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Deutch discusses his role at MIT

John M. Deutch '61, provost since July 1, discussed his office and some of his accomplishments and goals in an interview with The Tech last Monday.

Deutch had been the dean of the School of Science before he replaced Francis E. Low, who resigned as provost to return to teaching and research.

As the chief academic officer of the Institute, the provost works directly with the president on academic matters, Deutch said. The purpose of the Provost's Office is to make sure that "this education enterprise we are all embarked on works as effectively as possible," he said.

Deutch has recently reorganized of the Provost's Office. His office now oversees the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs (ODSA), formerly under the supervision of Vice President Constantine B. Simonides.

The decision to move the ODSA was made jointly with Simonides, according to Deutch. He said that Simonides is still "very much involved in all aspects of people issues" at MIT. Deutch added that the move of the ODSA puts him in a position to jointly view issues "in and out of the classroom."

The Office of the Provost also regulates and monitors research at MIT. Government grants account for 80 percent of research funding, according to Deutch. Private industry accounts for an additional 15 percent of the funds. The remaining five percent is MIT funding and is appropriated by the provost.

There are two associate provosts: Kenneth A. Smith '58, vice-president for research, and Frank E. Perkins '55, dean of graduate education. Smith regulates the management of the research laboratories at MIT and oversees the Whitaker College of Health Sciences and the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology program. Perkins oversees applications for patents and research licenses.

Three deans are associated with the Office of the Provost: Perkins, Dean for Student Affairs Shirley M. McBay, and Dean of Undergraduate Education Margaret L. A. MacVicar '65. Currently MacVicar is reappraising the undergraduate curriculum, including the Humanities Distribution and science requirements.

MacVicar is collaborating with the rest of the faculty to make a "major, positive change in undergraduate education," according to Deutch. He said that there is a "general consensus that it's time to look" at MIT's curriculum.

Extracurricularly, Deutch is chairing the Defense Science Board, a group appointed by Congress to study small ICBMs. He said the study will begin in a few weeks.