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MIT seeks new Physcial Plant head

By Kathy Shim

and Irene C. Kuo

A replacement has still not been found for the outgoing director of Physical Plant, according to Senior Vice President William R. Dickson '54.

Dickson gave retirement as the reason for Paul F. Barrett's resignation in August. Barrett had spoken several times on the subject before then, according to Dickson.

Until a successor is found, Barrett will continue to direct Physical Plant's current major projects, Dickson said. These projects include construction of the Rotch Library addition, which will be completed in late summer 1990; construction of the graduate dormitory at 143 Albany St., which will be completed in spring 1990; and work on the new biology building, for which schematic designs have just been completed and whose construction will begin in nine to 12 months.

The selection committee will carefully consider people within MIT, including members of Physical Plant, Dickson said. Thirty-five members of the plant have already been asked what qualities they think the next director should possess and whether he or she should be from MIT or from outside.

A list of candidates for the Physical Plant position will be released next week. The new director will definitely be selected by Jan. 1, Dickson said.

Ideally, the next head of Physical Plant will have both a technical or engineering background and administrative and communication skills, Dickson maintained. However, the 35 plant members interviewed said communication skills were more important.

Barrett became head of Physical Plant in June 1980, having joined MIT in the early 1960s. Dickson considered among Barrett's major accomplishments as director the initiation of a computer management system that has not been completely finished, improved operation of the mechanical systems of buildings, and an increased Physical Plant ability to deal with its responsibilities with a smaller staff. Dickson credited Barrett for making Physical Plant one of the few Institute organizations which has not let manpower grow back since reductions were made earlier this decade.