Executive Vice President John R. Curry announced a reorganization of Planning Office functions last week for the purpose of aligning the staff more closely with the departments and business processes that rely upon their technical expertise.
Other expected benefits from the changes include a more seamless process for delivering capital projects, and increased opportunities for staff development and cross-fertilization of talent.
Members of the Planning Office staff have been reassigned to Mr. Curry's office, the Department of Facilities, the Office of the Dean of Students and Undergraduate Education (ODSUE) and the Office of the Provost.
There were a number of overarching needs that led to the reorganization of the Institute's planning activities. These include integrated management of the aggressive and unprecedented capital construction program and closer coordination among design, permitting and construction activities that affect complex and cutting-edge new facilities.
"I believe that the changes we've made will provide greater clarity about who is responsible for our capital projects and other planning activities across the Institute," Mr. Curry said. "In addition, we are redeploying Planning Office staff to areas that align with their roles and expertise."
O. Robert Simha, director of planning, will continue to advise Mr. Curry. "I am pleased that Bob has agreed to remain in an advisory capacity because he has a truly extraordinary knowledge of the historical development of the campus," Mr. Curry said. Sonia Foster will continue as Mr. Simha's assistant in the executive vice president's area.
The planning activities that will now reside in the Department of Facilities include capital project planning and program development (see article about Deborah Poodry and Paul Curley on this page), the campus plan, planning infrastructure and support to the Building Committee. Michael Owu, Jennifer Marshall and Jennifer Calberg are the former Planning Office staff members who have joined Facilities and are reporting to Ms. Poodry. Related activities already based in Facilities include capital construction, design and construction for non-capital projects, space administration and landscape design.
Planning functions around student residences, ODSUE space and enrollment planning have been moved to ODSUE. Robert Kaynor, who focused on these areas in the Planning Office, is now part of ODSUE's staff, reporting to Deborah Fairchild, special assistant to the Dean for administration.
Support for academic planning and institutional research have become part of the Provost's Office, as they are at many other universities. Lydia Snover, Bea Frain and Wojciech Beltkiewicz have been transferred to the provost's area, reporting to Doreen Morris, assistant provost for administration.
Parking issues that were formerly handled in the Planning Office have now been moved to the Parking and Transportation Office, which already reported to the executive vice president's area.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on March 29, 2000.