dow Professor of Chemical Engineering; Robert G. Gallager, the Fujitsu Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Director of the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems; Professor David S. Jerison of the Department of Mathematics; Professor Wolfgang Ketterle of the Department of Physics; Professor of Biology Eric Lander, Director of the Whitehead/MIT Center for Genome Research; and Professor Harvey Lodish of the Division of Bioenginering and Environmental Health and a member of the Whitehead Institute.

The Institute of Medicine, whose 546 members include many members of the MIT faculty, elected to membership Eric Lander, Professor of Biology and Director of the Whitehead/MIT Center for Genome Research.

H. Robert Horvitz, Professor of Biology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, was the co-winner of a Gairdner Foundation International Award for outstanding contributions to medical science, in recognition of pioneering contributions to our understanding of apoptosis, or programmed cell death.

Appointment as MacVicar Faculty Fellows recognized outstanding commitment to excellence in teaching on the part of three members of the faculty: Associate Professor of Biology Chris A. Kaiser, Professor of Mechanical Engineering Alexander H. Slocum, and Associate Professor of Urban Studies and Planning Lawrence J. Vale.

Dr. Robert A. Weinberg, the Daniel K. Ludwig Professor for Cancer Research and an American Cancer Society Research Professor, was the recipient of the twenty-eighth annual James R. Killian, Jr., Faculty Achievement Award. The selection committee noted that Professor Weinberg's research on the conversion of normal cells into tumor cells has not only led to promising approaches to the prevention and ultimately the possible cure of neoplastic diseases, but has also greatly enhanced our understanding of the complex and subtle mechanisms responsible for growth and maintenance of the organs of multicellular organisms.

Associate Professor of Biology Tania Baker received this year's Harold E. Edgerton Faculty Achievement award, which recognizes junior faculty for achievements in teaching, research, and service to the MIT community.

The Gordon Y Billard Award, recognizing individuals who have performed special services of outstanding merit to MIT, was given this year to John D. Corley Jr., Lecturer in Music and Theater Arts; Stephen C. Graves, Abraham Siegel Professor of Management at the Sloan School and Co-Director of the Leaders for Manufacturing program; and Dawn C. Metcalf, a social worker in the Medical Department.

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The turning of the seasons at MIT is marked not only by the celebration of the honors and awards received by our current faculty, staff, and students, but also by the passing away of beloved and honored former colleagues. The Institute rejoices in their memory and will cherishes their legacy of exceptional service, dedication, and accomplishment.

William P. Allis, Professor Emeritus of Physics, died on March 5, 1999, at the age of 98. He was one of the central figures in the successful development of MIT's Research Laboratory of Electronics. He earned his undergraduate and master's degrees from MIT and returned, after postgraduate studies in Europe and the US, as a research associate (1925-29), and an instructor in physics (1931-34). He joined the physics faculty in 1934, and was appointed as full professor in 1950. During World War II, he was selected to act as the liaison officer between the Radiation Laboratory and the military. By war's end, he had risen to the rank of lieutenant colonel and been decorated with the Legion of Merit. He returned to government service in 1962 for a two-year appointment as NATO's assistant secretary general for scientific affairs.

Edward H. Bowman, Professor Emeritus of Management, died on October 7, 1998, at the age of 73. Between three separate appointments as a full professor at MIT, he also served as a senior research associate in administrative science at Yale, Dean of Ohio State University's College of Administrative Science, and professor of corporate management at the Wharton School. A specialist in the fields of managerial decision-making, corporate social responsibility, and real options theory, he directed Sloan's doctoral program, and chaired both the operations management faculty and the policy faculty. A 1946 graduate of MIT with a bachelor's degree in Management, he held a 1949 MBA from the Wharton School and a 1954 doctorate from Ohio State University.

George H. Büchi, Professor Emeritus of Chemistry, died of heart failure on August 28, 1998 while hiking with his wife Anne in his native Switzerland. He was 77 years old. He had joined the MIT faculty in 1951, rising to associate professor in 1956 and full professor in 1958. He was appointed in 1971 to a chair in chemistry named in honor of fellow Swiss chemists Camille and Henry Dreyfus. A significant contributor to several areas of organic chemistry, including molecular toxicology, he was responsible for determining the structure of over seventy-five natural products and collaborated in the analysis of the mechanism and structure of several mycotoxins and mutagens. During his tenure at the Institute, he trained some 70 PhDs and over 100 post-doctoral students. In 1991, he received the James R. Killian Award in recognition of his extraordinary professional accomplishments and service to MIT.

