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Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Committee on Educational Survey records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: AC-0124

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The collection consists of the files maintained by Lynwood Bryant, aide to the committee, and contains numerous drafts and revisions of the final report, both typed and handwritten. It also contains correspondence and memoranda that document interactions between the members of the committee on planning, researching, and writing the final report. The final version of the report, titled "Report of the Committee on Educational Survey," focuses on five areas: the development of an educational philosophy, strengthening the undergraduate program, MIT's broader educational mission, the place of sponsored research at MIT, and the organization of faculty for greater unity and effectiveness.

The collection also contains drafts of two supplemental reports from the Committee on General Education and the Committee on Staff Environment. There is some background material committee members read in preparation for writing their reports.

In a second accession of materials, the collection also includes a complete set of twelve bound volumes of the minutes and proceedings of the Committee on Educational Survey (January 1947 - January 1950) and an index to the volumes. Among the volumes are various drafts of the chapters of the final report and statistics and source material, as well as the proceedings of the two subcommittees: the Auxiliary Committee on Staff Environment and the Auxiliary Committee on General Education.

These volumes are believed to be an official set belonging to the secretary of the committee, John R. Loofborouw.


  • Creation: 1930 - 1950


Access note

This collection is open.

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 Committee on Educational Survey, also known as the Lewis Committee, was appointed in January 1947 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Faculty to review the Institute's educational policies and procedures.

"The committee was instructed to reexamine the principles of education that had served as a guide to academic policy at MIT for almost ninety years, and to determine whether they were applicable to the conditions of a new era emerging from social upheaval and the disasters of war. The committee examined the educational mission and philosophy, the undergraduate professional education, sponsored research and the organization of the faculty. Among the main recommendations was that MIT should emphasize four general areas of education and research and that each area should be organized as a separate school with its own dean. The four areas were: engineering, science, architecture and planning, and humanities and social sciences. Allied to the work of the main committee were two additional groups: the Committee on General Education, which examined how to provide undergraduates with broad and more effective cultural training and recommended a general strengthening of the curriculum and required subjects in the humanities and social sciences; and the Committee on Staff Environment, which looked at how to provide the Institute with an improved environment for effective teaching and creative research."

In November 1949 and in subsequent years, many recommendations were implemented by the Institute, including the reorganization of the faculty committee structure to provide better planning and supervision of the undergraduate program, and the approval of a revised and expanded program of general education. The committee consisted of Professors Warren K. Lewis, chair; John R. Loofbourow, secretary; Ronald H. Robnett; C. Richard Soderberg; and Julius A. Stratton.

The Committee on General Education was chaired by Thomas K. Sherwood and the Committee on Staff Environment was chaired by W. Rupert Maclaurin.


2.6 Cubic Feet (1 record carton, 5 manuscript boxes)

Language of Materials



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

Related materials

Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Committee on Educational Survey. Report to the Faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Cambridge: Technology Press, 1949. MIT Libraries: T171.M42k.C72

Also available online: Report of the Committee on Educational Survey (PDF)

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.

Guide to the Records of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Committee on Educational Survey, 1930-1950
Hauke Kite-Powell and Judith Janec
Copyright 1984; 2001
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

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

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