News Briefs

No Nightime Service at Medical

MIT Medical’s nighttime urgent care service will be closed over the summer, along with Medical’s inpatient unit, due to low utilization and costs.

According to William M. Kettyle, head of MIT Medical, “many nights no one shows up” at urgent care, especially over the summer.

Twenty staff will be furloughed as a result of the closing, which Kettyle said was “not an easy decision” to make. Emergency services will remain available by calling (617) 253-1311, and patients needing immediate attention will be transported to Mount Auburn Hospital or Children’s Hospital.

—John A. Hawkinson
and Nick Semenkovich

Lincoln Lab CTO Leaves for DOD

President Barack Obama has nominated Zachary J. Lemnios, Chief Technology Officer of the MIT Lincoln Laboratory since 2005, to be Director of Defense Research and Engineering for the federal government. If Lemnios is approved for this position by the Senate, he will become the top military science and technology official in the country.

Prior to his current position, Lemnios worked extensively on microsystems research at both the Lincoln Lab and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. He holds four patents on gallium-arsenide microchip technology.

—Natasha Plotkin

Bye, Bye, New Tech Barber

The New Tech Barber, located in the basement of the Stratton Student Center, closes its doors for good this month.

Owner George H. Fichera has agreed to vacate the premesis by June 15, after weak business led to non-payment of rent.

MIT does not have specific plans for that retail space, said Paul Parravano, of the office of government and community relations.

Fichera, who is also a custodian for the Department of Facilities, had run the New Tech Barber since 1988.

New Tech’s competitor, Technicuts, remains open in the student center basement.

— Robert McQueen

MIT’s AAA Bond Rating Intact

As their endowments falter, some major universities’ bonds are also weakening.

Moody’s Investment Services has downgraded the credit ratings of 20 schools, including Dartmouth College and Rockefeller University, according to the Wall Street Journal.

MIT currently receives the highest possible rating, AAA, on all its bonds. Moody’s reported a stable outlook on this rating when it last reported on MIT in December 2008.

An institution may receive a lower rating on the credit they issue when credit-rating services come to view that credit as a riskier investment. For universities, which often use credit to finance construction projects and other large one-time capital expenses, a lowered rating is often tied to weak endowment performance. The lower rating forces the school to pay more interest to investors, making it more expense to finance projects.

—Natasha Plotkin