MIT Faculty Newsletter  
Vol. XVI No. 4
February / March 2004
The New President
The New President
Improving Our System
of Faculty Governance
Update on Women Faculty in the
School of Engineering
Recommendations for Improving
Faculty Quality of Life
FRADS Supports Faculty Fundraising
Reminiscences: Fifty Years on the Engineering Faculty
A Formal Recommendation
to the MIT Corporation
The Center for International Studies
The Clinical Research Center
The Operations Research Center
Beyond Fuzzy Definitions of Community:
A Report and an Invitation
Cambridge and MIT:
Exchanging Students, Exchanging Ideas
Information Services & Technololgy (IS&T):
The Focus is on Service
Campus Growth (1985 – Present)
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The New President

The new president of MIT needs first and foremost to have a background of achievement as a scientist or engineer. Given that the primary asset of a university is its human resources – faculty, students, and staff – the new president must be an individual who understands this principle and who can listen, relate, and interact with the community in such a manner as to win their confidence.

The candidate must understand and appreciate the characteristics that distinguish MIT students and faculty. Included are a love of truth, passion for the sciences and engineering without neglecting the arts, humanities and social sciences, capacity for hard work, and a concern for service to society.

The individual must be committed to create an atmosphere free from discrimination and to support collaboration without infringing upon the solitude required by lone scholars to dig deeply.

The new president needs to understand the importance of supporting and recruiting faculty who love teaching in the undergraduate as well as the graduate classroom, can inspire in the research laboratory, and who can lead in seminars and small group discussions.

The new president needs to continue work already begun on creating an environment that will encourage diversity among faculty, students, and staff, maintaining and enhancing MIT's mission of serving not only the West but the entire world. In the current environment of restricted international travel and communication, the new President will have to be able to argue persuasively for the internationalism and open communication that has enhanced the growth of scientific knowledge here and elsewhere.

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Recent financial issues have brought considerable stress to the MIT community. The president will need to investigate the root causes of this situation, which extend beyond the whims of the financial markets and investment portfolio strategies, and fix them. MIT needs to be guided not by opportunities alone but , more importantly,by importantly by the development of strategies that best enhance its core values.

A balance must be struck between fashion and vision. The president will need to ensure that the management team is up to the task of making hard decisions and enforcing them. There must be sufficient talent to guide the many projects now in progress or envisioned for the near future and to limit the number of such activities to those that can be managed with the available resources. The president must realize that human resources are as important as physical ones, maintaining an environment that encourages faculty and staff loyalty to the Institute and inspires the generosity of its undergraduate and graduate alumni/ae.