Charles Stewart III, professor of political science, will become the Associate Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, SHASS Dean Philip S. Khoury has announced. Stewart's appointment will be effective Feb. 1.
"Charles is well-known across MIT as a natural leader and innovator in undergraduate education, and for years he has demonstrated his leadership in his department and at the school and Institute levels," Khoury said. "He is deeply committed to providing our undergraduates with the best possible opportunities in the humanities, arts and social sciences. I look forward to working closely with Charles for the higher good of our school and MIT."
Stewart's responsibilities will include undergraduate education and programs in the school, including the HASS component of the General Institute Requirement, and new initiatives to strengthen the social sciences at MIT. He will work closely with the undergraduate and graduate program officers within the school's academic departments, sections and programs. As a member of the School Council, he will be directly involved in faculty personnel decisions and in other issues of importance to the school.
"MIT is special for many reasons, but one is its strong commitment to excellence in the humanities, arts and social sciences. Indeed, I would argue that this commitment is what distinguishes us the most from other universities that are focused on science and technology. We admit students who excel in many dimensions. I'm looking forward to working with Philip, the rest of the dean's office, and the department heads as we continue to provide an unparalleled experience in these areas for our students," said Stewart.
Since his arrival at MIT in 1985, Stewart has been active in innovation in undergraduate education. He received the Everett Moore Baker Memorial Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 1989, was elected to the second class of MacVicar Faculty Fellows in 1993 and received a Class of 1960 Innovation in Education Award in 2000. He has been the undergraduate officer in political science since 1993 and has been the faculty director of the MIT Washington Summer Internship Program since he helped found it in 1994. Along with his wife, Kathryn M. Hess, Stewart has been housemaster of McCormick Hall since 1992.
Stewart has been active in faculty governance, including serving on the HASS Overview Committee (1993-94), chairing the Committee on the Undergraduate Program (1995-97), serving on the Task Force on Student Life and Learning (1996-98) and recently chairing the special CUP subcommittee to review the freshman pass/no-record grading policy.
Stewart is an expert on legislative politics and American political development. His recent book, "Analyzing Congress" (W.W. Norton, 2001), is the first by a political scientist to set down in textbook form a comprehensive introduction to Congress from the perspective of rational choice theory.
For the past year he has been a participant in the Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project, in which he has concentrated on analyzing the policy implications of the rise of absentee and early voting in the United States, in addition to estimating the number of votes that go uncounted in presidential elections due to shortcomings in voting technologies.
Stewart received the B.A. from Emory University in 1979 and the S.M. (1981) and Ph.D. (1985) from Stanford University.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 24, 2001.