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Task Force report to be shared with community this summer

The Institute-wide Planning Task Force, which has been studying ways to reduce costs, boost revenues and increase MIT's effectiveness, will describe the recommendations of its various working groups in a report that will be made available to the MIT community later this summer.

The initial findings of the nine working groups that make up the Task Force were presented to Academic Council in June. Following further refinement in the weeks ahead, a full report will be distributed to the MIT community in August. Community members who wish to comment on the report's recommendations will have the opportunity to do so via the Idea Bank (http://ideabank.mit.edu), the online forum that earlier this year collected more than 1,000 proposals from students, faculty and staff.

"We're very pleased with the caliber of ideas that have emerged from this collaborative process," said Associate Provost Martin A. Schmidt, who is coordinating the work of the Task Force along with Vice Chancellor and Dean for Graduate Education Steven R. Lerman and Vice President for Finance Israel Ruiz. "We think it is critical that we make our report public this summer so that we can hear back from the community and prepare to begin taking action in the fall."

The report is expected to become the basis of a plan that will span several years. Some of the recommendations in the report are likely to begin soon, others will require several months, and yet others may take years to evaluate and implement.

Chancellor Phillip L. Clay, Provost L. Rafael Reif and Executive Vice President and Treasurer Theresa M. Stone formed the Task Force 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 $50-$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.

The Task Force and the working groups have developed a number of high-impact ideas related to new educational opportunities for MIT, gaining efficiencies, and modernizing many Institute processes. These recommendations reflect the collaborative efforts of faculty, staff, and students who brought their experience and knowledge to address problems in creative ways that might not have been evident with only one office or area examining the challenge.

To learn more about the Task Force, please visit http://web.mit.edu/instituteplanning/taskforce.html.

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