News Briefs

Tuition Announcement Will Come Sooner Than Usual

The Institute will announce its 2008–9 tuition and financial aid budget sooner than usual, said Secretary of the Corporation Kirk D. Kolenbrander after the Friday, Dec. 5 MIT Corporation meeting. The tuition announcement is usually made in March.

At its meeting, the Corporation also discussed tuition and financial aid along with the provost’s first report on diversity, intended to be an annual report similar to that presented to the faculty each year. But the majority of the time at the meeting, which keeps private minutes, was spent discussing the coming budget cuts, Kolenbrander said.

MIT plans to cut spending from its general funds by five percent in 2008–9 and 10–15 percent within three years. The MIT community will have some voice in how those cuts are carried out, in a process to be announced in a letter from Provost L. Rafael Reif and Executive Vice President Theresa M. Stone SM ’76, Kolenbrander said.

“Everything is on the table,” Kolenbrander said, including layoffs.

Cost-cutting may affect experimentation in teaching by limiting subjects with high per-capita costs, Kolenbrander said. Many new, experimental subjects like the “Elements of Design” class in new General Institute Requirements proposal might fall into this category.

Despite the recession, donations are still “solid so far,” Kolenbrander said.

Donations for the Campaign for Students fundraiser, which hopes to raise $500 million by 2011 and claimed $277 million in October 2008, are “right on track,” he said.

The student activist group also calling itself the Campaign for Students distributed flyers to Corporation members at Friday’s meeting; a similar version of their flyer is available as a guest column on page four of today’s issue. Students talked to Corporation members in the morning and met with Institute student life administrators in the afternoon, said group member Christopher J. Varenhost ’09.

—Michael McGraw-Herdeg

MIT AV Seeks to Stop Off-Hours Lecture Hall Broadcasts

MIT Audio Visual staff have implemented “a technical protocol” to prevent broadcasts like the Nov. 24 late-night showing of a couple chatting in the back of 10-250 on channel 11.

The broadcast was a “technical oversight,” MIT AV manager Louis W. Graham Jr. said in an e-mail.

Lectures and speeches from 10-250, and other rooms, have been regularly broadcast live on channel 11 for the past semester. Before the protocol change, the video cable connecting the 10-250 video signal to MIT Cable was left plugged in, and sometimes broadcasts stayed on after lectures ended.

Now, Graham wrote, “The video switching equipment will be powered down at the conclusion of classes and events which require the recording or streaming services. In addition, the video patch cable will be disconnected from the signal path at the conclusion of each event.”

During the Nov. 24 broadcast, which had no sound, a couple was clearly visible at the back of the room; they talked for about ten minutes until a Tech photographer entered and told them they were on TV.

MIT AV expects “there will be no repeat of the inadvertent broadcast of video signals from 10-250 in the future,” Graham wrote.

—Michael McGraw-Herdeg

New Panhel Exec to Take Office

The MIT Panhellenic Association, the governing council for the six sororities on campus, chose their new executive council on October 19. The new council will take office this Thursday.

The new president, Minh Huynh-Le ’10, said she hopes to better unite all the women on campus through leadership initiatives.

The new board will also work to support the new sorority, Pi Beta Phi, during its first year on campus.

“One of our goals is to incorporate Pi Beta Phi into recruitment since next year is their first year in full fall formal recruitment.” said Huynh-Le. “We hope to have a smooth integration.”

Pi Beta Phi, which currently has 41 members is also in search of a chapter house.

Huynh-Le said that Panhel wants to continue to “reach out to all women on campus” in its leadership programs, which traditionally include Women’s Week and What Women Want, a program whose goal is “to facilitate the close collaboration amongst women on campus, successful female student leaders, MIT faculty and administrators, and inspirational speakers,” according to its website ( Huynh-Le said she thought What Women Want is particularly important because it allows women to address issues that are important to female students on campus.

Huynh-Le said, “I want to build upon the successes of last year so that we can have a larger impact this year.” Panhel has met with Dean of Student Life Chris Colombo to discuss ways of accomplishing this goal.

Huynh-Le also wants improve Panhel’s philanthropic efforts. She said she hopes that Panhel can take advantage of its new partnership with the Public Service Center in accomplishing this goal.

Omar Abudayyeh

New Panhel Executive Council
President Minh Huynh-Le ’10
Executive VP Debbie M. Yee ’11
VP of Recruitment Marta D. Milan ’10
VP of Recruitment Programming Jennifer E. Toyzer ’10
VP of Programming Sarika Chandiramani ’10
VP of Public Relations Arti V. Virkud ’11
VP of Finance and Records Veronica E. Wilson ’11