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Faculty OK double majors, CMS SB program

The faculty voted unanimously to allow double majors and to make Comparative Media Studies a permanent SB program at their April 16 meeting.

They also heard reports from the Committees on Nominations, the Committee on Discipline and the Edgerton Award Committee and a proposal to establish a new Master of Finance degree program.

Jesus del Alamo, Donner Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, presented the slate of nominees for chair of the faculty and members of standing faculty committees. Del Alamo's report prompted a discussion on the value of inclusiveness and transparency in the nominations process.

Professor June Matthews of physics presented the Edgerton Award to Jay Scheib, associate professor of theater.

The Edgerton Committee citation described Scheib as possessing the "unique type of excellence associated with Professor Edgerton, capturing the imagination of the wider public with his innovative, experimental approach to theater and embodying all the outstanding qualities we admire at MIT."

In accepting the award, Scheib said, "It's inspiring to collaborate here--to move from experimental theater to aeronautics and astronautics. I thank MIT. I'm a little bit flabbergasted."

In other business, Andrew Lo, Harris and Harris Group Professor and director of the Laboratory for Financial Engineering, presented a proposal to establish a new Master of Finance degree program within the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Lo outlined the proposed 12-month, June-to-June program, emphasizing MIT's tradition of groundbreaking research in finance and predicting that the Master of Finance program would "change the model of business education."

Dean David Schmittlein of MIT Sloan endorsed Lo's proposal. "We need to own the high ground of finance. This program is central to the mission of Sloan and of MIT," he said.

Professor George Apostolakis of nuclear science and engineering presented the Committee on Discipline's report of 2006-2007. In summary, plagiarizing from Internet sources comprised most academic misconduct, he noted.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 30, 2008 (download PDF).

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