DUE News - 2007

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  • For more than twenty-five years, Dean Peggy Enders has served MIT and the various configurations of the DUE with remarkable dedication, drive, perspicacity and intelligence. Her devotion to students, faculty, and staff has been inexhaustible, and her contributions to undergraduate education and MIT innumerable. At the end of the week of April 23rd, Peggy will officially be taking a well-earned vacation, but she will also be leaving her regular service in the OFS and DUE in anticipation of an official retirement this summer.

  • Spring is the busiest time of year for many DUE staff members, including the financial aid counselors in Student Financial Services, who are plowing through aid applications from admitted and returning students even as they emerge from the full-court press of Campus Preview Weekend (CPW).

    During CPW (organized by the Admissions Office and held April 12-15), almost 1,000 admitted students and almost as many parents visited MIT to attend open houses, panel discussions, lab tours and mixers, sit in on approximately 150 different classes and decide if MIT is right for them as they weigh their college decision. Freshman admission offers were mailed on March 19, and admitted students must let MIT know whether they plan to attend by May 1.

  • The Office of Educational Innovation and Technology announced a renewal of an informative and stimulating series, CrossTalk, presenting faculty from MIT, and periodically faculty from elsewhere, talking about core issues at the intersection of teaching, learning and technology. The board goal of the CrossTalk Seminars is to share strategies, solutions, and issues related to transformation in educational practice through the use of information technology.

  • The diversity theme recognizes the importance of a diverse student body in fulfilling MIT’s mission and more broadly, in helping to position the nation for continued global participation and leadership. Consistent with initiatives aimed at faculty issues, this theme focuses on actions to ensure minority students are well represented at every level of the educational pipeline at MIT. It also aims to empirically advance the notion that diversity and quality are congruent. The diversity theme has critical interactions with the Graduate Student Office (GSO.)

  • A recent thread in the online chat room that is part of College Confidentiall, a website intended to help parents and students through the college admissions process, was filled with positive comments on the content and approach of the MIT Admissions website. The student blogs seemed to draw the most praise. Special kudos goes to Ben Jones who developed and maintains the site.

    Here is a sampling of the responses to the question:

  • The revelation and confirmation of Marilee Jones’ falsified academic credentials and subsequent resignation last week was a difficult and sad event for the entire MIT community. I hope we will all take some time to reflect on what we can learn from this experience and reaffirm our core values.

    MIT is a complex, great community and organization. As we go about our daily tasks to advance the mission of MIT, we do so with an unwavering commitment to our core values, which include honesty and integrity. At MIT, we embrace integrity as fundamental to our ability “to advance knowledge and educate students.” 1 However, we must also recognize that integrity fosters an environment of mutual trust that is essential to our community. It is through mutual trust that we are able to collaborate and innovate to make the MIT educational experience a continuously better one. It is also through mutual trust that we are able to establish a helping relationship with our students.

  • On the morning of Friday, February 23 close to 50 cadets of the Paul Revere Army ROTC Battalion based at MIT took part in their annual Combat Water Survival Training. While many of their fellow classmates were sleeping in and getting ready for the weekend, these student-soldiers were honing their skills of adapting their combat uniforms and equipment to an aquatic environment at the Zesiger Center at MIT. This training is vital under the current operating environment due to the high incidence of water-related casualties among soldiers deployed abroad.

  • Over the course of the Spring 2007 semester, more than 50 MIT prehealth students gained exposure to the field of medicine through participating in the MGH-MIT Shadow Program. The creation and implementation of this program has been a collaborative effort, shared between the MIT Careers Office Preprofessional Advising Staff and Dr. Patricia Donahoe, Emeritus Chief, Pediatric Surgical Services, of Massachusetts General Hospital.

    The goal of this program is to provide MIT’s prehealth students with further opportunities to see first-hand what a typical day is like for a physician and to gain exposure to a health profession working environment. The program is just one of many possible opportunities that we encourage students to participate in as a way to explore medicine and determine if a career in the health professions is a good fit for them.

  • A small team from the Office of the Dean for Undergraduate Education (DUE) and Information Services and Technology (IS&T) is laying the groundwork for an online subject evaluation system that will be available Institute-wide. Phase 1 of the Subject Evaluation Project is devoted to discovery of requirements and evaluation of alternative technologies and cost options.

  • This month I thought I should reprise some of my remarks at the DUE all staff meeting at the end of March. Some DUE staff may not have heard the remarks. Since it was the first all staff meeting since last August, I felt it was important to summarize some of the events since then. In my remarks, I reviewed the changes in leadership and some of the progress on our Strategic Themes. These have been covered in other issues of this communication so I will focus on the Campaign for Students and the budget and space changes.