To the members of the MIT community:
I write to share the news that MIT Provost Chris Kaiser has decided to step back from administration and return to his lifelong interests in teaching and research. He will step down as provost at the end of October.
Since taking on the role of provost, Chris has served by my side through a challenging period for MIT, and I am grateful for his steadying presence and sound advice. We are especially fortunate to have benefited from Chris's leadership in developing a working consensus on MIT's plans for Kendall Square. His sensitivity to faculty concerns and ability to bring people together were essential to our progress, and he established a foundation of trust and mutual understanding that will serve the MIT community very well.
Earlier this summer, I asked Chris and Faculty Chair Steve Hall to lead a process of community engagement this fall around the complex issues raised by the report on "MIT and the Prosecution of Aaron Swartz." I am delighted and grateful that Chris has agreed to carry through this responsibility until the process concludes.
As we begin the search for our next provost, I welcome your input and ideas. The role of provost includes a variety of academic, budgetary and capital planning responsibilities that are central to the daily functioning of MIT. If you have insights or suggestions that will help identify the best candidates, I hope you will let me know by email or letter (Room 3-208). Naturally, I will treat any guidance I receive as confidential.
Please join me in thanking Chris for his enthusiastic service and commitment to MIT.
L. Rafael Reif