Three deans change in year
By Kai-Teh Tao
The past year has seen many changes in MIT's administration, from the selection of a new president and provost, to changes in the heads of three of MIT's six schools, to the selection of a new Dean for Student Affairs.
Professor of Chemistry Mark S. Wrighton was selected by President Charles M. Vest last fall
as the new Provost. Professor Wrighton previously served as head of the chemistry department. During his tenure, Wrighton also ran one of the largest research groups in the department, concentrating on the subject of electrochemistry.
Wrighton said he has a broad vision of the Institute's future. "I see the Institute facing various challenging issues as we enter the next decade. I would like to see an increase in MIT's leadership towards influencing K-12 education in the Cambridge community and beyond. We will continue to actively recruit both women and minority faculty members. Our commitment to excellence in undergraduate teaching will continue as we implement programs such as the Faculty Teaching Fellows to recognize and enhance outstanding educators," he said.
"MIT will tackle the pertinent problems related to the global environment as we seek to understand and present a solution. I am extremely pleased at the success of our Campaign for the Future, a $700 million fundraising program which will conclude next fall. Our efforts to expand MIT's revenue base will be reflected in the new facilities that are being built, including the Biology Building currently under construction," Wrighton continued.
Deans of EECS and
Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Joel Moses PhD '67 became dean of the school of engineering this January. Professor Moses succeeded Gerald L. Wilson '61, who had been dean since 1981. Moses, a former head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, plans to continue the innovations begun by his predecessor to ensure MIT's rank as the number one engineering school in the United States.
Professor of History Philip S. Khoury moved from his position as acting dean of the School of
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Dean for Student Affairs Arthur C. Smith
Humanities and Social Sciences to become dean on a permanent basis over the summer. As dean, he will continue to face many of the issues that surfaced during his tenure as acting dean, including oversubscription of the Humanities, Arts and Social Science-Distribution (HASS-D) classes, and the future of a permanent psychology department following the dismissal of Associate Professor of Psychology Jee PhD '81 in 1990.
Khoury intends to develop the programs in international studies for both undergraduate and graduate students. "The addition of new programs such as the Chinese Language and Literature classes demonstrate our commitment towards expanding the school of Humanities and Social Sciences to meet the challenges facing us in the next decade," he said.
"We are extremely proud of the international reputations of our five doctoral programs which include the Economics, Linguistics, Philosophy and Political Science Departments. We will continue to integrate and strengthen our existing programs in the European and East Asian studies, as well as attract faculty who are equally adept at teaching as they are in research," Khoury added.
Science dean will
Professor of Physics Robert J. Birgeneau succeeded Gene M. Brown, a biology professor, as dean of the School of Science. Professor Birgeneau previously served as the head of the physics department.
Birgeneau said he will continue to stress the School of Science's emphasis on undergraduate teaching. Promotions and tenured positions will be given to those who excel both in undergraduate and graduate teaching as well as research. Birgeneau also plans to increase interaction between the various departments and research laboratories within the School of Science to encourage more team oriented projects.
Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Arthur C. Smith was appointed to a two year term as dean for student affairs. Smith had been serving as acting dean since July 1, 1990. Smith stated, "Over the past year, we've seen a tremendous change in the faces of the members of the administration. I think we are still in the process of learning our new jobs as well as adjusting to each other. In the next couple of months, the housing and academic issues may come up again. As a whole though, I am pleased with the way things are running."
The selection of these deans was marked by continuing pressure from the Undergraduate Association and Graduate Student Council to increase student involvement in the selection process. Hans C. Godfrey '93, chairman of the UA Governance Com-
mittee during these changes, stated, "Our continued emphasis on student participation in the dean selection process resulted in student representatives on both the Science and HASS dean selection committees.
"I hope Provost Wrighton continues to respect the input of the MIT student community for future administrative changes, including the upcoming selection of a new Dean of the School of Architecture," Godfrey added.