MIT Reports to the President 1998-99


The Chancellor's office was reinstituted by the President on August 1, 1998. In recreating the office, the President transferred a number of responsibilities from the Office of the Provost to the Office of the Chancellor. These include broad oversight for graduate and undergraduate education, student life, research policy, strategic planning, campus development, and the management of the Institute's large-scale institutional partnerships.

To plan for the implementation of President Vest's decision to house all freshmen on campus in the fall of 2001, the Chancellor appointed a Residential System Steering Committee (RSSC) chaired by William Hecht, Executive Vice President of the MIT Alumni Association. The RSSC conducted a design competition during IAP to encourage members of the community to submit alternative proposals for a new residence system. The design competition received 11 different proposals and succeeded in surfacing a number of interesting ideas. Two teams, the Beaver Dream Team and the Dorm Design Team, were recognized for their designs and received awards from the RSSC. Based upon the recommendations received through the design competition and other input received from the community, the RSSC will submit recommendations to the Chancellor for a redesigned residence system in the fall of 1999. The newly designed residence system will respond to a number of recommendations contained in the report of the Task Force on Student Life and Learning

The Chancellor's office has overseen the planning for a new undergraduate residence to be built on Vassar Street. Steven Holl Architects was selected as the designer of the new undergraduate residence. Working with the assistance of Dober and Associates, the Office of the Dean of Students and Undergraduate Education developed a new program for the undergraduate residence which will be incorporated into the new design. This program includes 350 undergraduate beds, space for 10 graduate resident advisors, a housemaster and an associate housemaster suite, and space for five residences to be occupied either by faculty or visitors to the campus. The new undergraduate residence will embrace the principles of residential life articulated in the Task Force Report on Student Life and Learning.

This past year MIT entered into a new strategic partnership with Merrill Lynch in the area of financial technology. This partnership is in addition to the existing strategic industrial partnerships already in place with Amgen, Merck, NTT, and Ford.

This year the Institute continued its process of renovating classrooms, lab space, and office space. Major projects funded this year include redevelopment of the Aeronautics and Astronautics teaching laboratories, renovations to classrooms in Buildings 1, 3, and 5, construction of new lab space for the Center for Learning and Memory, and renovation of lab facilities in the Department of Chemistry. In addition, the Institute committed resources to upgrade the life safety systems in the undergraduate residences and to replace the artificial turf field for the Athletic Department. Additional infrastructure improvements were made to Buildings 13 and 33. Working collaboratively with the Executive Committee, the Institute adopted new procedures for planning and financing space changes and infrastructure renewal.

Together with the Office of the Provost, the Chancellor's Office initiated a new strategic planning process for all academic departments this year. This process segregates the budget process from the strategic planning process. The intent is to provide each academic department with substantive feedback on the strategic plan and to use these plans to inform budgeting decisions. Strategic plans will be prepared for each academic department approximately every three years.

The Chancellor's office is overseeing the implementation of the Report of the Task Force on Student Life and Learning. This past year progress was made in expanding and strengthening UROP, restructuring the residence system, expanding funding for student activities, improving access of non-management majors to Sloan subjects, and strengthening the Institute's strategic planning process. All of these changes responded to the recommendations of the Task Force.

Lawrence S. Bacow


The Freshman/Alumni Summer Internship Program (F/ASIP) completed its second year. This program was initiated at the suggestion of Provost Joel Moses. The objective of the program is to give freshmen experience in the work place with alumni-affiliated companies and mentors during the summer after the freshman year. The concept was augmented with a series of workshops (part of a subject, SP800) to enhance the students' communication and interpersonal skills. We believe these skills will give students a competitive edge while preparing them for the job market outside of MIT. Many students participated in the Program for the workshops and realized that the experience would help to hone their job and interpersonal skills even if they were not accepted into an internship position.

We ran a series of workshops during the spring term, which included interviewing, preparing memos, confronting difficult supervisors, and a team design project. Students must also keep journals over the summer, write a paper, and give an oral report in the fall. Completion of the requirements will earn the students six credit units in their sophomore year under F/ASIP's subject SP 800. We also created a resume book of the seventy-nine students to give to potential companies. We held the second annual freshman job fair where companies were invited to interview the prospective interns. We placed forty-eight students with companies, and thirty-three completed the course work and received credit for the program.

The workshops had a wonderful cadre of thirty facilitators drawn from MIT staff members and graduate students, and alumni at companies in the area, who worked closely with students and gave them very helpful feedback. Of particular interest was the energetic dialogue between students and facilitators. The facilitators also became vital resources–another support layer–for the students both inside and outside of the workshops. We found that the internship process is an exciting and rewarding way to pull alumni back into the workings of MIT. It is important to note that Alex D'Arbeloff, chairman of Teradyne and the MIT Corporation, supported the initiative by accepting two students as freshmen interns and attending the presentations. Other companies accepting interns this year include: The Washington Post, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Company, Qualcomm, Exhange Applications, W. R. Grace, Ford Motor Company, Johnson and Johnson, Pacific Scientific, Genzyme, LeCroy, Kearfott Guidance & Navigation, Advent Design, Tabors Caramanis and Associates, Cycorp, and Cabot.

We had an excellent response from students with seventy-nine seeking positions. Forty-eight of them were placed in jobs, which is a 140 percent increase from last year's placements. We worked with the Alumni Association, Resource Development and the Office of Corporate Relations to identify opportunities and alumni at various companies. Several of the alumni at these companies have expressed interest in mentoring and facilitating next year.

Selection of the students as interns was left to the companies. Of the forty-eight that accepted positions, nineteen were female and twenty-nine were male. Of the thirty-three seeking credit for the workshop, twelve were female and twenty-one were male.

Next year we expect to expand the program to place at least seventy-five to one hundred students; some in the same set of companies. We also plan to place interns in additional new companies that we will enlist during the fall term. We are hoping to expand internship possibilities throughout the United States, and to expand the number of workshops offered to the students next spring.

In the fall of 1999, the Program moved from the Office of the Provost to Career Services which is housed in ODSUE. The new F/ASIP Director is Christopher Pratt, Ed.D., and Kori Wyshak is the new Program Coordinator.

More information about this Program can be found on the World Wide Web at

Arthur Steinberg

MIT Reports to the President 1998-99