MIT Faculty Newsletter  
contents Vol. XIX No. 6
May / June 2007

This issue offers a continuation of the discussion regarding Prof. James Sherley with two letters from the Biological Engineering faculty; an update on a new cooperative residence for the MIT community by Paul Gray and Bob Simha; and a lighthearted look at standard units of measuresment by Eduardo Kausel.

walking in snow
MIT Communications: Diversity, Vitality, and Openness
MIT's recent hiring for the newly-created position of Vice President for External Affairs highlights the importance of communication both within the Institute and between MIT and the rest of the world.
Solving the Energy Problem
Bill Schreiber suggests the use of giant orbiting mirrors as a means for utilizing solar energy.
Newsletter Adopts New
Policies and Procedures

Significant changes by the Newsletter Editorial Board include direct election of Board members by the entire MIT faculty.
From the Faculty Chair
Stating Our Core Values:
Does MIT Need a Statement of Ethical Principles?
Steven Lerman
Because this is my final column for the Faculty Newsletter as Chair of the Faculty, I spent a great deal time thinking about an appropriate theme that would reflect . . .
Bish Sanyal New Faculty Chair
Newsletter Staff
Bish Sanyal, Ford International Professor of Urban Development and Planning and former Head of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning (1994-2002) . . .
Your Newsletter
The March/April issue of the Faculty Newsletter published a piece written by Prof. Michel DeGraff, titled “Faith vs. Facts in the Pursuit of Fairness at MIT.” The article . . .
MIT Communications: Diversity, Vitality, and Openness
John Belcher, Jonathan King, Stephen Lippard, Fred Moavenzadeh
MIT plays a very important and prominent role in shaping and directing the global agenda in higher education in general and in science and technology in particular.
MIT Responds to the Tragedy at Virginia Tech
On April 16, 2007 on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia, Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people and wounded many others. It was the deadliest . . .
MIT Responds to the Tragedy at Virginia Tech
Student Responses to Virginia Tech and How Faculty Can Help
Alan Siegel
In the hours and days following the killings at Virginia Tech, our community began to react, especially our student population. At first, students were sad, shocked, and . . .
MIT Responds to the Tragedy at Virginia Tech
MIT Community Confronts Issues of Safety and Grieving
Robert Randolph
Last month we experienced vicariously the terror of the Virginia Tech tragedy. For many in our community the terror was not vicarious. They are graduates of . . .
MIT Responds to the Tragedy at Virginia Tech
An Interview with MIT Chief of Police John DiFava
FNL: When did you first here about the events at Virginia Tech?
JD: It turns out I was with my family on vacation in Florida at SeaWorld when . . .
MIT and the World Economic Forum
Yossi Sheffi
In January 2007, MIT decided to heighten its profile at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. A small faculty planning . . .
MIT Administration Support for the Faculty Newsletter
Lorna J. Gibson
The Faculty Newsletter is a valuable vehicle for communication among the faculty. It has been financially supported by the administration since its inception. I am . . .
Two Statements from the Biological Engineering Faculty
Regarding the Tenure Case of Prof. James L. Sherley
Members of the faculty of the Biological Engineering Division, including the Biological Engineering Executive Committee, have submitted the following two . . .
Units, Schmunits: What Do You Care?
Eduardo Kausel
The development and establishment of modern standard units of measurement, including monetary currencies and their equivalence to weights in gold, began . . .
Looking Forward to Changes in the Undergraduate Commons: Perspectives from a "Large" Program
Linda G. Griffith
I’d like to begin by thanking the Faculty Newsletter for encouraging me to submit a letter for this issue. I also would like to express, belatedly, my appreciation for . . .
MIT Poetry
Borderline Jesus; The Diviners
Jean Monahan
is what my friend said / when she meant to say: / borderline genius. / Genius, Jesus.
Solving the Energy Problem
William Schreiber
Global warming is now almost universally accepted as a serious problem caused by human activity – mainly burning fossil fuels – that demands strong remedial action . . .
The Task Force on Medical Care for the MIT Community:
An Update from MIT Medical
William Kettyle
For more than 100 years, MIT has been providing convenient, on-site healthcare services. Eventually, MIT Medical grew into a comprehensive, multi-specialty . . .
A New Cooperative Residence for the MIT Community
Paul E. Gray, O. Robert Simha
Since the end of WWII there have been a number of initiatives that have addressed the vexing problem of providing convenient, appropriate, and reasonably-priced . . .
Error Results in Some Faculty Being Overcharged
for Supplemental Life Insurance
Newsletter Staff
Several MIT faculty members who reached their 65th birthday as of July 1 of 2006 were inadvertently overcharged for supplemental life insurance under the Plan . . .
Newsletter Adopts New Policies and Procedures:
Includes Direct Election of Editorial Board Members
A significantly revised version of the Policies and Procedures for the MIT Faculty Newsletter was unanimously adopted at the April 19 Editorial Board meeting.
M.I.T. Numbers
From the Senior Survey (2002, 2004, 2006)
Women Faculty (as of October 2006)
M.I.T. Numbers
Percent of Faculty Who are Women (as of October 2006)