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Town Meeting to Report Progress of Re-engineering

By Christopher L. Falling
Associate News Editor

A year-and-a-half after the first re-engineering town meeting, MIT will hold the second such forum on the wide-ranging effort tomorrow, from 12 to 2 p.m., in Kresge Auditorium.

The town meeting is a progress report, "to inform the community of what we are in the process of doing and to get more individuals involved in that work," said Vice President for Information Systems James D. Bruce ScD '60, project manager of the re-engineering initiative.

"Specifically, as we go forward, much of the work needs to be piloted in small areas to see if we got it right before deploying it fully across the Institute," Bruce said.

Senior Vice President William R. Dickson '56 will speak about the need for -and effect of - changing the administrative processes, in terms of the people, jobs, and morale, Bruce said. Bruce will follow with the implementation details and what the MIT community can learn from the work done to date.

President Charles M. Vest will then talk about the budget, administrative re-engineering as an opportunity to maintain MIT's leadership, "the fear of losing what is perceived as good' about MIT as we re-engineer," and the Corporation's strong support for moving forward, Bruce said.

A preview of the objectives, scope, and current status of the re-engineering projects was distributed yesterday in a special edition of Tech Talk.

"All of the people involved hope that there will be a lot of questions," Bruce said. He added that he expects questions about the financial and personnel impact on specific groups of people.

The re-engineering teams want to provide many venues for feedback. These include submitting questions in advance via electronic mail, through direct contact with the teams, or at the town meeting, according to Tech Talk.

"Not everyone is comfortable asking questions at a microphone in front of a large audience," said Associate Dean of the Graduate School Issac M. Colbert, captain of the community involvement re-engineering team.

The first re-engineering town meeting, in November 1993, was held in front of a standing-room-only crowd in La Sala de Puerto Rico in the Student Center, Bruce said. Because of the heavy attendance then, Wednesday's meeting will be held in Kresge.