Jerome Freedman, former assistant director of MIT Lincoln Laboratory, died on July 21, 1998 at the age of 81. His first association with MIT came during World War II when, as an officer in the Army Signal Corps, he attended the Harvard/MIT Radar School before embarking on active service in the Pacific Theater. Armed with a 1951 master's degree in electrical engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn, he joined the staff of Lincoln Laboratory in 1952. In 1955, he was appointed head of the Radar Division. He became assistant director of the entire laboratory operation in 1968, and remained in that post for nearly 20 years before retiring in 1987. In 1988, in recognition of his contributions over four decades to numerous defense programs, he was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service.

Roland B. Greeley, Professor Emeritus of Regional Planning, died January 4, 1999 at the age of 88. A graduate of Harvard, he spent eight years as chief planner for the New England Regional Planning Commission and two more with the Federal Works Agency before he coming to MIT in 1945 as an assistant professor of regional planning. He was named associate professor in 1947 and full professor in 1961. He served as acting head of his department (now known as the Department of Urban Studies) from 1951 to 1952. From 1961 to 1972, he directed MIT's Admissions Office, where he led a successful effort to modernize the admissions process and promote diversity within the student population.

William E. Griffith, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, died on September 28, 1998 at the age of 78. He had assumed emeritus status in 1990 after a thirty-year career that had begun in 1959 at the Center for International Studies. A specialist in communism and the politics of Eastern Europe, he became a professor of political science in 1966 and was appointed as the Ford International Professor of Political Science in 1972. His work for the federal government, before and during his years at MIT, included service as an Army officer in Europe during and after the Second World War and as chief political advisor to Radio Free Europe in the 1950s. In 1979 and 1980, he served as an advisor to the National Security Council, and was a special advisor to the US ambassador to West Germany during the 1980s.

Hoyt C. Hottel, Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineering, died on August 18, 1998, at the age of 95. After earning his SM in chemical engineering from MIT in 1924, he became an assistant professor in 1928 and rose to full professor by 1941. A preeminent expert on fuels, combustion, radiant heat transmission, and industrial furnaces, he was named the first Carbon P. Dubbs Professor of Chemical Engineering in 1965 and became a professor emeritus in 1968. His work in the development of incendiary bombs during World War II earned him major civilian awards from both the American and British governments, but he moved on to study and write on alternative fuels and energy resources, including solar energy. The Hoyt C. Hottel lectureship was established at MIT in his honor in 1985.

Kenneth A. Johnson, Professor of Physics and a member of the Center for Theoretical Physics, died at the MIT Infirmary on February 9, 1999. He was 67 years old. After acquiring his bachelor's degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1952, and earning his masters and PhD from Harvard, he served as a research fellow and lecturer at Harvard and at Copenhagen's Institute for Theoretical Physics before coming to MIT in 1958 as an assistant professor. He was promoted to full professor in 1965. A respected classroom teacher and advisor, he was also an accomplished researcher who, among his other achievements, led the group that created the so-called MIT bag model to help describe the properties of a system of confined quarks.

Henry W. Kendall, the Julius A. Stratton Professor of Physics, died on February 15, 1999 in a scuba-diving accident that occurred when he was exploring freshwater caves in Florida. He was 72 years old. Professor Kendall shared the 1990 Nobel Prize in physics with Jerome Friedman of MIT and Richard Taylor of Stanford, in recognition of their collaboration in the late 1960s on a series of experiments that studied the scattering of electrons by protons, deuterons and heavier atomic nuclei. These experiments provided the first confirming data for the existence of quarks. A 1950 graduate of Amherst College, Professor Kendall earned his 1955 PhD in physics from MIT, and taught at Stanford before joining the MIT faculty in 1961. Named full professor in 1967, he was appointed to the Julius A. Stratton professorship in 1991. An avid diver, outdoorsman and environmentalist, he was a founding member of the Union of Concerned Scientists, and served as its chair for a quarter-century.

Semon E. Knudsen, Life Member Emeritus of the MIT Corporation, died on July 6, 1999, at the age of 85. The son of a President of General Motors, cars were in his blood: when he was 14, his father gave him a carin several hundred pieces. He assembled it successfully. He joined GM in 1939, three years after he graduated from the Institute in general engineering. He worked in a number of the corporation's divisions, most notably as General Manager of Chevrolet, where he introduced "super sport" models and the famed 1963 Corvette. After three years as Executive Vice President and a Director of GM, he was named President of Ford Motor Company in 1968. His relatively brief tenure there was followed by long service as Chairman of White Motor Corp. in Cleveland until his retirement in 1980.

