In MIT, momentum is a phenomenon that we can understand. It defines us as a community. At the beginning of the year, when I announced that I was stepping down as President, an important responsibility was particularly clear to me: to maintain the momentum of the Institute through the transition to the next President.
Fortunately, a team of over 200 MIT students, staff and faculty gave us a blueprint for doing just that. At the beginning of the epidemic, Task Force 2021 set out an agenda for us পরিকল্পনা a plan of action that we can take as soon as the epidemic loosens its grip on our lives.
The task force outlined the basic progress needed to ensure that all members of our community have the MIT they need as we move forward. Recommendations included professional development and mentoring expansion for undergraduate students. Reassess science, math, and engineering requirements. Creating opportunities for social equity programs. Improving online learning and credentialing. All of this এবং and a little more উচিত should start a good race for the 18th President of MIT.
Even though our communities are scattered around the world, we have been able to advance urgent global priorities, such as our Climate Grand Challenge. The CGC flagship projects are going to make a profound contribution by accelerating the response to the existing challenges of climate change.
And we’ve found a way to turn epidemic restrictions to our advantage: we quickly realized that having fewer people at MIT would make it easier to revitalize our physical campus with minimal disruption. We have transformed Kendall Square into an open space and a brand new reception center. We set out to revitalize the West Campus with a new home for Vassar and the Theater Arts. And we’ve created a new music building that will further invigorate the heart of campus with new energy and creativity.
We’ve also made a central priority that is less realistic, but just as vital: MIT is a more humane, welcoming community where we can each improve. A thoughtful, dedicated value statement committee has drafted a statement that celebrates our enduring values and inspires us to elevate our sights. Meanwhile, Penny Chisholm, a professor at the institute, and Phil Clay, a former chancellor at PhD ’75, are leading a working group at MIT to understand the division of free speech.
All this work is very important. But I must admit that we are very much looking forward to a specific plan: to bring everyone together this spring to bid farewell to our new graduates and to celebrate the reunion. In addition to this year’s undergraduate and reunion classes, we will recognize the last two 25th and 50th reunion classes. And Classes of 2020 and 2021.
I can’t wait to see you all at MIT, personally.