MIT Faculty Newsletter  
contents Vol. XXXII No. 2
November / December 2019

This issue of the Faculty Newsletter features two articles related to the continuing First-Year Experiment, "Unintended Downsides to Recent Changes to the P/NR Policy" and "What We and Our Students Value," and further commentary on Jeffrey Epstein and MIT.

walking in snow
“A Peculiar MIT Concoction”:
Our System of Faculty Governance – Part I

Faculty Chair Rick Danheiser takes a detailed look at MIT's form of faculty governance.
A Bookstore Without Books
Ruth Perry questions the wisdom of recent changes to the MIT Coop bookstore.
The Right to Vote; Prof. Woodie Flowers;
Undermining the Institute Professorships
The good news from the October Faculty Meeting was: a) the high attendance of faculty; and b) the announcement of the formation of the Senior Women’s Council . . .
A Bookstore Without Books
Ruth Perry
You cannot teach arts and humanities subjects without books, and so we always order our books for class at least two months before the start of the new semester.
From the Faculty Chair
“A Peculiar MIT Concoction”:
Our System of Faculty Governance – Part I
Rick L. Danheiser
How to improve our system of faculty governance has been a topic of discussion at MIT for many years, and nearly every one of my predecessors as Faculty Chair has . . .
The Schwarzman College of Computing: Giving Back
Haynes Miller
This has been an exciting time at MIT, to some degree paralleling the exciting time in Washington. There are so many challenges that it's very hard to keep up with all . . .
In Memoriam
Woodie Flowers
Bryan Marquard
Woodie Flowers got his start in the field of robotics during a boyhood far removed from the MIT campus where he would become a beloved and inspirational professor.
Unintended Downsides to Recent Changes to the P/NR Policy
Peter H. Fisher and Robert P. Redwine
As many readers of this newsletter will recall, in the summer of 2018 the Committee on the Undergraduate Program (CUP), with the strong urging of the Vice Chancellor, . . .
What We and Our Students Value
Ian A. Waitz and Kate Weishaar
We were pleased to see the article by Professors Peter H. Fisher and Robert P. Redwine (?see “Unintended Downsides to Recent Changes to the P/NR Policy,” . . .
A Peek Inside the Random Faculty Dinners
David A. Singer
The elegant Emma Rogers Room, with its mahogany tables, wood paneling, and oil portraits on the walls, is home to MIT's Random Faculty Dinners and Lunches.
Comments at MIT Institute Faculty Meeting
September 18, 2019
Susan S. Silbey
When we live in a culture whose anthem is “move fast and break things,” when disruptive entrepreneurship is the ostensible purpose of education, we cannot . . .
An Open Letter to MIT Department Heads
Kimberly Jung
Hi, I’m Kimberly, an MIT grad student who attended the Epstein Forum tonight. Though we didn’t say it tonight, we students value and appreciate you for working tirelessly . . .
Reflections on Epstein and MIT
Alexander Slocum
I believe the Sad Epstein Events are a symptom of a serious disease that affects many “leading” institutions. This is a complex and sad situation we should be able to . . .
Update on MIT’s Open Access Policy and
Continued Negotiations With Publishers
Karl K. Berggren, Ellen Finnie, Roger P. Levy
In October 2019, MIT Libraries announced a Framework for Publisher Contracts, developed in collaboration with MIT’s Committee on the Library System and Open . . .
2019-2020 Academic Calendar Changes
The Registrar's Office
Last spring, the Faculty voted to move MIT’s Commencement to late May in most years. This resulted in a number of adjustments to the 2019-2020 Academic Calendar.
Angered By Recent FNL Editorial
Robert A. Weinberg
I am truly appalled by the editorial that was published in the recent Faculty Newsletter (“September Faculty Meeting Calls for Major Changes in Institute Policy,” . . .
Back in 1949
M.I.T. Numbers
Campus Research Expenditures FY 2019 (%)
M.I.T. Numbers
Campus Research Expenditures FY 2019 ($)