MIT Global Council

September 09, 2008

To the MIT Faculty,

For several years, the Institute has amplified its global education and research activities.  President Hockfield and I believe that MIT must increase the opportunities for our students to engage effectively in the global economy and marketplace of ideas, and for our faculty to expand their international impact.  To encourage and facilitate these directions, we have begun to establish an infrastructure that supports our international efforts. 

As part of this effort, President Hockfield and I have asked Professor Richard J. Samuels, Ford International Professor of Political Science, and Professor Dick K. P. Yue, Philip J. Solondz Professor of Engineering, to co-chair an “MIT Global Council” (MITGC) charged with planning and, subsequently, implementing initiatives to more fully incorporate international perspectives and engagement in MIT’s education and research. In addition to Professors Samuels and Yue, the following faculty members have agreed to serve in the Council:

Arundhati Banerjee
Suzanne Berger
Charles L. Cooney
Isabelle de Courtivron
Michael A. Cusumano
Diane E. Davis
Deborah K. Fitzgerald
Daniel E. Hastings
Philip S. Khoury
Richard M. Locke
Christine Ortiz
Bish Sanyal
Robert J. Silbey
Charles G. Sodini
Lawrence Vale
Kai von Fintel


The work of this Council will build upon and coordinate closely with the many international activities already underway, including:


  1. The International Advisory Committee (IAC), co-chaired by Associate Provost Philip Khoury and Vice President for Research and Associate Provost Claude Canizares. The IAC has two principal roles:  to advise President Hockfield and me on proposals for major institutional partnerships between MIT and countries and institutions abroad, and to chart MIT's global institutional strategies for the next five to ten years. 
  2. The Global Education Office, established by Dean for Undergraduate Education Daniel Hastings, which serves as a clearinghouse to help coordinate our undergraduate international education efforts by collecting information for students interested in international experiences.
  3. Programs for sending students abroad organized by all five Schools.  (SHASS's MISTI is the largest and most wide reaching of our international education programs.)
  4. The Global MIT website, now managed by Associate Provost Philip Khoury's office.

The Global Council is charged with examining and assessing existing efforts in international education, and with developing a long-range plan for the creation of a robust and ambitious, globally-active undergraduate educational program, and for a global educational and research program that will be distinctive and game-changing. The Council will produce a report that lays out an action plan to achieve these ambitious goals within a year.

We are confident that the Council will create a leading edge strategy that will be a model for global education and applied international studies across the country.  We thank Professors Samuels and Yue, and all the faculty members of the Global Council, for their willingness to serve in this important activity.

L. Rafael Reif