Administration reshuffled after Simonides' deathBy Stacey E. Blau
The last year saw a number of shifts in the senior administration. Much of the realignment followed the death of Constantine B. Simonides '57, senior vice president and secretary of the Corporation, who died on April 24, at the age of 59.
Simonides served as vice president for 24 years under four presidents. His responsibilities included admissions, athletics, career services, the medical department, the MIT Press, personnel, and public relations.
Simonides, regarded as a warm, friendly, and effective administrator by colleagues, students, and alumni, seemed an irreplaceable loss to the Institute, according to Dean for Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs Arthur C. Smith. "I don't think there will be any other who can do that job in the same way," Smith said.
The loss of Simonides came at a particularly crucial time, with MIT in the midst of re-engineering efforts. Because of his death, "some very significant changes" were going to have to take place, said Provost Mark S. Wrighton.
A reshuffling of senior administration officials took effect on June 1. Director of Personnel Joan F. Rice and Barbara G. Stowe, director of foundation relations and developments system, were promoted to vice president, and two other vice presidents took an new responsibilities.
President Charles M. Vest named Rice vice president for human resources. Rice had been director of personnel since 1984 and an MIT staff member since 1972. Vest called Rice an experienced leader who "has commanded enormous, widespread respect as she has risen through our ranks."
Rice's responsibilities include matters of personnel, equal opportunity, family and work, and general management of MIT's human resources, Vest said. These areas are "critical to our future and require direct attention at the vice presidential" level, Vest said.
Stowe was appointed vice president for resource development. She is responsible for individual giving, the Office of Development Research and Systems, the Office of Foundation Relations and Development Services, and the Office of Corporate Relations.
Stowe, who has served MIT in various positions since her arrival in 1981, said that she is most concerned with undergraduate scholarship and building needs. Another concern of hers is solving the current funding problems with the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.
Vice Presidents Glenn P. Strehle '58 and James J. Culliton were assigned new responsibilities at the vice presidential levels following the realignments. Strehle, who oversees resource development, became vice president for finance. He remains treasurer of the Institute. Culliton, vice president for financial operations, was named vice president for administration.
Many of Strehle's responsibilities as vice president for resource development were transferred to Stowe. Strehle assumed some of Culliton's former duties, including heading the audit division, the Office of the Comptroller, the Lincoln Laboratory fiscal office, the property office, the Office of Financial Planning and Management, and purchasing.
Vest praised Strehle for his "modern, effective organization, a talented staff that is second to none, and a highly successful Campaign for the Future that has secured the Institute's future in many dimensions."
Culliton retains responsibility for the Office of Sponsored Programs and Office of Registration and Student Financial Services. His new duties include many of Simonides' responsibilities, such as heading the Office of Admissions, Career Services and Preprofessional Advising, the Athletic Department, and the Medical Department.
Kathryn A. Willmore was elected secretary and ex officio member of the Corporation following the recommendation by the Corporation's executive committee. Willmore formerly served as executive assistant to the president and director of public relations.
"It's kind of bittersweet," Willmore said at the time of her election. "None of us would have had these opportunities if Constantine hadn't died. It's hard. At the same time, I'm looking forward to working with the Corporation."
Shifts in associate provosts
Professor of Linguistics and Philosophy Samuel J. Keyser stepped down as associate provost for Institute life on June 30 after holding the position for nine years. Keyser worked extensively with harassment policies, conflict resolution, and faculty and student relations.
Keyser continues to hold the Peter DeFlorez '38 Fund for Humor Professorship, which was created to encourage humor in the learning process. Keyser, now special assistant to the provost, will be teaching a graduate linguistics course this semester.
Professor Phillip L. Clay PhD '75, former head of the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, was named associate provost effective Oct. 1, filling the position vacated by Sheila E. Widnall '60, who was sworn in as Secretary of the Air Force in August 1993.
Clay assumed responsibilities in promotion and tenure policies, academic integrity, faculty recruitment and retirement, and international education programs. He also absorbed many of Keyser's former duties.
In December, Associate Provost for the Arts Ellen T. Harris announced that she would step down this summer after six years in her current position. Harris plans to take a year-long sabbatical to complete a book on the composer George F. Handel and will then teach for the music department.
Harris originally committed to her job for four or five years, but said that she stayed for six years because it was "exciting and fulfilling." The position of associate provost for the arts had not existed at MIT before Harris' arrival. Harris said that she sought to emphasize the importance the arts have for even the most technical-minded of students.
Library director retires
Director of Libraries Jay K. Lucker announced in June that he plans to retire next August. Wrighton has appointed a 10-member committee, chaired by Professor Peter S. Donaldson, head of the literature section, to advise him on the appointment of a new director.
Luck together, making MIT a leader in the "new age of digital handling of scholarly information," Vest said.
Krysztof Wodiczko, associate professor of architecture, was appointed director of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies last August. Wodiczko is internationally renowned for his work in image-projection installations relating to social issues, particularly on homelessness. He has had a number of solo exhibitions and public installations in both the United States and Europe, and will have another this year in Japan.
Wodiczko succeeds Senior Lecturer in Architecture Otto Piene, who retired in September 1993, after a 20-year career as CAVS director.