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Massachusetts Institute of Technology, School of Engineering, Office of the Dean records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: AC-0012

Scope and Contents of the Collection

This collection consists of the records of the Office of the Dean of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, School of Engineering. Records received between 1967 and 1972, boxes 1-30, 1943-1972, contain correspondence, memoranda, and reports from the departments and laboratories that reported to the dean about the administration of their units, and correspondence with other faculty and administrators at the Institute. Fund raising and research efforts are documented in correspondence with General Electric, General Motors, the National Science Foundation, and the Sloan Basic Research Fund, and about MIT's fund raising campaign, the Second Century Fund. There is information about several research efforts, including Project Charles, Project Intrex, Project MAC, and Project TIP. Ties to professional organizations are documented in correspondence with such organizations as the American Society for Engineering Education, and the American Society for Testing Materials. Also included are the dean's chronological correspondence file, 1960 1968, and personnel files of faculty and staff. Records received in 1979, box 31, 1964 1968, contain proposals and other information about the Computer Center and the Harvard University Computing Center Visiting Committee; agreements with IBM; and information about Management Information Systems, the Biomedical Engineering Committee, 1964 1965, and the Cambridge Task Force on Transportation, 1968. Records received in 1981, boxes 32-39, 1958-1975, consist of records of the school's self appraisal project, 1974 1975, and publications, correspondence, and budget information about a grant from the Ford Foundation to strengthen engineering education. Records received in 1985, boxes 40-51, 1959-1980, contain correspondence between the dean, the associate dean, and department heads on affirmative action and MIT's policy on faculty consulting; records on curriculum, budget, the department's visiting committee, and long range planning; department faculty meeting minutes and newsletters; and faculty and staff personnel files. Additional records received in 1985, boxes 52 64, 1965 1981, include Engineering Council agendas, minutes, and correspondence, 1965 1976; information about curriculum development; faculty and student research projects; department laboratories; fund raising; and correspondence with other American and foreign universities. Records also received in 1985, boxes 65-75, 1955-1989, include Engineering Council minutes, 1965 1970; reports and administrative information about department laboratories including the Joint Center for Urban Studies, Materials Center, and the Center for Space Research; MIT committees, including the Commission on the Nature of MIT Education; budgets, fund raising, and other financial records, and general correspondence and information about relations with government organizations and industry, including NASA, the National Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and Draper Laboratory. Records received in 1986, box 76, 1974 1985, include correspondence, memoranda, and reports relating to the Lilly Teaching Fellowships and General Electric/Ford Foundation Forgivable Loans. Included is correspondence between the office and individual students about their loans. Records received in 1987, boxes 77 80, 1964 1981, contain administrative records about the Center for Advanced Engineering Study, including information on programs and events, budgets, and committee meetings. Also included is information about curriculum and programs from the Center for Policy Alternatives, working papers from the Committee on Engineering Education, and other materials on curriculum and research programs at the School of Engineering. Records received in 1988, boxes 81-83, 1955-1986, contain correspondence, memoranda, and reports about changes in the school's organization and participation in the Management of Technology Program. Also included are correspondence and reports on the operations, policies, and equipment used at the Center for Materials Science and Engineering. Records also received in 1988, boxes 84-90, 1970-1982, consist of correspondence and reports about the organization, funding, and academic review of the centers, departments, and laboratories in the school; faculty promotion and tenure files, and correspondence and background reports of search committees and the visiting committee. Records received in 1989, boxes 91-92, 1956-1968, contain administrative files on issues including salaries of research and teaching assistants, curriculum changes, and the visiting committee of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Records received in 1991, boxes 93-95, 1981-1989, contain statistical information about engineering education at MIT, correspondence between the school and the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), including Associate Dean Herbert H. Richardson's correspondence, 1982 1984, and ABET questionnaires completed by MIT departments. Also included are the school's reports to the departmental visiting committees and related correspondence, 1982-1988, and correspondence, reports, and casebooks pertaining to the campaign fund raising activities of the School of Engineering from 1982 1989 discussing priorities, strategies, and donors. Records received in 1995, boxes 96-135, are not described. Records received in 1999, boxes 136-143, contain chronological correspondence of deans of School of Engineering, 1969-1996, and Engineering Council Notes, 1976-1986. Records received in 1999, boxes 144-145, are not described. Records recieved in 2019, boxes 173-174, contain the chronological files of Assistant Dean Donna Savicki, 1983-1993, strategic planning documents, 1999-2005, Engineering Council retreat files, 1996-1999, and School of Engineering brochures, circa 1980s to 1990s.


