The following letter was sent to the MIT community on August 15 by Provost Martin A. Schmidt.
To the members of the MIT community:
I write today to update you on the work of the MIT Stephen A. Schwarzman College of Computing Task Force and the status of the College. The comment period for the task force working group reports has ended, and the final versions and executive summary of the reports are now available, along with a summary of the comments received. I am deeply grateful to everyone who so vigorously engaged in the process—as a member of a working group, as an active participant in one of the community forums, or as a contributor to our web-based idea bank.
The working groups had a number of excellent ideas and provided us with a broad range of perspectives. Moving forward, I will be working with our new dean of the College, Dan Huttenlocher, and the School deans to develop implementation plans for the College.
In the near term, we will need to focus on four items. First, we need to define the status of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) faculty in the College. Dan is working closely with the EECS leadership and Dean of Engineering Anantha Chandrakasan on this, with their thinking strongly informed by the ideas of the Organizational Structure Working Group. Similarly, Dan and the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS) leadership are working to define the status of IDSS faculty in the College. Second, the work of the Faculty Appointments Working Group has evolved the concept of “bridge faculty,” and Dan is working with the school deans to further advance the “cluster” concept of these faculty appointments. Third, we need to define the details of how best to integrate teaching and research on the societal implications of computing into the fabric of the College.
Finally, I would like to create an ongoing advisory mechanism to facilitate input from the MIT community. The process of establishing the College has benefited greatly from broad community engagement. In that spirit, we will endeavor to share regular updates on the College’s status and will communicate means for the community to continue to share their thoughts.
Martin A. Schmidt