Ian Waitz to step down as Dean of Engineering

February 14, 2017

To the members of the MIT community:

I am writing to share the news that Ian A. Waitz will step down as Dean of the School of Engineering on June 30, 2017. Ian, who holds the Jerome C. Hunsaker Professorship, has served as dean since 2011, has been a member of the MIT faculty since 1991, and was the prior department head in Aeronautics and Astronautics.

As the leader of MIT's largest school, Ian has compiled a strong record of accomplishments focused on innovative approaches to excellence in engineering education and research. With an emphasis on openness, collegiality, and a data-driven management style, he also has strengthened the school's capacities in faculty and student recruitment and retention, support for teaching and research, resource development and alumni engagement, and communications. His collaborative vision has both bolstered local departments and encouraged the school and the Institute to reach beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries to expand the ways that engineering can address our most challenging problems.

Just a few examples of initiatives established in the School of Engineering under Ian's leadership include the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES), which pursues research and education in engineering, science, and clinical medicine to advance human health; the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS), focused on complex societal challenges at the intersection of statistics, data science, information and decision systems, and social science; and the MIT Sandbox Innovation Fund Program, which provides funding and mentoring for student-initiated projects that emphasize "innovation through doing."

Ian has also contributed more broadly to MIT's governance as a member of the Academic Council and the Deans' Group, and I personally have benefited greatly from his advice and insight regarding the Institute's mission.

I am in the process of appointing a faculty committee to be charged with advising me on the selection of the next Dean of Engineering. In the meantime, I welcome your suggestions and ideas regarding the qualities we should seek in the next dean as well as potential candidates. You may provide input, which will be kept in confidence, by emailing engineering-search@mit.edu.

Please join me in expressing the greatest appreciation to Ian for his outstanding service to the School of Engineering and to MIT, and in wishing him the very best as he pursues this transition.

Best regards,

Martin A. Schmidt