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First Planning Forum Draws 100

A hundred people showed up to 10-250 yesterday for a forum intended to involve MIT community members in the plans to fix MIT’s $150 million budget shortfall.

Professor Lawrence E. Susskind ’73 moderated the discussion. Attendance was split fairly evenly between students, staff and administration, and faculty.

Although only three people came to the forum with prepared questions, Susskind skillfully guided a discussion to solicit community input on a number of contentious recommendations in the task force report, available at http://tech.mit.edu/V129/N31/tf/Preliminary-Report.pdf.

The second forum begins Monday at 4 p.m. in 32-155, moderated by Professor Susan S. Silbey. Chair of the Faculty Thomas A. Kochan urges everyone to attend and “bring a friend”; Kochan has repeatedly expressed his commitment to transparency as part of this process, which could produce significant changes to the Institute.

Though a hundred people attended Thursday’s forum, all but four people sat on the sides, leaving the center section eerily empty.

The Tech will run more-detailed coverage of these forums next Tuesday.

—John A. Hawkinson