Mårten Landahl, Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics, died on March 4, 1999 at the age of 71. A native of Sweden, he held three degrees from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. He first worked at MIT from 1954 to 1956 as a research engineer in the Aeroelastic Laboratory. After further study and work in Sweden, he joined the MIT faculty in 1960 as an associate professor. He was promoted to full professor in 1963, also receiving a full professorship in mechanics from his Swedish alma mater in 1967. He held patents for the separation of heavy atoms from light atoms and for separation of uranium hexafluoride. His most notable achievements were in aerodynamics and hydrodynamics; his acclaimed books on turbulence and fluid mechanics remain standard texts in the fields of physics and aerodynamics.

Harold J. Muckley, Life Member Emeritus of the MIT Corporation, died in Houston, Texas on April 11, 1999. He was 82 years old. A 1939 MIT graduate with an SB degree in materials science and metallurgy, he had begun his career in the steel industry, but soon moved into the gas and oil pipeline business. In 1951, he joined the Houston Contracting Company, where he rose to the position of president and principal owner. Upon retirement, he put his considerable talents to work for MIT. He joined the MIT Corporation in 1975 and after two terms was elected Life Member in 1985. He became a Life Member Emeritus in 1992. When MIT sought to honor him by designating Building E40 as the Muckley Building, he responded with characteristic modesty that the building should be named for his father rather than himself.

Gian-Carlo Rota, MIT's first and only Professor of Applied Mathematics and Philosophy, died in Cambridge on April 19, 1999 at the age of 66. He had come to the United States from his native Italy in 1950. Educated at Princeton and Yale, he taught at Harvard, New York University, and Rockefeller University before joining MIT as a full professor of mathematics in 1962. He received his unique joint appointment in 1974. A master of such fields as probability and phenomenology, he was equally at home teaching and writing about existential philosophy as embodied in the works of Husserl and Heidigger. He is probably best known, however, for his work in the field of combinatorics, which he transformed into one of the most dynamic and fruitful branches of current mathematical study.

Irving E. Segal, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, died on August 30, 1998, at the age of 79. He had served on the MIT faculty for 38 years, and was regarded as both an accomplished theoretician and a highly effective teacher. He established his reputation with work in the fields of quantum theory and functional analysis, and he later developed an alternative cosmology that challenged the "Big Bang" theory and its concept of an expanding universe. A graduate of Princeton and Yale, he taught briefly at Harvard and Princeton before serving in the US Army, where he assisted in ballistic research from 1943 to 1945. After the war, he worked at the Institute for Advanced Study and the University of Chicago before coming to MIT as a full professor in 1960.

Myron Weiner, Professor of Political Science, died on June 3, 1999 at the age of 68. He was educated at City College of New York and Princeton, where he received both master's and PhD degrees. After teaching at Princeton and the University of Chicago, he came to MIT as an associate professor in 1961 and was named a full professor in 1965. He chaired the Department of Political Science from 1974 to 1977. He was also director of MIT's Center for International Studies from 1987 to 1992 and acting director in 1995-96. He was named the Ford International Professor of Political Science in 1977. An internationally recognized expert on education, child labor, ethnic conflict, and migration issues, he was a valued advisor to the Department of State, the World Bank, the Agency for International Development, the United Nations, and governments around the world.

Laya W. Wiesner, one of the great women of MIT and widow of MIT's thirteenth president, Jerome B. Wiesner, died on September 28, 1998, at the age of 79. At MIT and in the wider society, she was a strong community leader who worked to build civility, caring, and mutual respect into the fabric of our institutions. She was a champion for the interests of women, working to increase their participation in science and technology in general, and to develop opportunities and programs for women and students at MIT in particular. In 1980, the MIT Women's League honored her by establishing in her name an annual award for undergraduate women who have contributed to community life at MIT. Her leadership on campus was matched by her service to the larger community. She was a co-founder of the Metropolitan Council on Education (METCO), which makes it possible for minority children in Boston to attend suburban schools; a long-term leader in the Massachusetts League of Women Voters; and a member of the Governor's Advisory Committee on Child Development in Massachusetts.

Thornton Arnold "T" Wilson, Life Member Emeritus of the MIT Corporation, died in Palm Springs, California on April 10, 1999, at the age of 78. An aeronautical engineer, he was responsible for many of the Boeing Company's successful aircraft and missile programs. In the 1970s, as President, he revived the ailing firm's fortunes and spearheaded a new and profitable line of civilian aircraft. He attended MIT in 1953 as a Sloan Fellow, earning a master's degree in management. He began his distinguished service on the MIT Corporation in 1968, becoming a Life Member in 1989 and a Life Member Emeritus in 1996. Two MIT professorships bear his name: he endowed a chair in management at the Sloan School, while the Boeing Company endowed a second chair in his name in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.



