The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 66.0°F | A Few Clouds

Clay Appointed Head of Urban Studies

By Sarah Y. Keightley
Associate News Editor

Professor Phillip L. Clay PhD '75 was recently named head of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. His appointment will take effect July 1.

Jean P. De Monchaux, dean of the School of Architecture and Planning, appointed Clay to replace Donald A. Schn, the current department head. The department head serves a four-year term.

Clay has been the associate head of the urban studies and planning department for two years.

Schn said, "I think it's a splendid appointment. Phil will be a first-class department head." Schn also said that Clay has a natural talent for administration.

Lois A. Craig, associate dean for the School of Architecture and Planning said, "The Planning Department has always chosen an internal candidate. It is part of the citizenship of the department."

Craig added that the change is an "orderly, predictable process," because Clay was the department's associate head for the past two years.

Clay said he is still in the process of working out an agenda for the fall. He did say that the department hopes to emphasize more undergraduate teaching. The department is working on "attractive plans" to be announced in the fall, involving classes where students will apply scientific knowledge to social problems, Clay said.

With the new plans, international students from developing areas could be given policy perspectives to make their knowledge useful at home and in international organizations, Clay said. On the domestic side, issues like transportation and environmental policy may be incorporated into classes.

Clay said there is a "similar interest on the graduate side." Though the programs are currently in good shape, the department hopes to "strengthen them, raise program funds, and participate more fully in current issues," he said.

Clay helped with the 1987 federal study on the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp., and later was part of the commission which recommended a policy that became part of the Housing Act of 1990. Clay is a member of the policy and research advisory councils of the Federal National Mortgage Association, consults for several government agencies and foundations, and has published two books.