Investing in the future of MIT

March 17, 2022

To the members of the MIT community,

Last October, President Reif shared news of the exceptional performance of MIT’s endowment, and announced that MIT would be drawing on newly available resources immediately to invest in strategic priorities. We write today to update you on how we plan to advance these priorities in budget year 2023, which begins in July.

Broadly speaking, we have identified a series of priority investments to help MIT attract and retain talent, support cutting-edge research, and maintain our competitiveness. These priorities have been guided by wide-ranging sources of input and feedback from community members. These include budget meetings with units, discussions with the extended leadership of MIT’s schools and college, the Report of Task Force 2021 and Beyond, Visiting Committee reports, and the work of other Institute task forces and committees.

You can read more in the MIT News story.

Some of the investments are embedded in the budget allocations for academic and administrative units for the forthcoming fiscal year, which were recently released. These will help move the Institute forward in a range of ways by providing support for:

  • teaching assistantships;
  • 12-month funding for base-budget funded PhD programs for the entire time to degree;
  • upgrades to classroom technology;
  • competitive start-up packages to attract new faculty;
  • administrative staffing to meet local needs;
  • diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programming; and
  • other initiatives that are critical to our success.
     

Other investments cut across MIT, addressing core needs of the Institute that support all of our work. We started in December by providing a special 3% increase for eligible campus-based employees, graduate students, and postdocs.

In the coming months, we will begin implementing other initiatives to strengthen our research enterprise, enhance our physical and digital infrastructure, invest in our community, and foster innovation. These include:

  • enhancements to undergraduate financial aid that will make MIT tuition-free for families with typical assets and incomes below $140,000 (previously set at $90,000);
  • additional support for childcare for eligible parents (design of this program is being assessed, with a goal of a January 2023 effective date);
  • increased central funding for graduate student support: the central budget will take on a larger share of research assistant tuition and absorb the tuition shortfall for active National Science Foundation (NSF) fellows;
  • more robust central budget support for indirect-cost under-recovery to reduce financial burdens on departments, labs, centers, and institutes, and advance us toward a comprehensive solution to this issue;
  • start-up funding to accelerate MIT’s Climate Grand Challenges in discovering and scaling scientific breakthroughs to address climate change; and
  • funding to increase research computing power and begin to modernize administrative and student systems.
     

These fiscal year 2023 investments are important steps in tackling long-standing Institute needs. We have scaled our investments mindful that the endowment has previously experienced losses following years with significant returns. A careful and phased approach to allocating new funds from the endowment will help us avoid having to reverse course in volatile markets, and ideally position us to be able to augment our fiscal year 2023 investments in subsequent years.

We deeply appreciate the thoughtful leadership of Martin Schmidt in his work as provost throughout this budget process. His efforts on behalf of the Institute have been critical to identifying strategic priorities now and into the future.

We look forward to continuing our work with you in the coming fiscal year to ensure a healthy future for MIT.

Sincerely,

Cynthia Barnhart
Provost

Glen Shor
Executive Vice President and Treasurer