A Year Ahead

by Daniel Hastings, Dean for Undergraduate Education

DUE has had a successful year. We delivered for MIT, with quality, across the range of areas that we support. A good way to think about DUE is that we play important roles in education at three different levels:

Level 1: delivery of core central services that enable the educational enterprise to function;
Level 2: creation of new services that enable continuous improvement in the educational enterprise; and
Level 3: strategic visioning for the future of education at MIT within an international context.

I am proud that we contributed well at each level in the previous academic year.

In this new academic year, which we are just starting, we have both new and continuing challenges at all levels.  One critical area will be the delivery of core central service.  While we must continue to deliver high quality, customer focused services, we have some major projects that we must address.

One such project is the Student Systems Vision project which is driven, in part, by the DUE strategic theme to champion IT systems to meet the needs of students, faculty and staff. As a key Vision sponsor and the site of by far the most extensive business functions, DUE will be challenged to invest considerable time and effort in this project, which impacts so many areas of the Institute and beyond, while carrying on regular, ongoing business. If Senior Officers give their approval to go forward, the next phase of Vision will commence this fall and will involve an assessment of readiness across several parameters.

Besides advancing the goals of our other strategic themes, 2008-2009 priorities include

  • Preparing for the NEASC accreditation process in 2009, in which DUE has a major role.

  • Building on our strong foundation with the Division of Student Life, continued and enhanced collaboration as
    the new Dean for Student Life assumes leadership.

  • Delivering on the curricular recommendations of the Educational Subcommittee of CUP.

  • Building up our global educational offerings to enable our students to have a seamless high quality international set of experiences.

The DUE has increasingly become an effective force for undergraduate education. Meeting several important milestones this year has brought a sense of accomplishment and momentum. Progress on our six strategic themes has already allowed us to advance our mission and the vision for undergraduate education at MIT. We now need to continue
to build on this foundation. All the themes will require mutually beneficial interactions with the Offices of the Dean for Student Life, Dean for Graduate Education, Information Systems and Technology and the Schools and academic departments in order to develop and implement effective, cohesive strategies for the benefit of our students. At the outset of a new fiscal year, we look forward with a focus on some of the challenges which loom large on the horizon. The goal, as always, continues to be a better learning experience for our students.