The kick-off of the student services reengineering effort took place last week as two teams--an assessment team and a redesign team--began work that will conclude by early February.
The overall goals of the project are to improve services to students, better meet the needs of faculty, and simplify administrative work, making it both more satisfying and more cost-effective. The teams want MIT to become a world leader in providing administrative services to students.
Vice President for Administration James J. Culliton and Dean for Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs Rosalind H. Williams are the sponsors for the reengineering effort. This combination represents the interaction between the processes that administrative departments provide and the educational policy leadership that comes from the dean and the faculty. Professor Martin Schlecht of electrical engineering and computer science is the overall team captain. Jennifer Dowling Dougherty will serve as MIT's internal consultant.
The reengineering of student services will focus on all the business and administrative processes students encounter outside the classroom including: finding out about MIT and getting admitted, orientation programs, enrolling, housing, dining, paying bills and paying students. The teams will also look at the collection and distribution of educational program data, academic support systems for advising and tutoring, counseling; recreation and fitness; social support; help with job searches, further schooling and summer employment, and alumni services.
The assessment team will review all of student services, with the goal of recommending future redesign initiatives. They need to answer the questions: what else should be redesigned, when, and why?
The redesign team will look at the processes involved with student records and financial transactions.
The assessment team includes: Peggy Enders, Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs; Jeannette Gerzon, Career Services and Preprofessional Advising; Stephen Immerman, Office of the Senior Vice President; Anthony Ives, undergraduate student; Marilee Jones, Admissions; Anand Mehta, graduate student; Michael Owu, Planning Office, and David Weber, Sloan School.
The redesign team consists of Peggy Berkovitz, physics; Hillary De Baun, Sloan School; Amy Haritatos, Graduate School Office; Mr. Immerman; Vincent James, Admissions and Educational Council; Mr. Mehta; Andy Oakland, Distributed Computing and Network Services; Jagruti Patel, undergraduate student; Constance Scribner, Registrar's Office, and Robert Weinerman, Student Financial Aid.
Student-services reengineering must address the needs of a wide range of service providers and customers including undergraduate and graduate students, their families (parents, spouses and children), faculty and their support staff, and departmental and central administrators.
"The community knows what can be done to improve student services," Professor Schlecht said. "The teams will be a catalyst to pull together all of that understanding and formulate it into a plan."
The teams will seek the advice and involvement of all the constituencies in a number of ways.
In November, the teams will hold focus groups on particular topics. Sessions will be held both during the day and in the evenings to accommodate students' schedules.
In addition, an advisory group will be formed in the next few weeks to provide continuous feedback and guidance throughout the life of this project.
Members of the community who would like to be involved in either a focus group or the advisory group should send e-mail to the team at
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 25, 1995.