The DUE Visiting Committee

By Dan Hastings, Dean for Undergraduate Education

On March 16 and 17, we were “visited” by the DUE Visiting Committee. In a future newsletter issue, I will summarize their recommendations when I receive their report. This is my third Visiting Committee since I took the Dean’s position. We had a number of new members who brought fresh insights to the issues we face. The quality of the committee was high. We had the Provost of Yale, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education at Caltech and RPI, President of Harvey Mudd,  former President of Wellesley, Dean of Engineering at Hampton University as well as other notable alumni.

In the spirit of Digital MIT, we went to an all digital format and provided the background materials to the Committee via a microsite on the DUE site. We also varied the style so as to focus much more on discussion on some of our important issues and raised key questions for consideration. The Committee also had lunch with a number of undergraduate students who shared their own priorities and concerns.

The core of the meeting was focused on three sessions: technology-enabled change, empowering students and what DUE can catalyze for MIT in the future. The discussions around these topics were insightful, thought provoking and generated ideas that we will consider in our future planning beyond the budget reductions. A few examples of the ideas discussed included MIT’s e-learning strategy, increasing the number of international undergraduates in the context of an overall increase in undergraduate numbers, and endorsing the idea of new IT tools to help advising.