Wilson to leave in June
By Joan Abbott
Gerald L. Wilson, dean of the School of Engineering, will resign from his position effective Sept. 1, 1990. He submitted a letter announcing his decision to the faculty of the school on April 5. Wilson, dean for nine years, has worked on several key projects in the school and at the Institute.
Wilson was involved in Project Athena, the School of Engineering Commission on Undergraduate Education, the Leaders for Manufacturing Program, and was instrumental in the formation of the MIT Commission on Industrial Productivity.
One of Wilson's recommendations that may still affect the Institute after his resignation <>
is the suggestion that the engineering programs be changed to require five years of study. Four years of undergraduate education, he believes, cannot prepare a student to undertake a professional engineering career.
Students need to be prepared to address the needs of society across a broad front, Wilson feels. This requires knowledge of social and economic factors in addition to an in-depth knowledge of an individual field.
Wilson received an SB (1961) and an SM (1963) in electrical engineering and the ScD (1965) in mechanical engineering from MIT.
He has served on the faculty since 1965 and was head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science for three years. Wilson also has an academic appointment in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
While on the faculty, his work centered on the development and operation of electric power systems and on the development of superconducting generators.
In his letter to the faculty, Wilson praised the faculty members in the school, writing, "This school and this faculty are truly outstanding by every substantive measure."
He urged the faculty to continue to be consistent with their convictions in the future and not to allow simplistic labels to deter them from following their conscience. He expressed confidence in their abilities as leaders in their field.
Wilson was unavailable for comment on either his tenure as dean or future plans.