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MIT community members invited to attend campus-wide forums

Students, staff, faculty, and alumni gather to discuss the Institute’s association with Jeffrey Epstein.
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As MIT continues to map a path forward following recent revelations regarding its association with the late Jeffrey Epstein, President L. Rafael Reif and other senior leaders will participate in three forums over the next two weeks, each focused on a different part of the Institute community.

The forums were announced Friday via separate email invitations to MIT students and employees:

  • Student forum — Tuesday, Oct. 1, 7 p.m., Room 10-250: At this forum, hosted by the Undergraduate Association (UA) and Graduate Student Council (GSC), President Reif will hear the concerns and ideas of undergraduate and graduate students. Also attending this forum will be leaders of the UA and GSC, Chancellor Cynthia Barnhart, Vice Chancellor Ian Waitz, Vice President and Dean for Student Life Suzy Nelson, the deans of at least three of MIT’s schools, and a number of MIT department heads.
  • Staff forum — Monday, Oct. 7, 4 p.m., Wong Auditorium (Tang Center, Building E51): The Office of the Executive Vice President and Treasurer has invited employees to attend this forum, where President Reif will field questions from MIT staff. He will be joined by Executive Vice President and Treasurer Israel Ruiz.
  • Research staff forum — Friday, Oct. 11, 10 a.m., Morss Hall (Walker Memorial, Building 50): The Office of the Vice President for Research has organized this forum for postdocs and research staff, including staff from Lincoln Laboratory. President Reif will be joined by Vice President for Research Maria Zuber.

To ensure that there is enough space and an opportunity for all members of the MIT community to share their views openly with President Reif, each of these forums will be open only to members of the invited group. An MIT ID will be required for entry.

“It is very important to me right now to hear from as many members of our community as I can — to learn how our faculty, students, staff, and alumni think we should address the challenges that MIT is facing together,” President Reif says. “This is the beginning of an important conversation. I’m reexamining my calendar for this whole academic year, recognizing that I need to invest my time here, at home, attending to our community and reconnecting with the wisdom and experiences of the people of MIT. I believe we can emerge from this first round of dialog with a sense of the values we share and the culture we aspire to, together.”

On Friday, President Reif attended the annual meeting of the Alumni Leadership Conference (ALC), held on campus, addressing some 650 alumni who play leadership roles within the 139,000-member MIT Alumni Association (MITAA). In a conversation with MITAA President R. Erich Caulfield SM ’01, PhD ’06 before the assembled alumni, President Reif addressed questions from the full group.

“I appreciated President Reif speaking directly with our dedicated volunteers, as they represent the spectrum of perspectives of our alumni and alumnae on this important issue,” Caulfield says. “It was something that the community was very interested in seeing because it offered an assurance to those who needed to hear directly from him on MIT’s commitment to addressing this matter head-on.”

At last Wednesday’s regularly scheduled faculty meeting, President Reif spoke at length before taking questions and listening to comments from some two dozen members of the faculty and student leaders. He continues to engage faculty on this issue in smaller settings.

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