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Spring 2005

This spring the Task Force continued to fulfill its promise of communicating with all facets of the MIT community. In its largest event to date, the Task Force provided an update on its progress to approximately 160 members of the MIT community during the MacVicar Day event held on March 4, 2005. Professor Bob Silbey, chair of the Task Force presented the Task Force's statement of the goals of an MIT education:

"An MIT education is one grounded in science and technology that ignites a passion for learning, provides the intellectual and personal foundations for future development and, illuminates the breadth, depth, and diversity of human knowledge, in order to enable each student to develop a personal, coherent intellectual identity."

He also provided an overview of the "design problem" presented by trying to fit every piece of desired content into a four-year education. Professor Silbey presented the various proposals currently being considered by the Task Force to address the areas that may be lacking in today's undergraduate experience. Chairs of the three Task Force subcommittees were on-hand to answer questions about their groups' emerging recommendations. Excerpts from the draft subcommittee reports were also distributed at the event. To find out more, download a copy of the presentation and the handout.

The Task Force has also been busy finishing the round of visits to departmental faculty that it began this fall. The Task Force has received valuable input from faculty representing a wide range of opinions on the educational commons. Additional comments are always welcome -- send email to:

The Student Advisory Committee (SAC) launched a discussion website, which captured over 250 student comments on topics ranging from the Science Core to diversity education at MIT. To review the discussion or make a statement of your own, click here. The SAC also worked hard to prepare a preliminary report to the Task Force. The report, released to the public on April 4, proposed improvements to advising, the Communication Requirement, the HASS Requirement, and the Science GIRs. The students the visited numerous interested student groups and posted questions on the discussion board to garner feedback from students. A summary of the community comments and a response from the SAC will be released in a report addendum in early summer 2005.

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