Communication in Uncertain Times

By Daniel Hasting, Dean for Undergraduate Education

These are uncertain times in the country, in higher education and at MIT. We are challenged by economic uncertainty on every front. Every day the newspaper seems to have new announcements that add to this sense of unease. Naturally, this uncertainty generates anxiety as people reflect on how changes at the Institute and in DUE might impact each of us personally and how we collectively accomplish our work. I recognize and appreciate how difficult it can be to maintain focus during these times. Nevertheless, it is necessary for us to stay focused on the very important work which we have to do on behalf of the Institute, the students and the faculty.

There is great dignity in our work and we are most satisfied when we do it well. During these times, it is incumbent on all of us, but most especially those of us in leadership positions within DUE, to communicate as much as we can as we move through the challenges ahead of us. We want the information that will circulate through the DUE community to be accurate and the DUE leadership team will continue to commit to being as open and transparent as we can be given the need at times to preserve confidentiality.

We plan to communicate frequently and through the following mechanisms:

  • Regular emails to the DUE community.
  • At least two DUE All-staff meetings each year.
  • Information from the weekly DUE Office Heads meeting which we will ask the Office Heads to share with you.
  • The DUE Newsletter for keeping each other informed.

As announced at the recent DUE All-Staff meeting, we have set up working groups across DUE to explore three crosscutting ideas and develop recommendations [See:DUE Leadership Team Retreats and Advances]. These groups will help us determine how we may be able to do some of our work in less costly ways, while maintaining high quality and dedicated service to students and faculty. As these groups work this Spring and Summer,we will update you on the work they are doing.

We welcome and encourage your input and ideas. We are putting in place an idea submission form on the DUE website where you can provide input to the working groups or share any other ideas you may have. We will announce the availability of the idea bank shortly. You can also contact the working group co-chair/s directly.

Thank you for all your continued hard work.