In 1998—99 student enrollment was 9,885, compared with 9,880 in 1997—98. There were 4,372 undergraduates (4,381 the previous year) and 5,513 graduate students (5,499 the previous year). The international student population was 2,255, representing 8 percent of the undergraduate and 35 percent of the graduate populations. These students were citizens of 102 countries. (Students with permanent residence status are included with US citizens.)

In 1998—99, there were 3,202 women students (1,776 undergraduate and 1,426 graduate) at the Institute, compared with 3,101 (1,747 undergraduate and 1,354 graduate) in 1997—98. In September 1998, 448 first-year women entered MIT, representing 43 percent of the freshman class of 1,047 students.

In 1998—99, there were, as self-reported by students, 2,600 minority students (2,009 undergraduate and 591 graduate) at the Institute, compared with 2,691 (1,997 undergraduate and 694 graduate) in 1997—98. Minority students included 348 African Americans (non-Hispanic), 69 Native Americans, 535 Hispanic Americans, and 1,648 Asian Americans. The first-year class entering in September 1998 included 502 minority students, representing 48 percent of the class.


Degrees awarded by the Institute in 1998—99 included 1,237 bachelor's degrees, 1,456 master's degrees, 17 engineer's degrees, and 486 doctoral degrees–a total of 3,196 (compared with 3,213 in 1997—98).


During the academic year 1998—99, the continuing healthy economy and a reduction in the number of needy undergraduate students reduced the need for grant funds. At the same time, endowment income for scholarships increased by 8 percent. A total of 2,404 undergraduate students who demonstrated need for assistance (55 percent of enrollment) received $36,000,000 in grant aid and $13,042,000 in student loans from all sources. The total, $49,042,000 is slightly lower than last year.

Grant assistance to undergraduates was provided by $15,267,000 in income from scholarship endowment, by $860,000 in current gifts, by $3,762,000 in federal grants (including ROTC scholarships), and by $3,456,000 in direct grants from non-federal outside sources to needy students. In addition, $13,386,000 in scholarships from MIT's unrestricted funds was provided to undergraduates, inclusive of the special program of scholarship aid to needy minority group students that represented $378,000, and the MIT Opportunity Awards that accounted for $355,000. An additional 460 students received grants irrespective of need from outside agencies, totaling $2,478,000. The undergraduate scholarship endowment was increased by the addition of $10,178,000 in new funds. These new contributions increased the book value of the endowment for scholarships to $153,773,000.

Loans totaling $13,042,000 were made to undergraduates, a decrease of 13 percent from last year. Of the total loans made, $1,786,000 came from the Technology Loan fund, $2,643,000 from the Federal Perkins Loan Program, and $8,498,000 from the Federal Direct Loan Program. An additional $115,000 was provided to undergraduates from other outside sources.

Graduate students received $4,833,000 from the Technology Loan fund, a decrease of 3 percent from last year's level. Graduate students received $8,922,000 from the Federal Stafford Program, $859,000 from the Federal Perkins Program, and $3,000 from other outside sources. The total of $14,617,000 represents an increase of 6 percent over the previous year.

The total of loans made to undergraduate and graduate students was $27,659,000, a decrease of 4 percent from last year.

The number of needy undergraduate students decreased by 4 percent to 2,404. The average need for this population increased by 4 percent to $21,848. Taken together, the financial aid program required $28,447,000 from needy students' family resources and provided $52,523,610 in aid dollars including work programs. As in past years, the aid program provided almost two-thirds of needy students' total costs.


In 1998—99, the market for MIT graduates continued to be robust in every area of industry, and the demand for MIT students was very competitive. More than 560 individual employers came to interview, not including individual divisions of larger corporations. The decline from the previous year was due largely to students' acceptance of early offers, which decreased interest in the spring recruiting season. As the year came to a close, interview schedules for 1999—2000 suggested an upward trend for the year ahead.

Software skills continued to be the most sought-after single area of student expertise, with particular emphasis on new multimedia and Internet technologies. Employers have learned that students from a wide variety of MIT courses have substantial experience with information technology, and were willing to interview students in all majors and at all degree levels. There is increased interest among students in entrepreneurship, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, and the business side of technical industries.

Starting salaries have increased, as have the percentage and range of firms offering signing bonuses. Salaries for doctoral graduates in engineering range on the average from $70,000 to $90,000, offers to master's candidate's range from $55,000 to $70,000, and to bachelor's candidates from $45,000 to $54,000.

