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Community discusses Task Force report

Deadline nearing to provide feedback on report and its recommendations

The preliminary report of the Institute-wide Planning Task Force, released in August, contains more than 200 ideas aimed at strengthening MIT by cutting costs and boosting revenues. Community members can read the report online, where they are also encouraged to leave feedback via the updated Idea Bank. To ensure feedback is reviewed by the task force coordinators in advance of the final report, members of the MIT community are encouraged to submit comments about the report by Oct. 14.

The report, which includes recommendations by the 200 faculty, staff, and students who comprised the task force, has already been the focus of much public discussion on campus. Chair of the Faculty Thomas Kochan co-sponsored a pair of public forums with the task force last month in which task force coordinators and senior administrators answered questions from students, faculty and staff.

The report and its recommendations were also discussed at the Sept. 16 faculty meeting and at the State of the Institute forum on Sept. 30. Department heads are scheduled to discuss the work of the task force later this month ahead of the Oct. 30 deadline that task force leaders have set for completing the final report.

"Chairs of the various working groups are drawing up their submissions for the final report, and it's therefore crucial that community members provide us with their feedback soon," said Vice President for Finance Israel Ruiz, who is coordinating the task force along with Vice Chancellor & Dean for Graduate Education Steven R. Lerman and Associate Provost Martin A. Schmidt.

Set up in response to the decline in revenues as a result of the global economic crisis, the task force was charged with exploring ways to help reduce MIT's expenses by $50 million to $100 million beginning in the 2011 fiscal year.

At the Sept. 30 State of the Institute forum, senior administrators announced that MIT had cut $58 million in costs in the current fiscal year, exceeding by $8 million the original target. The Institute is calling for cuts of $60 to $70 million for fiscal year 2011.

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