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Gray talks of MIT experience

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[mk1]By Jim Brody

MIT must preserve its intellectual freedom, said President Paul E. Gray '54 at a lecture Thursday night.

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Summary of Gray's remarks, page 10.

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MIT is concerned about the federal government's attempts to limit university research and to restrict some research papers, Gray said.

He expressed the faculty's alarm about Accuracy In Academia, a national right-wing group that recruits students to monitor professors expressing liberal views in class. Gray said he did not know whether Accuracy in Academia is active at MIT.

The president also evaluated some of the goals he set at his inauguration five years ago. There are more women students and faculty members today at MIT than there were five years ago, but still not enough, he said.

The decrease in the number of black students and faculty members, however, is "shameful," Gray continued. Much of higher education has the same problem, he added.

Gray reiterated how he thought divestment and dis-investment actually affect South Africa in response to a student's question concerning whether MIT's policy on South Africa affects the number of black students at the Institute.

Gray also discussed a new capital campaign to increase MIT's endowment, which will begin within 18 months. The endowment must be doubled to make it comparable to those of Harvard, Princeton and other such schools, he said.

Gray spoke on the importance of education outside of the classroom: "Not all of your education occurs in classrooms. Much is in living groups and on athletic fields."

He also urged students to strive for "educational self-sufficiency," the ability to learn without formal teaching. Achieve this objective at MIT and you are prepared, Gray said.

The most important skills MIT can teach are working hard and thinking analytically, Gray said, citing a recent alumni survey. Technology changes quickly and what one learns at MIT might soon be outdated. Critical-thinking skills will remain useful throughout life, he concluded.

Approximately 100 people attended the speech, sponsored by the Lecture Series Committee.

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