Christine Ortiz to Step Down as Dean for Graduate Education

January 27, 2016

To the members of the MIT community:
I write to share the news that Dean for Graduate Education Christine Ortiz will depart from her post at the end of the current academic year. Christine plans to take a one-year leave from the Institute.
Christine has served MIT graduate students and our larger community with distinction for the past 6 years. An enthusiastic and strategic champion for innovations in graduate programming, student success, academic excellence and diversity and inclusion, Christine has helped build a graduate student community renowned for its talent, curiosity, and commitment to making the world a better place.
As Dean for Graduate Education, Christine has led the Office of Dean for Graduate Education (ODGE), which includes the ODGE Headquarters, International Students Office, and Graduate Student Council (GSC) staff, and she worked collaboratively across MIT's schools, academic departments, and administrative offices. During her tenure, she catalyzed diversity and inclusion efforts as well as holistic supports for graduate students both inside and outside of MIT's labs and classrooms.
Christine advanced graduate student professional development, global education opportunities, and support for a centralized, electronic graduate admissions platform. She championed increases in funding for fellowships and recruitment and retention programs, helping to increase MIT's underrepresented minority graduate student population by 30% since 2010. And Ortiz supported the expansion of the Resources for Easing Friction and Stress (REFS) program to include all graduate students and partnered with the GSC and Work-Life Center to develop childcare services for graduate student families.
In the coming weeks, I will be consulting broadly with our community about this transition and future opportunities for ODGE. If you have insights about the office or role, please email me at
Please join me in thanking Christine for her many contributions to MIT, and wishing her well as she begins this next chapter in her professional life.
Cynthia Barnhart