In his Report of the President for 1998-99, Dr. Vest noted a number of campus milestones and statistics. Among them:
The student enrollment of 9,885 (an increase of five from 1997-98) included 3,202 women (up by 101). Forty-three percent of the freshmen entering in September 1998 were women.
There were, as self-reported by students, 2,600 minority students (2,009 undergraduate and 591 graduate) at MIT, compared with 2,691 (1,997 undergraduate and 694 graduate) in 1997-98. They included 348 African Americans (non-Hispanic), 69 Native Americans, 535 Hispanic Americans and 1,648 Asian Americans. The entering freshman class included 502 minority students, or 48 percent of the class.
Endowment income for scholarships increased by 8 percent, even as the continuing healthy economy and a reduction in the number of needy undergraduate students reduced the need for grants. The number of needy undergraduates decreased by 4 percent to 2,404. As in past years, the aid program provided almost two-thirds of needy students' total costs. Loans totaling $13.04 million were made to undergraduates, a decrease of 13 percent from 1997-98. The total of loans made to undergraduate and graduate students was $27.66 million, a decrease of 4 percent.
Starting salaries for MIT graduates again increased, as did the percentage and range of firms offering signing bonuses. Salaries for doctoral graduates in engineering ranged on the average from $70,000-$90,000, offers to master's candidates range from $55,000-$70,000 and to bachelor's candidates from $45,000-$54,000.
Private financial support received in fiscal 1999 totaled $209 million, including $202.1 million in gifts, grants and bequests, and $6.9 million in support through membership in the Industrial Liaison Program. The total compares with $143.9 million in 1998 and $133.6 million in 1997.
Revenues and funds of $1.26 billion were used for operations. Total operating expenses in fiscal 1999 were $1.29 billion, producing an additional need for general funds of $22.8 million. In addition, net assets increased by $776.45 million, reaching $5.45 billion at year's end. The Institute's endowment reached a market value of $4.35 billion and benefited from very favorable investment returns and a record level of gifts.
MIT also rolled out SAP requisitioning and released ECAT2, a set of SAP-integrated electronic catalogs for purchasing from MIT's preferred vendors.
Among the notable 1998-99 appointments were John R. Curry in the new position of executive vice president, following the retirement of Senior Vice President for Operations William R. Dickson. There were also two new School deans -- Institute Professor Thomas L. Magnanti, succeeding Robert Brown and interim dean John B. Vander Sande in the School of Engineering, and Richard Schmalensee, succeeding Glen L. Urban at the Sloan School. Vice President for Human Resources Joan F. Rice retired and was replaced by Laura Avakian. Kathryn A. Willmore was named vice president and secretary of the Corporation.
Historic Building 20 was celebrated, decommissioned, and demolished to make way for the Ray and Maria Stata Center for Computer, Information and Intelligence Sciences, designed by world-renowned architect Frank O. Gehry and including buildings named in honor of Alexander W. Dreyfoos Jr. (SB 1954) and William H. Gates.
Two departments changed their names and one new organization was formed. Physical Plant changed its name to Facilities, and Purchasing and Stores became Procurement and was moved organizationally to the Controller's Accounting Office. The Financial Systems Services organization was created to coordinate the development, delivery and maintenance of effective financial systems for the Institute.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on January 12, 2000.