In 1998 there were a total of 172 MIT applicants to medical school, including 82 seniors (of whom 71 percent gained admission) and 8 graduate students (62 percent admitted). The number of alumni/ae applicants has doubled over the last ten years 1988. In 1998, 82 MIT alumni/ae applied to medical school, with a 61 percent acceptance rate. Taking undergraduates, graduate students, and graduates together, a total of 83 men and 89 women applied to medical school; the rates of acceptance, including re-applicants, were 73 percent for the men and 58 percent for the women. The MIT acceptance rate for all applicants is 66 percent, well above the national acceptance rate for all applicants of 42.3 percent.


Private financial support received in Fiscal Year 1999 totaled $209 million, including $202.1 million in gifts, grants, and bequests, and $6.9 million in support through membership in the Industrial Liaison Program. The total compares with $143.9 million in 1998, $133.6 million in 1997, $130.9 million in 1996, and $108.9 million in 1995. Gifts-in-kind for the past year (principally gifts of equipment) were valued at $6.3 million.

The sources of gifts for Fiscal Year 1999 included alumni, $68.7 million; non-alumni friends, $38.3 million; corporations, corporate foundations, and trade associations, $40.3 million; foundations and charitable trusts $50.9 million; and others, $3.9 million.


As reported by the Treasurer, the overall financial results of the Institute's operations were favorable during Fiscal Year 1999. Revenues and funds of $1,264,492,000 were used for operations. Total operating expenses in Fiscal Year 1999 were $1,287,287,000. The operating results produced an additional need for general funds of $22,795,000. In addition, net assets increased $776,450,000, reaching $5,452,483,000 at year-end. The MIT endowment reached a market value of $4,349,812,000 and benefited from very favorable investment returns and a record level of gifts.

The research revenues of departmental and interdepartmental laboratories, primarily on campus, totaled $390,301,000 in Fiscal Year 1999, an increase of 2 percent from the prior year. Industry continued to be the leading sponsor of MIT research on campus, at $74,100,000. Lincoln Laboratory reported revenues of $353,321,000, a decrease of 3 percent.


During the year, changes and improvements in administrative areas continued. A major milestone was the rollout of SAP requisitioning to the MIT community and the retirement of legacy purchasing systems. Another achievement was the release of ECAT2, a set of SAP-integrated electronic catalogs for purchasing from MIT's preferred vendors.

Two departments changed their names and one new organization was formed this year. The Physical Plant department changed its name to Facilities to reflect more accurately the range of services it provides. Purchasing and Stores became Procurement, and the department was moved organizationally to the Controller's Accounting Office in order to streamline acquisitions at MIT. The Financial Systems Services (FSS) organization was created to coordinate the development, delivery, and maintenance of effective financial systems for the Institute, drawing staff from the Management Reporting Project, Information Systems, the Controller's Accounting Office, and Procurement.

This year also saw the beginning and the continuation of major changes to our physical plant. Historic Building 20 was celebrated, decommissioned, and demolished. The decommissioning completed a complex set of space changes and renovations that relocated more than 125,000 square feet of office space, laboratories, and classrooms from Building 20 to many locations both on and off campus. Building 20 was demolished in March, and the site was fully cleared by June. Its former location is the future site of the Ray and Maria Stata Center for Computer, Information, and Intelligence Sciences, which is being designed by world-renowned architect Frank O. Gehry. Design for the Stata Center, which will include major buildings named in honor of Alexander W. Dreyfoos, Jr., '54 and William H. Gates, has proceeded to schematic design, with groundbreaking slated for 2000.

Other construction highlights included the completion of two new lecture halls in Building 4, each equipped with permanent Athena workstations and with telephone-data connections at each seat. Construction began in the spring for a major renovation for the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics in Building 33. This year marked the second of three years of renovations in Baker House, the landmark building designed by Alvar Aalto. Design of the proposed new undergraduate residence on Vassar Street moved ahead with the selection of Steven Holl and Associates as the architect. Scheduled to open in the fall of 2001, the new residence will house between 300 and 350 students.

In the spring, a design forum conducted under the auspices of the Dean of the School of Architecture and Planning in conjunction the Chancellor's strategic planning effort brought internationally known architects Charles Correa, Harry Ellenzweig, Frank O. Gehry, Steven Holl, Fumihiko Maki, and Laurie Olin to campus for intense discussion of possible future directions for campus development. The Planning Office organized and coordinated the event; students from the School of Architecture and Planning provided assistance to the architects.

MIT Reports to the President 1998-99