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Dickson Recuperates at MGH After Recent Bypass Surgery

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William R. Dickson '56 underwent successful heart bypass surgery Wednesday.

By Brett Altschul

Senior Vice President William R. Dickson '56 underwent successful heart bypass surgery Wednesday after suffering a heart attack on Saturday.

The surgery was performed at Massachusetts General Hospital where Dickson will be under close supervision for the next few days. "He will probably spend about six days in the hospital," said Kenneth D. Campbell, director of the News Office.

After that, it will be some time before Dickson returns to work at MIT, Campbell said. Dickson will spend four to six weeks convalescing at home after his discharge, he said.

President Charles M. Vest said that the prognosis for Dickson looked good. "His doctors have advised us that he is doing well," Vest said.

Offices cope without Dickson

Many areas of the Institute are ultimately under Dickson's purview, including the Medical Department, Information Systems, and Physical Plant.

These offices seem adequately prepared to function in Dickson's absence.

Vest said that the administration would not need to take major action in order to deal with Dickson's absence. "We have no plans whatsoever to take special administrative measures during his absence," he said.

"He [Dickson] and I have every confidence that the departments reporting to him will function well without his immediate attention during his recovery," Vest said.

Susan E. Crowley, the administrative assistant in Dickson's office said that the office was functioning without Dickson's presence. The office had been in communication with him regularly between his hospitalization and the bypass surgery, she said.

"We were in touch with him up until Tuesday night," Crowley said. "Wednesday was the first day we did not talk to him."

In fact, Dickson was even doing some work in the hospital, Vest said. "When I talked with Bill on Saturday, he was studying a set of architectural proposals we are in the process of reviewing," he said.

"I think he was doing less than normal, since he was not in meetings, but he was talking with people on the phone and looking at plans," Crowley said.

She said she was not sure when Dickson would begin regular contact with MIT again or what arrangements would be made during Dickson's recovery.

However, Dickson will be doing some work in the several weeks before he returns to MIT. "I believe he intends to set up an office at home," Crowley said. "There are laptops and fax machines, so he can do his work that way."