As the Institute’s leader from 1990 to 2004, he sparked a period of dynamism.
The Women's League continues its new service for women in the MIT community this October with the second in its "power breakfast" series, informal get-togethers that explore the role of women in the academy.
The next breakfast on Wednesday, Oct. 8 from 8-9:30am will feature Ellen Harris, Class of 1949 Professor of Music. She will speak informally on her work at the Institute, including her service as associate provost of the arts from 1989-96.
Breakfasts are scheduled early enough on a weekday to encourage women with work responsibilities at the Institute to participate. Each breakfast will feature a menu prepared by chef Peter Rhein, a guest speaker from MIT faculty or staff, and the opportunity for informal conversation with colleagues.
Seating for each breakfast is limited; reserve a seat by purchasing a ticket from Sis de Bordenave, administrative coordinator in the Women's League office, Rm 10-342. Tickets are $10 and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
As the first associate provost of the arts, Professor Harris energized and strengthened MIT's arts programs. Under her leadership, the arts took on a stronger role in MIT's academic requirements for humanities and social sciences, and the number of arts courses and enrollments increased. New facilities were developed in photography, dance, theater and music, and the Artist-in-Residence Program became an important complement to the curriculum.
In 1994, Professor Harris was also named chair of MIT's newly founded Committee on Campus Race Relations and is now co-chair.
Professor Harris taught at Columbia University (1977-80) and the University of Chicago (1980-89), where she was also chairman of the music department. In 1995-96 she was a fellow at the Mary Ingraham Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College. Her experience as a soprano soloist has included her debut with the Boston Pops Orchestra under the direction of John Williams at the 1997 Tech Night at the Pops.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 10, 1997.