Hurricane Katrina: MIT community




Online message board

An online message board has been set up by the Alumni Association for the MIT community to discuss the engineering priorities in areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina.

Please also feel free to let the MIT community know you are safe and/or ask for help finding classmates.

Visit the online message board at

Support services for students

Any MIT student who has concerns related to the aftermath of the hurricane should feel free to get in touch with:

Undergraduates - Dean Robert Randolph ( or 617-258-5484)
Graduate students - Dean Blanche Staton ( or 617-253-4869)

Many students may be affected by the circumstances of this disaster and may need personal assistance either immediately or in the ensuing months. Students are encouraged to contact Student Support Services to discuss any issue surrounding their impact or feelings connected with the hurricane. Professional staff are available for personal counseling or to provide special support to students in need.

For more information, contact Student Support Services.

Support services for staff

While all of us feel concern and sympathy for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, some MIT employees may be directly affected by the situation because of family or friends in the Gulf Coast area. Some employees may need time now or in the coming weeks to deal with the effects of the hurricane in their personal lives, and MIT wishes to support them in whatever way we can.

Employees who need time off or a change in work schedule because of the impact on their families are encouraged to bring those requests to their supervisors, and supervisors are urged to respond flexibly, to the extent possible. Employees and supervisors are also encouraged to contact their Human Resources Officer to discuss any issues connected with the hurricane. In addition, professionals in the Personal Assistance Program in the Medical Department are available to consult with employees on a confidential basis, should they have personal concerns.

Personal Leave to Deal with Family Emergencies

Staff members who need time away to deal with family emergencies associated with the hurricane will, of course, be granted an appropriate amount of time. Supervisors of employees requesting personal leave for this purpose should work with their Human Resources Officer to work out the terms of the leave.

Personal Leave to Volunteer for Disaster Relief Activities

There has been an outpouring of ideas and offers from members of the MIT community to help with the hurricane relief efforts, both on campus and in the communities most affected.  MIT will grant leaves of absence to those members of the staff who wish to volunteer their time and skills to support the hurricane relief efforts of recognized organizations, depending on the needs of their office or work unit.   As with any time off, those wishing to take time away from MIT in order to help with relief efforts should submit such requests to their supervisors. People also may choose to use accrued vacation time to cover some or all of the time away.

The form for requesting personal leave can be found on the web at:  (MS Word).    For further information on MIT's policy regarding unpaid leave, please see Section 4.16.1 of MIT's Personnel Policy Manual.

For more information:

Human Resources Officers contacts
Personal Assistance Program or 617-253-4911

Financial services for MIT students and alumni

Student Financial Services (SFS) is reaching out to students from areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina by offering financial counseling and accepting requests for new or additional financial aid. For alumni in the Gulf Coast region who are experiencing difficulties in repaying their student loans, SFS can offer advice on how to request payment relief from their lenders.

For more information, visit the Student Financial Services website.