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Faculty members hear about ROTC courses

MIT continues to increase the opportunities for non-cadets to benefit from military expertise in leadership courses, the ROTC Oversight Committee reported at the May 17 faculty meeting.

Leadership development "is an area where the military can make and has made significant contributions," said Professor Phillip L. Clay, associate provost and chair of the committee. "It is also an area of increasing campus priority."

Thirty-five students took Leadership and Management (15.328) in the Sloan School; three of the six non-cadets who enrolled completed the course. Military faculty took the lead in designing and teaching the course, which was offered for the first time.

The committee believes that nonmilitary enrollment for this course was hampered by late and limited publicity, the Sloan School bid system and the fact that the MIT Bulletin did not specify that it was an undergraduate course. "These should not be a problem in the coming year," Professor Clay said.

Thirty students -- 16 ROTC students and 14 non-cadets -- took National Security Management (17.471) in the fall. Some 15-20 students enrolled in a two-day leadership seminar sponsored by the Sloan School Leaders for Management students and ROTC.

In the fall, Professor of Air Science Col. John E. Kuconis will teach a nine-student freshman seminar on leadership. It will have three non-cadet associate advisors.

Discussing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy regarding gays in the military, Professor Clay said, "No new legal or judicial flexibility has been introduced" in the past year. "The current situation... remains largely unchanged."

Professor Clay added that it was hard to ascertain the campus climate on sexual orientation issues, although the "You Are Welcome Here" campaign sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Students and Undergraduate Education was well received by the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities.

He also expressed disappointment that MIT's peer institutions are not paying attention to the issue of discrimination based on sexual orientation. "Many of them, quite frankly, are not inclined to raise the issue even when they strongly agree with the need to challenge existing law and prejudice," he said.

President Charles M. Vest noted that the issue is viewed as political rather than values-related on other campuses, which may explain those schools' reluctance to assume a leadership role. "There's a different tone on this campus," he said.

In other actions, the faculty:
��������� Was told that the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) had reaccredited MIT through 2010 (see story on page 12).
��������� Applauded heartily for Institute Professor Jerome I. Friedman, the Killian Faculty Achievement Award winner for 2000-2001 (see story on this page).
��������� Voted to establish an SB program in physics aimed at undergraduates who plan to pursue careers in other fields, a new 12-month MEng in materials science and engineering, and two graduate degrees in the Division of Bioengineering and Environmental Health -- an MEng in biomedical engineering and an SM in bioengineering (MIT Tech Talk, April 26).
��������� Adopted a resolution that honors retiring Professors Carl E. Hewitt, Thomas F. Weiss and George W. Pratt of electrical engineering and computer science, Satoru Masamune of chemistry, James R. Munkres of mathematics, and John E. Southard of earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences.
��������� Conferred ex officiis faculty status for 2000-01 on Associate Dean Jeffrey A. Meldman, Senior Associate Dean Robert A. Randolph, Ombudspersons Mary P. Rowe and Clarence G. Williams, and Sloan School Senior Associate Dean Alan F. White.
��������� Accepted the report of the Committee on Nominations.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 31, 2000.

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