Skip to content ↓

Faculty approves new SM, accepts ROTC committee report

At the academic year's final faculty meeting on May 16, faculty members unanimously passed motions to establish a new SM program in science writing, to accept a report of the ROTC Implementation Team, and to recognize retiring faculty members with citations and applause.

"This has been a very good year. We have had lots of success in moving the capital campaign forward," said President Charles M. Vest. "We've had plenty of noise -- a visible manifestation of our dreams of renewal of the physical campus. Looking back, I sense a very palpable motion, ramping up even higher the Institute's commitment to teaching and learning through projects such as those sponsored by the d'Arbeloff Fund and I-Campus," he said.

President Vest expressed his own and the faculty's good wishes to Chancellor Lawrence S. Bacow, who was named president-elect of Tufts University on May 9.

The faculty also heard that Professor Erich P. Ippen received the James R. Killian Jr. Faculty Achievement Award for 2001-02.

An update on the review of six Master of Engineering programs and two professional graduate programs was presented by Steven Lerman, professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Dean of Engineering Thomas Magnanti. The assessment of the MEng programs was commissioned by the Provost's Office; its goal is a "broad look at the whole MEng project," Professor Lerman said. About 350 students are enrolled in the MEng programs, the majority in the electrical engineering and computer science master's program.


The ROTC Implementation Committee was created by an MIT faculty vote in 1996 in response to the military's treatment of gays and lesbians, including those in the ROTC (Reserve Officers' Training Corps).

In presenting the committee's report, Phillip L. Clay, associate provost and professor of urban studies and planning, noted "continuing discrimination in the area of sexual orientation" by ROTC. "ROTC thus stands in violation of MIT policies," he said.

The ROTC report reviews the status of four areas of activity related to current military policy towards gays in the military, in hopes of changing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, reducing its discriminatory effect and expanding opportunities for leadership for all students.

Noting the "willingness of the faculty, their extended forebearance and their desire for the elimination of discrimination," Professor Clay said there was "no positive news to report in the area of advocacy for policy change" and "no active resistence to current policy in our peer institutions." He also noted there is no case in federal court that offers a "significant opportunity to challenge discrimination based on sexual orientation."

The report also indicated that "some progress has been made" in improving the community climate for gays and lesbians and that ROTC unit commanders have taken initiative to increase leadership opportunities on campus. The ROTC Implementation Committee recommended continuing to expand these leadership opportunities for all students, Professor Clay said.


Attendees applauded the following colleagues who are retiring this year: Professors Merton C. Flemings and Kenneth C. Russell of materials science and engineering; Jeanne Bamberger of music and theater arts; Wayne O'Neil of linguistics and philosophy; Aron Bernstein, Hale V.D. Bradt, George F. Koster and Lawrence Rosenson of physics; and Henry D. Jacoby, J.D. Nyhart and Jeremy F. Shapiro of the Sloan School of Management.


The faculty also recognized ex officiis members for 2001-02. They are Jeffrey A. Meldman, associate dean in the Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education; Robert M. Randolph, senior associate dean for students; Mary P. Rowe and Clarence G. Williams, ombudspersons and special assistants to the president; and Alan F. White, senior associate dean at Sloan.

The faculty also accepted the list of nominees for officers of the faculty and standing committees, including an amendment to add Jacqueline Ciel Yanch, associate professor of nuclear engineering, as associate chair of the faculty.

A resolution on the death of Professor John Edmond of earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences was postponed until the first meeting of the fall term. Professor Edmonds died on April 10.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 23, 2001.

Related Links

Related Topics

More MIT News