  • Creation: 1943 - 2017


Access note

This collection must be reviewed to identify any restricted material before access can be granted. Please submit your requests at least ten business days before your desired visit to allow time for this review. An archivist will respond within five business days to let you know whether your requested material is open. For complete information on this policy, see our Statement on Accessing Institute Records.

Conditions Governing Use

Access to collections in the Department of Distinctive Collections is not authorization to publish. Please see the MIT Libraries Permissions Policy for permission information. Copyright of some items in this collection may be held by respective creators, not by the donor of the collection or MIT.

Historical note

The School of Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was established in 1932 as part of the reorganization of the Institute recommended by President Karl Taylor Compton. As the largest of MIT's three schools and two divisions at that time, the School of Engineering brought together the Department of Building Engineering and Construction (which became part of the Department of Civil and Sanitary Engineering in 1934); the Department of Business Engineering and Administration (which in 1950 separated from the school to become the School of Industrial Management); the Department of Chemical Engineering; the Department of Civil and Sanitary Engineering (which in 1961 became the Department of Civil Engineering and in 1992 changed its name to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering); the Department of Electrical Engineering (which in 1975 became the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science); the Department of Mechanical Engineering; the Department of Mining and Metallurgy (which split in 1936 into two departments: Mining Engineering, which was discontinued in 1940, and Metallurgy, which became the Department of Metallurgy and Materials Science in 1967, and then the Department of Materials Science and Engineering in 1974); the Department of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering (which became the Department of Ocean Engineering in 1971); the Department of General Sciences and Engineering (which was discontinued in 1957); and the Department of Nuclear Engineering (which was established in 1958 and in 2004 changed its name to the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering). The School of Engineering added the Department of Aeronautics in 1939 (it became the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1959) and two interdisciplinary divisions: Bioengineering and Environmental Health and the Engineering Systems Division in 1998. The latter division was renamed Biological Engineering in 2002 and became a department in 2007.

On July 1, 2012, the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science was launched, with Arup K. Chakraborty as director. IMES is based administratively in the School of Engineering, but includes participation from across MIT. The Institute for Data, Systems, and Society was officially established on July 1, 2015, with Munther Dahleh as its first director. IDSS is also based in the School of Engineering, but spans all five MIT schools and offers a range of cross-disciplinary academic programs.). Information about these departments may be found in records under their individual names.

The deans of the School of Engineering were Vannevar Bush, 1932-1938; Edward Leyburn Moreland, 1938-1946; Thomas Kilgore Sherwood, 1946-1952; Edward Lull Cochrane, 1952-1954; Carl Richard Soderberg, 1954-1959; Gordon Stanley Brown, 1959-1968; Raymond Lewis Bisplinghoff, 1968-1971; Alfred H. Keil, 1971-1977; James D. Bruce, acting dean, 1977-1978; Robert C. Seamans, 1978-1981; Gerald D. Wilson, 1981-1991; Joel Moses, 1991-1995; John Vander Sande, acting dean, 1995-1996; Robert A. Brown, 1996-1999; Thomas L. Magnanti, 1999-2007; Subra Suresh, 2007-2010; Cynthia Barnhart, acting dean, 2010 September-2011 February; Ian A. Waitz, 2011-2017; Anantha P. Chandrakasan, 2017-.


175.5 Cubic Feet (171 record cartons, 13 manuscript boxes, 1 half manuscript box, one oversize folder )

Language of Materials



Collection materials are arranged alphabetically. Alphabetical arrangement restarts periodically due to additional record accruals.


Materials are stored off-site. Advance notice is required for use.

Processing Information note

Some collection descriptions are based on legacy data and may be incomplete or contain inaccuracies. Description may change pending verification. Please contact the MIT Department of Distinctive Collections if you notice any errors or discrepancies.

Materials transferred in August 2019 have been kept together in boxes 175 - 186.

Preliminary Inventory to the Records of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Engineering Office of the Dean
Ready For Review
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2020 February 13: Updated component list and extent

Repository Details

Part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Libraries. Department of Distinctive Collections Repository

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries
Building 14N-118
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