MIT Faculty Newsletter  
contents Vol. XXXII No. 1
September / October 2019

This issue of the Faculty Newsletter features extended commentary on the recent revelations regarding the MIT Media Lab and related issues. There is also new Faculty Chair Rick Danheiser's initial offering and an In Memoriam for long-time FNL Editorial Board member Patrick Winston.

walking in snow
The MIT-Nepal Initiative:
Four Years On

An update on MIT's response to the devasting earthquake in Nepal.
Two Donors, Two Deaths,
Two Responses

The dramatically different ways the Institute dealt with the passing of David Koch and Jeffrey Epstein.
A Case for Mid-Semester Feedback
Vice Chancellor Ian Waitz promotes mid-semester course evaluations.
September Faculty Meeting Calls for
Major Changes in Institute Policy
The Institute faculty meeting held Wednesday, September 18 was electric and historic, filling the Sala de Puerto Rico with both faculty and observers. The meeting almost . . .
The Hard Road to Recovery
Ceasar McDowell
Revelations over the past several weeks have left many at MIT feeling unwilling accomplices in the harming of children and the degradation of women.
The MIT-Nepal Initiative: Four Years On
Jeffrey S. Ravel and Aaron Weinberger
On 25 April 2015, an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter scale struck the South Asian country of Nepal, killing over 9,000 people and injuring more than . . .
From the Faculty Chair
On the Responsibilities of Instructors
Rick L. Danheiser
In november of 2001, 958 members of the MIT faculty (all tenure track faculty) were invited bo the Office of the Provost to complete the HERI faculty survey.
A Letter to President Rafael Reif and
Provost Marty Schmidt Regarding Epstein
We write as senior women faculty members (current and emerita) of MIT to share our deep distress over the MIT/Epstein revelations and our profound disappointment . . .
A Motion to Establish an Ad Hoc Faculty Committee
to Protect Academic Integrity
Whereas, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is committed to developing and maintaining an ethical environment in which faculty, students, and staff are . . .
It Is Difficult to Know What to Do
Edmund Bertschinger
It is difficult to know what to do. The senior leadership team must have found it difficult to balance pros and cons of taking money from Epstein, the Kingdom of Saudi . . .
Two Donors, Two Deaths, Two Responses
Kerry Emanuel, John E. Fernández, Raffaele Ferrari, Susan Solomon,
Robert van der Hilst
As we write, the story of the MIT Media Lab’s connection to Jeffrey Epstein is front page news. Not long after Epstein’s death, it transpired that our Media Lab had . . .
In Memoriam
Patrick Henry Winston
Adam Conner-Simons and Rachel Gordon
Patrick Winston, a beloved professor and computer scientist at MIT, died on July 19 at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He was 76.
Report on the Faculty Classroom Survey Spring 2019
Mary Callahan
This past spring, the Registrar’s Office, in collaboration with Institutional Research, prepared and administered a classroom survey to 798 lecturing faculty.
New Atlas Process Paves Way for Supporting
Undergraduate Research Innovation
Lesley Millar-Nicholson and Ian A. Waitz
Starting in fall 2019, all undergraduate students applying for the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) will be asked to sign an Inventions . . .
A Case for Mid-Semester Feedback
Ian A. Waitz
Faculty and instructors are likely most familiar with end-of-term evaluations. While incredibly useful, they are not designed to address a need I’ve heard about from . . .
Hayden Renovation Update: Key Dates for the Fall
Chris Bourg
Plans for the Hayden Library renovation are proceeding apace; our vision for a more inclusive and accessible library space for MIT that enables more learning, . . .
Nominate a Colleague as a MacVicar Faculty Fellow
Provost Martin Schmidt is calling for nominations of faculty as 2020 MacVicar Faculty Fellows.The MacVicar Faculty Fellows Program recognizes MIT faculty who . . .
M.I.T. Numbers
from the Faculty Classroom Survey Spring 2019