Actions of MIT’s 15th president have ‘grown to inspire generations,’ Reif says.
Professor Lawrence E. Susskind, a leading figure in public-sector and environmental dispute resolution, has been appointed Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning at MIT, Dean William J. Mitchell of the School of Architecture and Planning has announced.
Professor Susskind has mediated more than 50 complex disputes related to the siting of controversial facilities, the setting of public health and safety standards, the formulation and implementation of development plans and projects, and conflicts among racial and ethnic groups. On occasion he has served as a special court-appointed master.
He also heads the Environmental Planning and Policy Group within the School of Architecture and Planning.
"Professor Susskind has an outstanding reputation for his work in this area among his colleagues within MIT and at other planning schools," Dean Mitchell said. "I am pleased to make this appointment."
Since 1985 Professor Susskind has been director of the MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program, and he holds a joint appointment at the Harvard Law School, where the program is based.
The Ford Foundation established several Ford Professorships in 1966 to strengthen and expand MIT's international education and research activities. The Ford chairs are awarded to outstanding faculty in recognition of special accomplishments, Dean Mitchell said. Other Ford Professors in the School of Architecture are Bernard J. Frieden and Langley C. Keyes, both of Urban Studies and Planning.
Professor Susskind was associate head of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning from 1974-78 and head of the department from 1978-82. He joined the MIT faculty in 1971. He holds the BA (1968) in English literature and sociology from Columbia University; the SM (1970) in city planning from MIT and the PhD (1973) in urban planning, also from MIT.
As head of the Environmental Policy Group in the School of Architecture and Planning at MIT, he teaches subjects in public-sector bargaining and negotiation, environmental management, international environmental negotiation, planning and institutions, and public controversies. He has developed more than 50 simulations that are used throughout the world to teach negotiation, dispute resolution and consensus building.
Professor Susskind has held visiting appointments and guest lectureships at the University of Hawaii, the Rhode Island School of Design, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Minnesota, the European University Institute, and the University of Nebraska.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 15, 1995.