Establishment of International Advisory Committee

May 25, 2007

Dear Faculty Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce the establishment of the International Advisory Committee (IAC), which will work with members of the faculty and administration to develop institutional strategies and policies that will assess and support MIT’s burgeoning international activities and help to ensure that they continue to advance our core missions of teaching, research, and service.

If we are to remain a leader in education and research in a globalizing world, we must maintain a pipeline to the world’s best students, wherever they may reside. We must increase opportunities for our students to have diverse international educational experiences. We must engage actively in the world’s most exciting research fields, wherever they may be found. And, at the same time, we must engage effectively with the growing number of our alumni and friends outside the United States. It is increasingly clear that to accomplish all of this will require a more clearly articulated international strategy.

Such a strategy will need to identify in which regions and countries and on which educational and research areas MIT should focus its efforts and resources in the coming decades. While an international strategy should enhance MIT’s core mission and protect the MIT brand, it should not unduly constrain the faculty entrepreneurship that has been at the heart of MIT’s excellence and innovation.

I am charging the IAC with (1) contributing to the design of an MIT-wide international strategy or set of strategies that will target countries and regions (e.g., India, China, Africa, Latin America) and cross-cutting topics and themes (e.g., technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship; energy and the environment; health and disease; and poverty) on which MIT expects to concentrate its international efforts, and (2) advising the President and Provost on how best to ensure that all significant international initiatives and partnerships proposed by the MIT faculty or the senior administration serve MIT’s core mission.

The committee will report regularly to the President and Provost and the Faculty Policy Committee, and from time to time, to the MIT Faculty on its progress in the design of an international strategy and on its advisory role.

The co-chairs of the Institute-wide IAC will be Professors Claude R. Canizares, Vice President for Research and Associate Provost, and Philip S. Khoury, Associate Provost. Joining them on the committee will be Professors Suzanne Berger (SHASS), Diane E. Davis (Architecture and Planning), Steven D. Eppinger (MIT Sloan), Daniel Roos (Engineering), Robert J. Silbey (Science), George C. Verghese (Engineering), and Victor W. Zue (Engineering). A number of academic and administrative leaders will serve on the committee ex officio: Chancellor Phillip L. Clay, Dean for Undergraduate Education Daniel E. Hastings, Vice President for Resource Development Jeffrey L. Newton, and incoming Chair of the Faculty Bish Sanyal.

I expect the IAC to consult widely in the MIT community and among our peer institutions as it addresses its charge, and I thank the IAC members for their willingness to undertake this new, complex assignment.

Sincerely,
L. Rafael Reif