DUE’s Strategic Themes: Champion Information Technology

By Elizabeth Reed, Senior Associate Dean


The goal of the IT theme is synonymous with the goal of the Student System Vision Study: to develop a next generation Student System vision that will support the evolving needs of the MIT community and improve the student experience. The entire MIT community-- students, faculty, staff and alumni-- rely on MIT student information systems to provide excellent service in over 115 critical core business applications such as managing admissions, academic and financial records. The Vision Study is a large scale project that will engage the whole MIT community and provide a road map to support future student information system. This vision will understand from a user perspective how we can maximize service, minimize complexity, provide a seamless end-to-end experience and support face-to-face interactions.

Besides facilitating many administrative aspects of day to day life and learning at MIT, student information systems (SIS) are part of the infrastructure that insures excellent teaching and learning. These systems will be essential to enabling recommendations of the Task Force on the Educational Commons such as increased emphasis on global education and changes to the General Institute Requirements.


In the mid to late ‘90’s MIT was seen as a leader in SIS, whose online services to students and faculty were copied by others. For example our online subject listing and schedule, with searchable functions that fed directly into preregistration, was copied by SIS vendors and we were a leader in providing faculty with online student photos and access to grade reports. Due to insufficient resources for student services IT, we have not been able to keep up with evolving needs. It is now time to increase the investment in our systems by providing a compelling future vision.

IT Theme Vision Process

The Vision Project is sponsored by Dean for Undergraduate Education, Dan Hastings, Dean for Student Life, Larry Benedict, Dean for Graduate Students, Steve Lerman and Vice President for Information Services and Technology, Jerry Grochow. The Discovery phase of the Vision process has been underway since September and will continue through early 2008. Working with Bearing Point, MIT’s consulting partner on this project, team leaders are gathering input to identify current and future systems needs. Some of you know this first hand through your participation in the workshops and meetings that have been conducted. This activity will be completed in February and will culminate in a report including a set of carefully evaluated student system alternatives, a timeline and a recommended approach for student system replacement or enhancement. Mary Callahan, Registrar and IT Theme Leader, and Joanne Stevenson, Project Director from IS&T, will present the findings in April 2008 so that the next phase of the student systems project can begin.

For more information on the Vision Project, visit https://web.mit.edu/stu-future/www [requires certificate].