Academic Council Members ResignBy Shang-Lin Chuang
Associate News Editor
For the first time in many years, the Institute has the opportunity to redefine the interaction between administrators, faculty, and students as a result of four open positions on the Academic Council, said Professor Robert L. Jaffe, chair of the faculty.
The Academic Council, the highest policy-making body at MIT, is composed of the president, vice presidents, provost, associate provosts, deans of the various schools, and other high-level officials.
Two members of the council, Dean for Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs Arthur C. Smith and Director of Libraries Jay K. Lucker, announced their upcoming resignations last fall.
Two other members - Dean of the Graduate School Frank E. Perkins '55 and Associate Provost for the Arts Ellen T. Harris - announced their resignations in December. All four will officially leave their positions in the summer.
Education a main concern
"The president and the provost are proceeding very deliberately" in selecting replacements for the four, Jaffe said. "They are talking with a lot of people and trying to decide how to restructure this very important aspect of the administration."
"My concern is to see student education issues, as opposed to department issues, strongly represented," he said.
The choice of a new UESA dean presents the opportunity "to completely restructure the way education is represented," Jaffe said. "If we chose a strong and centralized dean, then he will be a source of innovation and there will be very exciting education development," he said.
A dean selection advisory committee, established by the provost, is in the process of collecting student input through a series of forums in living groups, according to Professor Linn W. Hobbs, chair of the committee.
The committee is also interviewing a large number of individuals who work closely with the Dean's Office, Hobbs said.
The committee meets twice a week to interview people in the MIT community about the position, said Assistant Provost for Administration Doreen Morris. The committee will eventually provide the provost with a short list of candidates, she said.
"The president is the individual ultimately responsible for making a recommendation on a candidate," said Provost Mark S. Wrighton. "All such appointments require approval by the MIT Corporation Executive Committee."