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Dean Delays Resignation Again

By Sarah Y. Keightley
Associate News Editor

Although Jean P. de Monchaux, dean of the School of Architecture and Planning, had hoped to resign on Jan. 15, he has been unable to do so. De Monchaux's predicament will not be resolved until the advisory committee appointed by Provost Mark S. Wrighton finds a replacement. The committee has been looking for a new dean since October.

De Monchaux said, "The provost has asked me to stay on as dean until a successor is found." He said he originally extended his term until Feb. 15 and then extended it again. De Monchaux said he and Wrighton are in "regular conversation," adding "I wish [the committee members] luck every time I see them." He hopes that his successor will be in place around July 1 or Sept. 1.

De Monchaux announced his intention to resign last spring, according to Associate Dean Lois A. Craig.

The advisory committee is made up of six professors in the architecture and urban studies and planning departments, a local Boston architect, two alumni, one with an architecture degree and the other with an urban studies and planning degree, and two graduate students from the architecture and urban studies and planning departments, according to Cynthia A. Rose, manager of the provost's office.

"Searches usually do take a long time," said Professor Bernard J. Frieden '57, who is chair of the advisory committee. "The last one [for the dean of this school] took a year and a half." He said it is uncertain how much longer the current search will take.

Aysen Savas G, a committee member who is studying architecture, said, "We're still having our meetings, but no one knows" how long it will take to find a new dean.

Jean A. Riesman G, the other graduate student on the committee, said, "We've been in the process of identifying candidates and that part ... is not exhausted." She said scheduling times to interview candidates takes time and requires patience. "I think search processes are pretty time-consuming -- that is the nature of this kind of search. Committees are cumbersome."

Once he steps down, de Monchaux said, "I'll be spending a year or so in Geneva with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, an architecture foundation working for opportunities for the urban poor in developing countries. I'm trying to do both things at the moment, and I'm really putting [the foundation] on hold." De Monchaux will then return to MIT as a faculty member.