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MIT's new faculty work/life web site

MIT faculty members looking for support in the area of work/life balance now have a new resource at their disposal: a single MIT web site that pulls together much of the information that was previously scattered across multiple sites.

The site,, offers information on such matters as health and wellbeing, life outside of MIT, housing and commuting, and retirement and financial planning -- specifically for faculty. Created by the Center for Work, Family and Personal Life, the MIT Faculty Work/Life web site is a complement to the Faculty Resources site maintained by the Provost's Office, which focuses on supporting the professional needs of faculty.

The site was made possible by a generous donation from an alumnus; Institute Professor Daniel I.C. Wang '59 designated how the gift should be used.

One of the unique features of the site is "Finding Community," which includes a "Living in Boston" section, with links for black and African-American faculty and their families; Hispanic and Latino faculty and their families; Asian and South Asian faculty and their families; and American Indian faculty and their families. It also highlights resources for lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender faculty and their families and resources for faculty with disabilities and their families. In addition, there are networking and mentoring links.

Along with providing a gateway to these resources, another goal of the site is to increase both internal and external awareness of the many facets of work/life. It is hoped the site can also serve as a recruiting tool, as it demonstrates that all are welcome at MIT, and it promotes the value of balancing work and life for MIT faculty. The benefits of doing so are clear, as President Susan Hockfield notes on the site's homepage: "Helping faculty members find a comfortable work/life balance fuels their creativity, fosters their extraordinary teaching and research, and strengthens the MIT community."

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 29, 2009 (download PDF).

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