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MIT plans Washington office

By Alice N. Gilchrist

MIT will open an office in Washington, DC, President Charles M. Vest announced last Wednesday. According to Ronald P. Suduiko, assistant to the president for government and community relations, the office will help government officials and organizations by "contributing to

the understanding of technical issues."

Suduiko explained that the office will be available to "all those who have a need, especially congressmen and organizations originating from Massachusetts." Suduiko also said that the office will "focus on good communication" and that its existence will hopefully lead to a "partnership between the federal government and MIT" which may involve a completely open exchange of information, Suduiko said.

Vice President of the Association of American Universities John C. Crowley will be the director of the office. Crowley specializes in scientific research and advanced education. MIT is one of the AAU's 56 members.

The office will begin full-time operations in August, according to Suduiko. Until then, Crowley will spend one day each week working with MIT. The rest of his time will be devoted to his AAU vice presidency.

In the ensuing months, MIT will work out many of the details concerning the office. According to Suduiko, one of the top priorities is deciding where the office will be located.

Vest said he decided an office was necessary after a "series of discussions with faculty that began in June 1990." He said he first addressed the issue of "enhanced federal relations" at the October meeting of the faculty.

Vest explained that Crowley will concentrate on "reaching out to policy makers in the legislative and executive branches of the government and in the national organizations asking how MIT can help with their work." Suduiko said that the office will specifically deal in the branches of astronomy, engineering and materials science.

Other US colleges and universities also have stationed offices

in Washington, Suduiko said, including Princeton University, the University of Michigan, and numerous California schools.

Vest said that Crowley's "impressive experience in the nation's capital will serve MIT and the country well."

Crowley said that "the opportunity to serve President Vest and the MIT community in Washington is an honor indeed."

Crowley has been involved in the AAU since 1972, when he became the assistant executive secretary. In 1977 Crowley became director of federal relations for science research, and in 1986 he became vice president of the organization. Crowley said that although he will be leaving his post at the AAU, he will not be leaving his colleagues. He said that in many ways he is "only changing chairs at the table."