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Professor Phillip L. Clay, widely known for his work in housing policy and in community-based development and employment, will become head of the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning on July 1.
Professor's Clay's appointment was announced by Dean John de Monchaux of the School of Architecture and Planning. Dr. Clay, who has been associate department head for two years and also director of the Masters in City Planning Program, will succeed Professor Donald A. Schon.
Dr. Clay, professor of urban studies and planning, has been involved in several studies that have received national attention.
In one 1987 study, commissioned by a federal agency, the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp., he identified the market and institutional conditions contributing to the erosion of low-income housing and documented the need for a national preservation policy. He later served on the national commission that recomMended the policy that became part of the Housing Act of 1990.
His current research, which is sponsored by several national foundations, evaluates the effectiveness of various initiatives to build organizational and development capacity in community-based development organizations and to connect social goals such as youth development to these efforts.
Professor Clay is a member of the policy and research advisory councils of the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), the nation's largest investor in home mortgages. In addition, he has been a consultant to numerous federal and state agencies and foundations. Among other works, his publications include two books, Neighborhood Renewal: Middleclass Resettlement and Incumbent Upgrading in American Neighborhoods, and Neighborhood Politics and Planning.
Professor Clay received the AB degree with honors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1968 and his PhD in 1975 at MIT. He joined the MIT faculty in 1974 as an assistant professor. He became an associate professor in 1980 and, from 1980 to 1984, he was assistant director for the Joint Center for Urban Studies of MIT and Harvard.
His community and professional activities include being a member of the board of directors of Greater Boston Community Development, the National Housing Trust and the Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts. In 1986 he was honored by the Greater Boston YMCA's Black Achievers Program.
A version of this article appeared in the April 29, 1992 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 36, Number 28).