Seeking candidates: Vice Provost for Open Learning

January 18, 2024
Cynthia Barnhart, Provost |

Dear colleagues,

I write to let you know that I am launching an internal search for a vice provost for open learning (VPOL) to succeed Eric Grimson, who is serving as interim vice president for open learning. Eric will serve in his interim role until a successor is identified.

President Kornbluth and I are deeply grateful to Eric for the contributions he made to Open Learning over the course of nearly two years at its helm. Among his many accomplishments, he recruited and appointed talented faculty to Open Learning leadership roles, expanded outreach to and partnerships with the schools and the college, developed new platforms to share MIT’s learning with the world, and advanced research examining AI’s impact on education. Eric will continue to serve the Institute as chancellor for academic advancement.

Launching a search

As a key member of my leadership team and a member of Academic Council, the VPOL will set a strategic vision for transforming teaching and learning on and off MIT’s campus. Working closely with faculty, staff, and students, the VPOL will further our understanding of teaching and learning; innovate, study, and scale digital technologies on the MIT campus and worldwide; and share learning research globally. In short, the VPOL is charged with “learning about learning, changing how we teach at MIT, and educating the world.”

President Kornbluth and I are deeply committed to Open Learning. By moving the organization under the umbrella of the Institute’s chief academic officer, we believe we can create even stronger ties between Open Learning’s work and the work happening in the schools and the college to advance MIT's educational mission.

Next steps on the search and proposing candidates

I am assembling a search advisory group with faculty members from the schools and the college to assist me in assessing candidate qualifications. I am grateful that Duane Boning, the Clarence J. LeBel Professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, has agreed to chair this group.

If you’d like to be considered for the position, please write to to submit your CV and a statement of interest. You can also use this address to nominate a colleague for the role or share your thoughts about the search. Your submissions will be treated as confidential.

With your help, I look forward to selecting an exceptional leader who will partner with all of us to shape the future of teaching and learning.


Cynthia Barnhart