The nine working groups that comprise MIT's Institute-wide Planning Task Force have submitted their preliminary reports outlining the best ways to reduce costs, boost revenues and increase MIT's effectiveness in performing its mission.
Their initial findings will be discussed with Academic Council in early June. Following further refinement of the recommendations in the weeks ahead, a full preliminary report will be presented to Chancellor Philip Clay, Provost L. Rafael Reif and Executive Vice President and Treasurer Theresa M. Stone. A final report is expected in October.
"We are exactly where we hoped we would be in this process of building a better MIT," said Vice President for Finance Israel Ruiz, who is helping to coordinate the Task Force. "Many of the ideas presented will not simply improve the Institute's bottom line but will help us fundamentally evolve the MIT culture."
Vice Chancellor and Dean for Graduate Education Steven R. Lerman, Associate Provost Martin A. Schmidt and Ruiz are members of the coordinating team of the Task Force, which was set up in response to the decline in revenues as a result of the global economic crisis. The committee and its working groups are charged with identifying and assessing opportunities to reduce MIT's expenses by $100 million over the next two to three years, starting with the 2011 fiscal year. These reductions will follow an initial $50 million expense reduction already underway for FY 2010.
Over the course of the spring semester, the Task Force gathered more than 1,000 ideas from members of the MIT community on ways to cut costs and boost efficiencies. As the working groups weighed the various ideas, it became clear that most contained at least one of the following overarching themes: optimize, share, stop, fewer, leverage, simplify, digitize and reduce.
The work of the Task Force is expected to shift into a new phase between July and October as MIT's senior leadership offers feedback on the opportunities that make the most sense. The nine working groups that make up the Task Force may also be restructured during this phase.
To learn more about the Task Force, please visit http://web.mit.edu/instituteplanning/taskforce.html.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 3, 2009 (download PDF).