Simondes names Scretary of Institute CorporationThe MIT Corporation elected MIT Vice-President Constantine B. Simonides secretary of the Corporation at its annual meeting Oct. 4. He will take up the position of secretary while remaining vice president of the Institute.
Simonides replaces Vincent A. Fulmer '53, who retired June 30. Fulmer has been at MIT for 34 years and has "done excellent work in a lot of capacities," Simonides said.
Four officers -- the president, chairman, secretary and treasurer -- head 73 active and 25 emeritus trustees of the Corporation, who comprise MIT's board of trustees. Many Corporation members are MIT alumni.
The Corporation meets quarterly to approve appointments, determine a budget and seek new sources of capital for the Institute, according to Simonides. The group also handles all legal issues of MIT and reviews and approves "all significant policy changes at MIT," he added.
The executive committee of the Corporation recommended the appointment of Simonides to the full governing body of the Corporation, which then approved the appointment. Chairman of the Corporation Dr. David S. Saxon '41 said that "in the judgment of the President and me and our principal advisors, he was the best man for the job."
Simonides has been secretary of the executive committee of the Corporation for the past ten years. The two positions -- secretary of the Corporation and secretary of the executive committee -- will now be consolidated into one position. "MIT does this consolidation ... so that in some ways it makes the top administration a little thinner and in some ways it facilitates the work," Simonides said. "And it also gives the opportunity for some younger people here to grow in responsibility in their areas."
Signing of undergraduate diplomas is one of the certifications Simonides will execute as secretary of the Corporation. He will also be responsible for the formal records of the Institute. The secretary also sets the Corporation agenda and provides a liaison between the Corporation and the executive committee.
The secretary arranges relations with the trustees. "The trustees are volunteers," explained Saxon, "so it's necessary that we provide them with the kind of assistance required to make their voluntary activities on behalf of the Institute efficient."
"I want to make sure that we provide services for the trustees and that we maximize their involvement in MIT," Simonides said.
The secretary is additionally responsible for the visiting committees. There are 27 visiting committees at MIT, one for each of the 23 academic departments and one each for student affairs, athletics, the medical department and sponsored research.
"Each [visiting committee] is constituted of a few members of the Corporation ... [as well as] six persons nominated by the Alumni Association and six persons nominated by the President," for a total of fifteen people per committee, Simonides said. Each committee visits the Institute biannually to examine its particular department and report its findings to the Corporation.
The visiting committees give the trustees "a sense of the quality and the problems and the needs" of each department, Saxon said. Simonides will be responsible for scheduling meetings and handling the logistics of the visiting committees as secretary.
As vice president, Simonides is a member of President Paul E. Gray's '54 staff. The directors of admissions, career services, the medical department, personnel, the MIT Press and information services report directly to him.
In the capacity of vice president, Simonides would like to recruit "a more diverse group of people at MIT, particularly minorities, particularly blacks." He also wants the "performance evaluation and supervision of people" improved to increase productivity.