Office of the Senior Associate Dean

In most respects this has been a very good year. Most notably, in the Office of Student Discipline and Conflict Resolution (OSCRD), the leadership of Steve Tyrell has had a major impact. OSCRD was honored this June with an Infinite Mile Award. Their work included a large number of Committee on Discipline cases, personal misconduct complaints, and administrative reviews. In addition they are laying the groundwork for new administrative procedures and training judicial committees in the residence halls.


The Chaplaincy added a new dimension with the presence of Tenzin L. Priyadarshi Shukla from Harvard to work with the Buddhist community. Tenzin will be a scholar-in-residence during the coming year living in Simmons Hall. He will also be appointed as Buddhist chaplain, and his work in the residence halls will focus on Bexley and Simmons. Support for this program comes from monies donated by Mariam and Mohammed Bakr for use in supporting the residential system.

Molly Bassett, also from Harvard, did field work with the DSL Chaplaincy during the year serving with the Reverend John Wuestneck and the protestant chaplaincy and working with student religious groups to determine their scope and appeal the MIT community. Molly will return next year to continue her work with the Chaplaincy.

The Chaplaincy sponsored a brown bag lunch program during the year to explore issues of faith and vocation that had mixed success. The Technology and Culture Forum had a successful year thanks to the good work of their board and Patricia Weinmann who filled in while the Reverend Amy McCreath was on maternity leave. Patricia was honored with an Infinite Mile Award in June.

The suicide of a postdoctoral affiliate in the spring cast a pall over our music program. While the individual was not an MIT student—she had completed doctoral work two years ago—she had connections with many students through music where she either worked with or accompanied groups.

The Residential Life Associates system and the Dean on Call arrangement continued to work well. Training for the wider Institute on matters pertaining to student support was formalized with a new program—When Support Gets Personal—which focuses on targeting the extracurricular and living needs of the students as these aspects of their daily living directly impact their academic pursuits. Offered this past spring, the program will be repeated in the fall and then on an as needed basis.

Finally, a gift of nearly one-half million dollars from the MIT club of Saudi Arabia came under our control during the year. The fund will underwrite support for our religiously diverse community and will offer support to Muslim students cut off from aid in times of international crisis. The fund will also support educational programs and is the result of several years of cultivation.

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Office Of Student Conflict Resolution and Discipline

The Office of Student Conflict Resolution and Discipline provide staff support to the faculty Committee on Discipline (COD). The COD held 13 hearings with 22 students in 2002–2003. Staff provides administrative assistance to the COD and support and guidance to complainants bringing charges and to students and their advisors.

In addition to COD hearings, the office also addressed personal misconduct complaints concerning 12 students and 1 student organization via Dean's Office Panels this year. The associate dean of Student Conflict Resolution and Discipline chaired 5 of the 6 hearing panels as per an agreement reached with the chair of the COD concerning consistency in hearing panels' decision-making. Dean's Office Panels heard charges related to fraud, providing alcohol to minors, failure to comply with a disciplinary decision, harassment, assault, and unauthorized access. The demographic breakdown of respondents includes 10 men and 2 women, 1 graduate student and 11 undergraduate students. Where sanctions were imposed, sanctions ranged from written warning, informal probation, formal probation through graduation, and expulsion from the Institute. Dean's Office Panel members were trained in disciplinary procedures in the beginning of the academic year.

The office also conducted 6 administrative reviews this year with 7 students, representing 5 graduate students and 2 undergraduate students. Charges included alcohol misuse, marijuana possession, fire alarms, and possession of illegal drugs. Sanctions ranged from written warning to formal probation. In addition, disciplinary decision also included substance abuse intervention programs, educational projects, and reflection papers.

Twenty-eight administrative actions were also completed, which resulted in sanctions of written or verbal warning and required counseling, reflective paper, or apology. The number of administrative actions is significantly lower than in recent years (91 in 2001–2002), probably for reasons such as many alcohol violations being handled elsewhere, some cases going to formal hearings, and by chance there were no cases involving large groups of individuals in a single incident this year. In 4 of the cases, a "no contact order" was issued to terminate harassing behavior immediately.

The department also met with representatives of student governance groups who are involved in rendering disciplinary decisions with individual students and student organizations. Specifically, the office also assisted the Inter-Fraternity Council in overhauling its disciplinary procedures concerning the conduct of recognized fraternities. The new fraternity judicial board heard one case against a fraternity in the spring semester. The office also met with the Dormitory Council Judicial Committee's chairperson to discuss an array of issues related to individual dormitories' judicial boards and the central board's role in future hearings related to individual students. With all student judicial boards, the fundamental concerns address this year were training requirements, what types of cases are permissible for these boards to hear, minimum sanctions required in regard to the Drug Free School Act, and the requirement to centralized record-keeping in the office.

The office also maintains a database of all disciplinary activity. This database is being rebuilt this summer so that the department can maintain accurate record keeping. The office held 6 mediations this year and conducted one formal training session. 19 individuals were trained as mediators (8 staff members and 11 students). The office also responded to all inquiries from professional schools and government agencies concerning disciplinary records of current and former MIT students. The office is currently reviewing its record maintenance policies concerning student disciplinary records and how it should appropriately respond to these types of inquiries in the future.

Robert M. Randolph
Senior Associate Dean for Students

More information about The Office of the Senior Associate Dean for Student Life, can be found on the web at and


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