Letters to MIT Community

“Resolutely reaching toward the unknown is prologue to every important practical advance; it is also among the supreme expressions of the human spirit and the driving impulse behind all our work at MIT.”        - Susan Hockfield

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February 16, 2012
I write to share with you my decision to step down from the presidency of MIT. Over the past seven years, working together we have accomplished far more than I set out to do. The Institute is now moving forward on a new set of ambitious goals, and I have concluded that the powerful momentum we have built makes this an opportune moment for a leadership transition.
September 28, 2011
Despite the ambient sense of uncertainty around the globe, a very different spirit animates the MIT campus. I felt that spirit at Gray House at the start of the semester, when we hosted the dynamic thinkers and doers new to our faculty this year.
May 26, 2011
Over the course of the spring semester, we have celebrated MIT's 150th anniversary with a remarkable cascade of symposia, performances, exhibitions and landmark events.
March 13, 2011
The catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in Japan stand as shocking reminders of the unpredictable force of nature and the fragility of the structures on which our societies rely.
February 10, 2011
It gives me great pleasure to announce the appointment of Professor Eric Grimson to serve as the next Chancellor of MIT, effective March 1, 2011.
December 07, 2010
In January we will begin our celebration of MIT's 150th anniversary. We approach this milestone at a time of great flux, and in this transformative moment some compelling events in the Institute's history suggest an important role for MIT today.
April 14, 2010
To the members of the MIT community: I write to provide an update on MIT's financial condition. After 18 months of extraordinary upheavals in the global economy, I'm often asked, "How is MIT doing financially?" While normally we report on Institute finances only at the end of the fiscal year, in these unusual times I want to update you a few months in advance.
February 16, 2010
Last month's devastating Haitian earthquake delivered a terrible personal blow to those in the MIT community with family, friends or roots in Haiti, and we extend to them our deepest sympathy and concern.
January 14, 2010
To advance the frontiers of knowledge and innovation, to take on the world’s great challenges, and to educate our remarkable students, MIT must attract and cultivate the finest talent.
December 15, 2009
With the death last Saturday of Howard Johnson, MIT's president from 1966 to 1971, the Institute has lost an extraordinary leader, and a devoted advisor and friend. Howard Johnson's presidency coincided with a period of unprecedented upheaval on college campuses across the country.
October 01, 2009
We are delighted to announce the release of two reports, by faculty from MIT's five schools, that will help frame MIT's international engagement strategy for the coming decades.
September 16, 2009
The arrival of almost 3,000 new students and 50 new faculty brings a wonderful sense of renewal, accentuating the past year's many successes, from the Institute's growing research funding – up nearly 8% in the past year – to MIT's increasing role in the national debate on such critical issues as U.S. energy strategy.
May 28, 2009
With Commencement and Reunions soon upon us, we celebrate the successes of this academic year and prepare for the challenges ahead.
February 27, 2009
On behalf of the Committee on Race & Diversity and the Institute Administration, we write to address the unfortunate and mean-spirited vandalism to the recent Martin Luther King, Jr. display in Lobby 10, where multiple figures from the display were stolen or damaged.
February 19, 2009
We begin the spring semester knowing that challenging work and hard decisions lie ahead, as we determine how to strengthen our education and research mission with diminished resources.
November 17, 2008
Ambitious forward motion is MIT's signature; we celebrate initiative, innovation, relentless improvement and creative change. Yet as the world’s financial markets continue to decline, they forecast a global reduction in resources.
October 15, 2008
As I write my customary autumn letter, the hopeful, bustling start of the new semester stands in sharp contrast to the ongoing turmoil in the world's financial markets. I am convinced, however, that the wisest thing we can do, individually and as a community, is to keep our focus on the extremely important work at hand.
February 29, 2008
With this semester's letter, I want to try something a bit different from my previous messages. Instead of offering a round-up of recent campus news, I want to share my thinking on a very important national conversation currently gathering steam: the complex debate around tuition, financial aid, endowments and the cost of higher education.
October 25, 2007
Shortly after finalizing the following letter, I received the shocking news, which has now been publicly reported, of the attack on one of our students in Next House earlier this week. Our support teams for students responded promptly and have remained deeply engaged.
April 17, 2007
Yesterday's tragic events at Virginia Tech have shocked and saddened all of us. We offer MIT's condolences to the students, faculty, and staff of Virginia Tech and to their families.
March 12, 2007
This spring semester follows a stunning array of IAP activities, which, in true MIT style, engaged the whole community. As the semester gets underway, we have many successes to celebrate, but also some serious issues to address.
February 02, 2007
This past Monday, the Provost announced to the faculty our plans to undertake a comprehensive, rigorous, and systematic study of the impact of race on the hiring, advancement, and experience of minority faculty at the Institute.
November 02, 2006
As many of you know, a failed faculty recruitment late last spring precipitated substantial discussion within MIT and, through press reports, outside the Institute community. In any new undertaking, such as our dynamic activities in neuroscience, we must continually take stock of our successes and failures and design new approaches to optimize our progress.
October 13, 2006
The report of the Task Force on the Undergraduate Educational Commons lays out the core course of study that MIT should require for an educated person in the 21st century.
September 07, 2006
To new faculty, students, and staff, welcome! And to returning members of the community, welcome back. While we can hope for a few more glorious weekends of late-summer weather over the next month and a half, we've already felt that fall snap in the air, and our academic year has begun in earnest.