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Hastings announces new structure for DUE

Daniel Hastings
Daniel Hastings
Photo / Donna Coveney

Dean for Undergraduate Education Daniel Hastings has announced a major reorganization and senior personnel changes that mark the culmination of a six-month strategic planning effort within the Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education.

As Hastings observed in a memo sent to his office staff on July 10, the changes will help DUE prepare for anticipated changes to the core curriculum.

The new plan has "several key drivers," Hastings wrote. "These include the changing demographics and interests of our students, the increasing pressure from accelerating technology and the increasing competition with other schools that are emphasizing science and technology, as well as the ongoing MIT Task Force on the Undergraduate Commons."

"I am delighted with the strategic planning and reorganization completed by DUE," said Chancellor Phillip L. Clay. "The effort prepares the office for the important role it will play in the implementation of the report of the Task Force on the Education Commons. While the faculty has yet to vote on changes to the undergraduate program, DUE's plan will streamline operations, build stronger connections to, and support for, faculty committees related to education, and strengthen the services we provide to students."

The Task Force on the Undergraduate Educational Commons, made up of faculty, staff and students, has spent the past two years reviewing the common educational experience of MIT undergraduates -- including the General Institute Requirements. The task force is expected to report its results to the president in the fall, at which point recommendations will be discussed by the full faculty.

The implementation of any changes that come out of this process will be the combined work of a number of faculty committees and key offices within DUE.

Hastings noted that the organizational changes are in line with new mission and vision statements for DUE, both available on the DUE web site.

Two new offices will be established within DUE -- the Office of Experiential Learning Office and the Office of Faculty Support.

The Office of Experiential Learning will include the Edgerton Center and K-12 outreach activities as well as two freshman programs, Terrascope and Concourse, which will be moving to DUE from the School of Engineering. The office will be directed by Professor J. Kim Vandiver, currently the director of Edgerton Center and academic services. He will also continue as dean of undergraduate research.

The Office of Faculty Support will be developed to serve as a focal point for implementation of the task force recommendations. Senior Associate Dean Margaret S. Enders will serve as interim director while a search is conducted for a faculty member to head up this new office.

Additionally, in September, the existing Academic Resource Center will become the Office of Undergraduate Advising and Academic Programming (UAAP). "This will better reflect the focus on supporting the first-year students and setting standards for advising, mentoring and leadership development for all our students," Hastings wrote. UROP will continue to be administered through this office. Associate Dean Julie B. Norman will become senior associate dean and director of the office, reporting to the dean.

The existing Office of Academic Services and Special Projects Office will both be dissolved.

The planning effort identified six key strategic themes for DUE: Catalyze the undergraduate commons; champion information technology for the provision of information to the students and faculty; develop a holistic student experience; provide global educational opportunities that enable MIT students to appreciate and learn from other cultures; advance from teaching to learning in MIT's classrooms; and champion and increase pipeline diversity.

Elizabeth Reed has stepped down as director of the MIT Careers Office to become senior associate dean with responsibility for integrating departmental activities across the six strategic themes.

Shonool Malik will serve as the interim director of the Careers Office (effective July 1, 2006) while a national search is conducted for a new director.

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