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Faculty Talk About Bioengineering PhD

By Neena Kadaba

At their monthly meeting, the faculty heard a proposal to establish a doctoral program in bioengineering.

The proposal by Professor Douglas A. Lauffenburger, co-director of the Division of Bioengineering and Environmental Health in the School of Engineering, would provide for a PhD in bioengineering beginning in fall 1999.

The mission of the program is to "educate leaders and generate and communicate new knowledge, at the interface between engineering and biology." The program would consist of a bioengineering core, as well as electives in bioengineering, engineering and biological science.

The operation of the bioengineering program would be analogous to most other PhD programs. The program would "take modern biology and aim it at any set of problems," said Lauffenburger, who also commented that the program would help "measure, model and manipulate biological systems."

The Division of Bioengineering and Environmental Health is planning on proposing an undergraduate minor in Environmental Health is planning on proposing an undergraduate minor in Environmental Health in future.

Budgetary matters discussed

Chancellor Lawrence S. Bacow '72 and Provost Robert A. Brown summarized MIT's current budget situation and system, by identifying sources of revenue, and changes in revenue from past years, and went on to establish a model for financing MIT in the future.

Brown and Bacow proposed to increase MIT's reliance on its endowment support and approve support in three core areas: the removal of summer tuition from graduate research-only students, an increase in graduate fellowship support and an increase in facilities renovation and renewal.

The overall cost of these areas would increase spending from investment funds from a current rate of 4.4 percent to a rate of 5.6-5.9 percent by the year 2008. Bacow and Brown also spoke briefly about the priorities of fund allotment from upcoming capital campaign.

Von Hippel honored

The last item on the agenda was the presentation to honor Professor Arthur Robert von Hippel, Professor Emeritus since 1962 in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science who is celebrating his 100th birthday. Von Hippel is known for his eminent research on dielectrics, molecular science and molecular engineering.

Hippel founded the MIT laboratory for insulation research in 1940, and served as head until his retirement in 1964. As von Hippel could not be present for the meeting, his son, Professor Eric von Hippel, and his family accepted the award on his behalf.