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UROP, Budget Cuts, Re-engineering Mark Tenure as Provost

By Shang-Lin Chuang
Associate News Editor

When Provost Mark S. Wrighton becomes the new chancellor of Washington University in St. Louis in July, he will leave behind several major recent projects.

Wrighton has been involved with budget planning, the Institute-wide re-engineering effort, and four search committees, among other endeavors.

"The highest priority is for [Wrighton] to complete the fiscal year '96 budget," President Charles M. Vest said. "We will work together to complete planning on funding of graduate education."

Vest and Wrighton have been working "on a response to the changes in federal funding of tuition for graduate research and teaching assistants," Vest said. "I hope to work together with him to complete that plan before he leaves."

Wrighton's "knowledge of the budget and the finances in the Institute is the best I have seen of anyone," said Vice President for Administration James J. Culliton. "He has a complete handle on the budget, and he is not reluctant to make difficult decisions."

As provost, Wrighton has played a major supportive role in the re-engineering program, according to Vice President for Information Systems James D. Bruce ScD '60.

"He has been a continuous supporter of what we have been trying to do, saying that we must simplify the administrative operations which are fundamental not only to MIT, but to the whole higher education cause," Bruce said.

"He is responsible for [overseeing] re-engineering," Culliton said. "He is an extraordinary individual that will be sorely missed."

Active in UROP, search committees

Wrighton has been a strong supporter of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, which faced an uncertain future last year in the face of changing government regulations.

"The provost has been a tremendous help to UROP," said UROP Director Norma McGavern. "He appointed the working group last year, a group of faculty and students out of which came the suggestion to lobby in Washington, D.C." for regulation changes that would help the program, she said.

"I hope whoever replaces the provost will be just as strong of a UROP supporter because we need all the help we can get," McGavern said.

Wrighton has also been overseeing several search committees, including those for the undergraduate and graduate education deans, the associate provost for the arts, and the director of libraries.

Because Wrighton will be leaving, Vest said that he will "ask that those four search committees report directly to me. However, Mark will certainly continue to be involved with that process."