A New Year Begins…

By Daniel Hastings, Dean of Undergraduate Education

Once again we start the academic year with the return and new arrival of our students. This is a time of new energy and high hopes. I realize that for many offices the work of the new year started months ago. Students have been getting their financial packages right, some students have already started in Interphase and some students have been working on UROP projects all summer. Nevertheless, this time brings a whole group of bright new faces to us. Here in DUE, we want to support, enable and encourage our students as much as possible.

The President now has her senior team (Academic Council) in place for this new Academic Year. This is the most diverse Academic Council in MIT's history. It is an interesting mix of people who are long timers at MIT and who are new to MIT. Both bring diversity and experience to the issues that face MIT. We all gathered for a offsite in July to get to know each other better, to brainstorm about the future of MIT and set directions for this year. Susan Hockfield announced that she will initiate a State of the Institute address in September to let the whole MIT community know what the big issues are, where we are going and to listen to the community. She asked each of her senior team to work with our organizations on improving the two way flow of information. She wants information to flow from Academic Council to faculty, staff and students in the units and she wants us to flow information from the units to Academic Council. We talked about how to improve our sense of community. Each Dean was asked to give his or her "blue sky" dreams and we talked about how we can enable them. I primarily talked about our DUE Strategic Plan. There was strong support for where we are going.

Within DUE, we have initiated the search for the new Dean for Admissions. Over the summer, we were joined by Melanie Parker as the new director for MITCO. We have a great team of Office Heads in place and a wonderful leadership team in place in DUE. We have a lot to do and we have excellent leaders and people here in DUE to help us accomplish our objectives. We had our own DUE leadership retreat in June where we continued to build our team and focus in our core objectives. This year, I expect we will see major progress on our Strategic Themes and the Task Force on the Undergraduate Educational Commons and we will continue the excellent support for all the services we provide the students and faculty.

Thank you all for your hard work for our stakeholders (new and old).