Task Force 2021 and Beyond

July 13, 2020
Sanjay Sarma, Vice President for Open Learning, 2016–2022 | Chair of the Faculty, 2019–2021 |

To the members of the MIT community:

In May, President Reif asked us to co-chair Task Force 2021 and Beyond, which is charged with developing “the blueprints for building a better MIT” in the post–Covid-19 world.

Covid-19 has forced changes in how we all live, work, and learn – and there may be no full return to our old “normal.” This task force will seek to use the lessons of this extraordinary time to explore how we might invent a robust new future: What has this experience taught us about what we value most in the MIT experience? What worked better than expected? And where might we now have the opportunity to make beneficial changes in how we operate at MIT?

We have structured the task force along four major workstreams:

  • Academic Workstream, co-chaired by Anantha Chandrakasan and Melissa Nobles
  • Administrative Workstream, co-chaired by Joe Higgins and Krystyn Van Vliet
  • Finance and Data Workstream, co-chaired by Glenn Ellison and Danielle Khoury
  • Community and Culture Workstream, co-chaired by John Dozier and Tim Jamison

The task force members include some 150 faculty, staff, and students from across the Institute. Further details on the task force’s structure can be found on its website. You can also read more about the task force on MIT News.

The task force’s work will occur in two major phases: In the summer and early fall, we will develop a prioritized list of potential post–Covid-19 impacts on MIT as well as opportunities for the Institute. Then, in the late fall and early winter, we will refine recommendations and develop an implementation plan. We expect to submit our final report to President Reif in early 2021.

Input from across the MIT community is critical. Please submit ideas and suggestions via the task force idea bank. Additionally, we will host a virtual community forum for faculty, students, and staff on Thursday, July 23, from 3 to 4 p.m. EDT. More information on the forum will follow. Finally, we will continue to reach out beyond campus to tap into the knowledge and good thinking of our alumni and friends. An Alumni Advisory Committee has been formed to help provide that perspective.

The task force’s work has now begun in earnest. We wish to express our appreciation to all members of the task force for their efforts on this important activity. We are certain that the guidance we receive through broad community participation, and the task force recommendations it informs, will help shape the future of the Institute.


Rick Danheiser
Sanjay Sarma
Co-chairs, MIT Task Force 2021 and Beyond