The MIT administration has moved to establish an integrated student services organization with responsibility for many aspects of the campus living and learning environment. It will report to Professor Rosalind H. Williams, Dean for Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs.
The Admissions Office, Student Financial Aid Office, Department of Athletics and Physical Education, Bursar's Office, Registrar's Office, Student Information Systems (MITSIS), Campus Activities Complex, Office of Career Services and Preprofessional Advising, and Housing and Food Services will become part of the new integrated organization. All these offices, to varying degrees, serve both graduate and undergraduate students.
The Admissions Office, while part of the Dean's Office, will retain its traditional close ties to the Office of the President. Dean Williams will continue to report to Provost Joel Moses.
The Dean's Office will be organized broadly into three areas, concerned with academic support, student life, and student information services.
A new position, Director of Administration and Operations, has been created and Dean Williams, together with President Charles M. Vest, announced yesterday that Stephen D. Immerman, Director of Special Services in the Office of the Senior Vice President, has been appointed to fill it. Mr. Immerman, together with Dean for Student Life Margaret Bates and the Dean for Undergraduate Academic Affairs, soon to be named, will comprise the management team working with Dean Williams. They will work with the leaders of the units involved to refine the structure and operations of this expanded Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education and Student Affairs.
"This move is designed to serve our undergraduates by supporting and enhancing the whole experience of our students, " Dr. Vest said. "In doing this, the Dean's Office will support and enhance the work of the faculty, by providing an improved level of services and support to the departments and other teaching units.
"I am very excited about directly facing the challenge of creating a comprehensive organization to further enhance the living and learning environment on the MIT campus," he said.
"Colleges and universities continually talk about better integrating these activities. We are going to do it," Dr. Vest continued. "Although many details remain to be ironed out, bringing all of these offices and activities under one umbrella positions us to respond more easily to the directions that will be established by the Task Force on Student Life and Learning, and that are being developed by the student services reengineering teams."
Provost Joel Moses said, "The newly expanded dean's office will make it possible to provide a common perspective on campus life, academic support, and student-related financial and academic administration. In the new organization, all these areas will be viewed through the lens of MIT's educational mission."
Dr. Moses also announced that Associate Provost Phillip L. Clay will organize an Institute-wide review and coordination of student information policy. "This review of student information policy will include close collaboration with existing committees and offices, in order to develop a common understanding of both institutional and individual needs concerning the collection and dissemination of student information," he said.
Dean Williams emphasized the need for student input into establishing priorities for the office. Some of this input will be provided through the Undergraduate Association and other student organizations, but the office will also seek to expand other forms of communication, including an informal monthly evening meeting open to all students, she said.
"This integrated organization, with a clear focus on educational goals, will help the Institute respond effectively to future articulation of MIT's educational mission by the Presidential Task Force on Student Life and Learning," Dean Williams said. "To this end, the dean's office will work closely with the Task Force, and with the related standing committees of the Faculty, during the next two academic years.
"At the same time, the dean's office will interact intensively with the Student Services Reengineering team, captained by Professor Martin Schlecht, in trying to develop more efficient delivery of student services."
Dean Williams said that all members of the new office will be called upon to help develop the organization on the basis of a commonly understood mission, full participation, and shared information.
Admissions, Athletics, Bursar, Career Services, Financial Aid, Registrar, and MITSIS previously reported to Vice President for Administration James J. Culliton, who died of cancer this past June. Two of the reassigned offices, Campus Activities Complex, and Housing and Food Services, previously reported to Senior Vice President William R. Dickson.
MEDICAL DEPT. JOINSHUMAN RESOURCES
The MIT Medical Department will come under the purview of Vice President for Human Resources Joan F. Rice, President Charles M. Vest announced Tuesday.
Dr. Vest said that when this vice presidency was created two years ago, "the intent was to develop a more modern, comprehensive approach to human resource development and quality of life on our campus. This integration of the Medical Department into Ms. Rice's office, which plays the central role in employee benefits, is a further step in this direction."
Dr. Vest further indicated that Vice President Rice and Medical Director Dr. Arnold N. Weinberg face great challenges in shaping the delivery of medical care to members of the MIT community as national health care policy and provider organizations continue to evolve rapidly and dramatically. A Blue Ribbon Panel has been examining medical benefits and operations for several months, and its report is expected in the near future.
"With the task of carefully administering the retirement incentive program last year behind us, I look forward to working with Dr. Weinberg and the members of the Medical Department," Ms. Rice said.
SPONSORED PROGRAMS TO HAVE DUAL ROLE
President Charles M. Vest today announced a realignment of the Office of Sponsored Programs. OSP Director Julie Norris will report to Vice President for Finance and Treasurer Glenn P. Strehle and will have a "very strong working linkage" to Vice President for Research and Dean for Graduate Education J. David Litster.
"MIT is fortunate indeed to have Julie Norris, who is widely acknowledged as one of the nation's leading research administrators and policy spokespersons," Dr. Vest said. "Her organization faces the challenge of providing the best possible support to faculty and research staff in an increasingly complex federal regulatory environment.
"More challenging still is to set new paradigms for research and educational programs in partnership with private industry. The structure we are adopting recognizes both the primacy of providing service to our faculty and other researchers, and the importance of smooth linkages to financial operations."
Dr. Litster commented, "The policy and regulatory questions facing university research in the next few years will be critical ones for MIT. The national perspective that Ms. Norris' experience brings to these matters will be very valuable."
"With the advent of SAP, the new accounting system, I look forward to working even more directly with this office, which oversees the administration of 3/5 of MIT's revenues," Mr. Strehle said.