“We want to give our students the best educational experience on the planet.” —Ian A. Waitz
The charge given to the Office of the Vice Chancellor (OVC) by the Office of the Chancellor is:
- Engaging with students and departments to develop and pursue a roadmap for enhancing the first year student academic experience;
- Partnering with community members to make improvements for our students in areas such as advising, professional development, diversity and inclusion, and well-being;
- Implementing the residential education innovations called for in the Institute-wide Task Force on the Future of MIT Education; and
- Working with the staff from undergraduate and graduate education to conduct an organizational review that positions the two offices to support the above efforts, as well as optimize services for our students and faculty.
- Enhance the undergraduate experience
- Serve our graduate students
- Promote diversity, inclusion & well-being
- Broaden advising, career services & prof development
- Strengthen academic infrastructure
- Live our mission and values
- Learning is central: The Teaching and Learning Lab plays a central role in OVC. Their evidence-based approach, in terms of using the latest literature in the field on teaching and student learning and tying that to assessing and evaluating outcomes, is the way we pursue our priorities.
- Cross-functional teams are core: Dashed lines can more effective, flexible, and empowering than reorganizing boxes. We also strive to provide a diversity of perspectives wherever possible from staff as part of these teams. In addition, creating more cross-functional teams enhances professional development for our staff. These cross-functional teams include participants from not only the OVC, but from across MIT, as well.
- Building on our strengths is critical: During the reorganiztion, the vice chancellor observed that the OVC staff is executing many core programs and services with excellence. We don’t want to disrupt what is going well in terms of delivering important services to our students. We do expect that some people’s roles may change over time—in most instances, we hope, in ways that are energizing. There will be opportunities for staff to work together in different ways, which we hope they’ll find engaging.
- Balancing priorities, remaining focused is crucial: Given the ambitious charge, set of priorities, and the reality that OVC will remain relatively the same size in terms of resources, success will rely upon finding the right balance and leveraging what we already do well. Practically, this means focusing on crucial day-to-day activities (and optimizing where possible); combining / working together where we can; and in some cases, spinning non-core, less impactful elements down (and by that we mean, not people, but activities).