Why have printed annual reports not been issued since 2005?

President’s part of the annual report missing since 2004, no explanation given for the delay

5490 annualreports
MIT hasn’t published a printed annual report since 2005. The Institute Archives and Special Collections in 14N-118 have printed copies of prior annual reports.
John A. Hawkinson—The Tech

Like any major company, every year MIT produces a detailed annual report summarizing the past year’s work, accomplishments, and aspirations, with a detailed section from every department, lab, center, school, or other unit — or at least that’s the way it’s supposed to work.

Called the Report to the President since 1983, and previously the Report of the President, MIT’s annual reports have recently run over one thousand pages, and provide a narrative from nearly every administrator of something at MIT, and are a source for statistics and numbers about MIT that are comparable from year-to-year.

Printed annual reports have not been issued since the 2005 report, according to Kimberly D. Mancino of the Reference Publications Office, because the office is still waiting for critical reports to come in — such as the section of the reports penned by MIT’s presidents.

“Report of the President”

“Getting them in years late is the same as not getting them in,” said Richard L. Schmalensee ’65, professor of management and former dean of the Sloan School of Management.

The “Report of the President” section is missing for the years 2004–2012: one year of President Charles M. Vest, one year of overlap, and seven years of President Susan J. Hockfield.

(The 2004-2005 academic year overlapped both presidents, and in lieu of a report from either Vest and Hockfield, the 2005 report contained a summary attributed to the MIT News Office.)

In the “Report of the President” section, the MIT president discusses his or her priorities for the Institute, and what is being done to achieve the Institute’s goals at a strategic level. The section typically offers a small history lesson and some narrative associated with the management of the Institute. It helps to explain what the President did and why, as well as how.

Running late

The publications office makes electronic versions of the individual reports available at while waiting for all the reports to arrive.

Mancino said that the 2011 report was running about six months late, and that the piecemeal electronic version should have been available in May. Most of 2011 has been submitted, but it has not been completely finalized, she said.

In addition to missing the sections authored by President Hockfield from 2006 onwards, the report also lacks the report of the MIT Corporation from 2009 onwards. Both categories of report are the responsibility of Kirk D. Kolenbrander, who both served as chief of staff to President Hockfield and is vice president for Institute affairs and secretary of the Corporation.

“We are workin’ on it,” Kolenbrander said. But asked if he could account for the delay, he said “Nope.”

“I don’t think it’s the hugest thing in the world,” Schmalensee said. “I just think it’s good practice” to get the report in.

But he said that he did not write an annual report when he was dean. (An annual report from the Sloan School is present for his last year as dean, 2007; it was not signed by him, though some earlier years were.)

Some MIT offices use their annual reports to contextualize their relationship with the public and explain their activities. For instance, the Office of the General Counsel, MIT’s lawyers, included the following paragraph in several of their annual reports:

We often find that news reporting and public commentary about MIT litigation is incomplete and misinformed, sometimes wildly so. Nonetheless, we almost never respond to news inquiries and we usually don’t correct misstatements because we are governed by facts and law, which we advocate in court, not in newspaper headlines. Also, much of our litigation and pre-litigation activity involves inherently confidential information. Our success in this part of our work is measured in part by how little publicity it generates.”

President Hockfield did not respond to requests for comment, and the MIT News Office declined to comment on MIT’s annual reports.

John A. Hawkinson over 5 years ago

Some additional information that didn't make the article by deadline time. There are 12 units that are missing from the 2010 annual report (the most recent available in piecemeal form), up from 8 missing in 2009 report, and from 4 in the 2008 report.

The 12 missing from 2010 are:


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Industrial Performance Center

Office of Engineering Outreach Programs

MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research

Vice President for Research and Associate Provost


Office of Major Agreements

Vice President for Institute Affairs and Secretary of the Corporation (star)

. Institute Events

. News Office

. Office of Government and Community Relations

. Publishing Service Bureau

. Reference Publications Office

[Appendix] A. Degrees Awarded 20092010

[Appendix] B. Enrollment Statistics, Fall 2009

[Appendix] Personnel Changes

(star) indicates subunits of the VP for Institute Affairs report that are listed as seperate reports for 2010, but were combined with the VP for Institute Affairs in prior years. If counted seperately there would be 17 missing.

The 8 missing from 2009 are:


Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research

MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research

Vice President for Research and Associate Provost

Clinical Research Center

Office of Major Agreements

Vice President for Institute Affairs and Secretary of the Corporation

[Appendix] C. Personnel Changes

The 4 missing from 2008 are:


Executive Vice President and Treasurer

Vice President and General Counsel

[Appendix] C. Personnel Changes

John A. Hawkinson about 5 years ago

The missing 2009-2010 report for the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics appeared recently, and is dated Dec. 21.

The 2008-2009 report for the Clinical Research Center did so as well, dated Dec. 13.